PA propaganda through state media challenged
[TamilNet, Friday, 22 September 2000, 21:22 GMT]
The Court of Appeal Friday refused to issue interim injunction to prevent the People's Alliance from using state controlled TV and radio for election propaganda. The General Secretary of the United National Party Mr.Gamini Atukorale filed a petition seeking the Court of Appeal to issue interim injunction preventing the ruling People's Alliance from using the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) and the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) for its election propaganda. This petition came up for inquiry before Mr.Upali de Z Gunawardane, Appeal Court Judge today.
After considering the petition, the Judge said that an interim injunction could not be issued at once without considering objections by the SLBC and SLRC. Accordingly the Judge gave the respondents time till September 27 to file objections. The Judge further said that the Commissioner of Elections could inquire into matters raised by the petitioner.
The PA extensively utilises news broadcasts and prime time programs on the SLBC and the SLRC for carrying its propaganda.
Attorneys who appeared for the respondents told the Court that a fresh set of guidelines was to be issued to the media and they would cover private media establishments too. These media organisations will have to adhere the new guidelines with regard to the elections they claimed.
Attorneys appeared for the respondents requested the court to quash the petition, as the matters raised by the petitioner were contradictory.