Two senior producers of the Sinhala Sandeshiya Service of the BBC World Service have been suspended from service until further notice, allegedly on charges of harassment, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.
According to inside sources, Chandana Keerthi Bandara and M.J.R. David have been suspended few days ago by the BBC, after two controversial recruits – one from Sinhala Service and the other from Tamil Service made official complaints against the duo.
Although the BBC on previous occasions have, in fact, commented on cases of this nature, a BBC World Service Spokesman when contacted by Colombo Telegraph, declined to comment “on individual cases” in this particular case.
“We do not comment on individual cases but where we find instances of misconduct they will be dealt with. The BBC is leading the industry in the way we support staff with complaints and this includes maintaining a confidential and fair process,” BBC World Service Spokesman Paul Rasmussen told Colombo Telegraph.
The BBC spokesman however, did not deny the suspension of its two Senior Producers attached to the Sinhala Service.
“The fact that we do not comment on individual cases does not indicate that the BBC accepts that suggestions put to us by any newspaper are factually accurate,” the BBC spokesman said.
The Colombo Telegraph has been unable to reach Bandara or David for comment.
As we reported earlier, there is another case against Chandana Keerthi Bandara also pending. This was based on a complaint made by former editor of the Sinhala Service Priyath Liyanage, who was also suspended once and sent for rehabilitation twice within the past two years for breaching the BBC’s code of conduct.