Friday, November 06, 2009

Defence Secretary demands Rs. 1 billion from 'The Sunday Leader'

On October 22 the editor-in-chief and news editor of The Sunday Leader received anonymous death threats.

Red writing scrawled over an edition of the paper warned Frederica Jansz and Munza Mushtaq to stop writing or face the same fate as Lasantha Wickrematunge. Ominously, experts subsequently declared that the handwriting on the letters was identical to the writing on the final threats received by Wickrematunge. As always, the Leader’s response to the threats was prompt and defiant.

The article—“And Now They Come for Us”—made clear that the Leader would remain as ever unbowed and unafraid. However, this response apparently caused grave offense to the country’s Defense Secretary.

On October 29 the Leader received a letter of demand from Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s lawyers demanding that the Leader pay Rs. 1 billion as compensation for defaming their client.

Attorney Sanath Wijewardena claimed that failure to pay Rs. 1 billlion and print an apology for “defaming” the Defense would result in Mr. Rajapaksa initiating yet more legal action against the Leader.

Which leads one to ask: Who was the victim in this case—the editors at the Leader who received the threats or Mr. Rajapaksa, who was merely mentioned in the paper’s response?

© The Sunday Leader

Related Links:
And now they come for us - The Sunday Leader
The Sunday Leader editors threatened with death - JDS

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