The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has written to the Independent Television Network (ITN) demanding an apology over a news item it aired accusing the CPA of organizing a meeting in support of the LTTE.
In a letter sent to Rosmand Senaratne, the Chairman of ITN, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, the Executive Director of CPA said that neither CPA nor he organized such a meeting.
He said that on Sunday 14th July an item on the ITN news bulletin stated that the he and the CPA organised a meeting in Ampara to further the interests of the LTTE and that the meeting was cut short due to the intervention of the Buddhist clergy and public of the area.
“The visuals used in the news item did not show any member of CPA or me or any banner or poster naming or in any way representing CPA or myself as the organisers of the meeting. The language used in the news item too was clearly defamatory and intended to arouse public opinion against CPA and myself and bring us into public disrepute,” Dr. Saravanamuttu said in his letter, which was released to the media.
He requested a categorical public apology from ITN on its next news bulletin, as neither CPA nor he organized any meeting in Ampara on Sunday and no employee of CPA, including himself, was present at such a meeting.
“It is indeed both deeply shocking and regrettable that any media organization in this country would permit such irresponsible, unprofessional and partisan journalism – even one that is effectively under the control of the state,” Dr. Saravanamuttu said.
He added that if there is no response within one week he will be considering other remedies including legal action to recover the full extent of the damage caused by the wrong news item. (Colombo Gazette)