Nothing defamatory, letter only a translation of web report - Kiriella | Daily News

Nothing defamatory, letter only a translation of web report - Kiriella

Public Enterprise and Kandyan Heritage Development Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the purported letter under scrutiny by Police were translations of excerpts of a news report on a prominent web site and intended to be circulated to Buddhist temples and politicians.

Issuing a statement with regard to three members of his media unit who were arrested on Thursday night with 600 letters alleged to be defamatory of the President and inciting enmity among races, Kiriella said he had inquired about the incident but did not find anything that was defamatory or contents that could arouse racial discord in these letters.

“The letter only raised the issue that the relevant authorities had failed to notify the intelligence units prior to the Easter Sunday attacks,” he said.

Minister Kiriella noted that the report published in the Colombo Telegraph website had so far not been challenged by anyone. He said the media has the right to notify the politicians regarding any situation that arises in the country, adding that he feels his staff members too should have that right.

The Minister also requested police to release the said letter to the media just as they had released the identities of those arrested.

Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said the Fort Police had found 639 'letters' from three persons who arrived at the Central Mail Exchange on Thursday night. He said the letter contained words against the state and in a manner that incited racial disharmony. “These letters also had the name of the President,” he added.

The three suspects Karandeniyegedara Sampath Kumara, Wijeratne Mudiyanselage Dhanusha Priyadharshana and Patabendige Kavindu Thakshila Weerasena were handed over to the Colombo Crimes Division on Thursday night and today further interrogation was carried out at the offices of Dhanusha Priyadharshana and Kavindu Thakshila Weerasena on the 36th floor of the World Trade Centre housing the Public Enterprise, Kandyan Heritage and Kandy Development Ministry. Dhanusha Priyadharshana is a cameraman attached to the ministry while Weerasena is a driver.

A computer and a photocopy machine suspected to have been used to prepare these letters was confiscated.

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