Harassed ITN journalist gets justice | Daily News

Harassed ITN journalist gets justice

Former Chairman of the Ambalangoda Pradesheeya Sabha and his sister found guilty of abusing and causing harassment to a journalist were fined Rs. 1,050 each and sentenced to six months rigorous imprisonment by the Galle Additional Magistrate Asanga Hettiwatta on October 9.

They are Former Chairman Keembiyage Pushpalal Kumarasinghe and his sister Keembiyage Lissie Keerthisinghe.

In this case, Keembiyage Pushpalal Kumarasinghe, Waduthantri Amila Prasanna and Keembiyage Lissie Keerthisinghe were indicted with having been members of an unlawful assembly and causing obstruction and harassment to ITN journalist Gonapinuwala Vithanage Janath de Silva of Ethkandura, Divithura near the Gonapinuwala Ratmehera estate gate in the Hikkaduwa police area on July 12, 2015. The plaintiff in his evidence said, when he was riding his motorcycle along Aluthwala road Galle in the morning of the said date, the first respondent chased after him and ordered him to stop his motorcycle and abused and threatened him. When the first respondent spoke to someone on the mobile phone, several other people arrived on the scene. When the third respondent tried to assault him, the first respondent prevented it. Later, a car arrived on the spot and when the occupant in the car spoke to the first respondent, the latter allowed him to proceed.

The first respondent making a statement from the dock said he was the Chairman of Ambalangoda Pradesheeya Sabha at the time and the plaintiff published news items critical of him in several newspapers. Since the plaintiff unsuccessfully contested the Pradesheeya Sabha elections several times, the first respondent said, the plaintiff had published these statements to obstruct his political prospects and forward march.

The Additional Magistrate absolved the second respondent Amila Prasanna of all charges and released him. When the sentence was served on the first and third respondents, their Counsel said they would appeal against the sentence.

When the case was called after the submission of the appeal, the additional Magistrate released the first and third accused on Rs. 15,000 cash and Rs 100,000 personal bail cash and ordered them to appear before the Galle High Court when they received summons. Sergeant Kapila Abeysinghe of the Hikkaduwa Police presented the case and Attorney Srimal Wijesekara appeared for the defence. 


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