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Gothabaya seeks damages for Fonseka interview

[Hindu, Sunday, 20 December 2009 11:36 No Comment]

Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa has demanded rupees one billion in damages from the English weekly Sunday Leader if it fails to apologise for publishing two allegedly defamatory articles.

In a letter to the Publisher and Editor of the weekly, a lawyer acting on behalf of Mr. Gothabaya Rajapaksa, pointed out that a District Court had already restrained the publication from publishing such news in two earlier cases.

According to a Defence Ministry statement, the letter said the news articles published in collusion with retired General Sarath Fonseka were defamatory and breached an undertaking the Sunday Leader had given the District Court.

In an interview to the weekly, General (retired) Sarath Fonseka, former Army chief and contender in the January 26 presidential poll, had said Mr. Gothabaya Rajapaksa had instructed a ground commander in the battle zone during the last phase of the Eelam War IV to shoot all LTTE leaders who came out to surrender to the military. But the General went back on his comments later and maintained that the weekly had not correctly presented the interview.

In the Sunday Leader interview, the General had contended that he had no information communicated to him in the final days of the war that three key LTTE leaders had opted to surrender to the military.

 

“Fonseka charged that communications were instead confined to the LTTE leaders, Norway, various foreign parties, Basil Rajapaksa, Member of Parliament and the powerful senior adviser to the President, and such information was never conveyed to him as he supervised the final stages of the war,” the weekly reported.

Keywords: Gothabaya Rajapaksa, Sunday Leader, Sarath Fonseka

The Hindu : News / International : Gothabaya seeks damages for Fonseka interview

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