Denying the story carried by the Sinhala daily Lankadeepa “Karaliye Perali” Column, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu says that he was out of Sri Lanka from the 10th to the 17thNovember and never met with any “special representatives” from Canada on the beaches of Koggala before the CHOGM or since.
Lankadeepa Columnist wrote; Dr. Saravanamuttu along with former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Ms. Sunethra Bandaranaike engaged in a “special discussion on the politics of the country” on the “Koggala beaches” with “special representatives” from Canada.
We publish below the letter to Lankadeepa in full;
Mr. Siri Ranasinghe
Wijeya Newspapers Ltd
08 Hunupitiya Cross Road
I am writing to you with regard to a reference to me in your newspaper of today in a Column titled “Karaliye Perali” by Ranjana.
The reference to me states that during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held recently in Colombo, I, along with former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Ms. Sunethra Bandaranaike engaged in a “special discussion on the politics of the country” on the “Koggala beaches “with “special representatives “ from Canada. Your columnist goes on to state
“We have come to know that the government and the President were subjected to severe criticism in this discussion.
The above reference to me in a newspaper that claims to uphold the highest standards of media professionalism and ethics is indeed both shocking and depressing. The reference to me demonstrates a shoddy disregard for accuracy in reportage. I was out of Sri Lanka from the 10th to the 17thNovember and never met with any “special representatives “from Canada on the beaches of Koggala before the CHOGM or since.
Accordingly, please publish this letter in full in the next edition of your newspaper and with the same prominence accorded to the column in which the reference to me appears. Furthermore as a newspaper that claims to engage in serious journalism, I expect your organization will also publish an apology for this blatantly inaccurate and misleading reportage concerning me.
Please note, if my letter is not published as requested, I will have no choice but to consider recourse to other means of ensuring my rights are protected.
In the public interest, I will be releasing this letter to the media.
Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu