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Media orgs ask IGP to probe Deshabandu

05 Jul 2021

  • Request probe into SDIG’s response to journalist

  • Response following news on Shani retiring

By Buddhika Samaraweera   The Media Organisations Collective (MOC) has sent a letter to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandana D. Wickramaratne, requesting a formal investigation into an alleged threat made to journalist Tharindu Jayawardena by Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (SDIG) – Western Province Deshabandu Tennakoon. Jayawardena had recently posted a news item titled “Former Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Director, Senior Superintendent of Police Shani Abeysekara who investigated the plots to assassinate the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, former President and current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former President and current Parliamentarian Maithripala Sirisena, and the incumbent President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is retiring” on his Facebook account. In response to the said news item shared by Jayawardena on Facebook, SDIG Tennakoon, according to the MOC, has made a threat by saying that Jayawardena was publishing false news and that nature would punish such an act. “Tennakoon has stressed that Jayawardena should look into what happened to the deceased Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Leader V. Prabhakaran and other criminals. However, when Jayawardena asked as to what false news he had published, Tennakoon did not respond to that. As the MOC, we believe that the response of the SDIG to the said post is a serious warning when considering recently reported incidents,” the letter further read. It further claimed that SDIG Tennakoon’s response to Jayawardena should be taken into serious consideration in light of the fact that the majority of those who have been arbitrarily arrested and detained for publishing false news have not yet been formally charged in court. Therefore, they have, in the letter to the IGP, requested that a formal investigation be carried out into the matter and that the safety of Jayawardena be ensured. In addition, Jayawardena has also sent a letter to IGP Wickramaratne on 3 July, requesting that a formal investigation be carried out into the matter. He had, in the letter, said: “SDIG Tennakoon is one of the senior officials of the Police. I see the statements made by him such as ‘nature will answer’, ‘let us see who will win’, as an attempt to harm me in the future.” Several attempts to contact SDIG Tennakoon to inquire about the matter were unsuccessful.

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