The District Court of Kaduwela issued an enjoining order against four television stations from broadcasting a programme titled “Janapathi Janahamuwa” or a programme of similar nature featuring President Mahinda Rajapakse.
Issuing the enjoining order on an application filed by lawyers for the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, the District Court barred the Independent Television Network (ITN), Rupavahini, Swarnawahini and Derana from broadcasting the said show.
The lawyers for the common candidate pointed out that January 5th would be the last day for broadcasting propaganda and that if the programme, whether by the name 'Janapathi Janahamuwa' or any other name, was broadcast, the common candidate would not get similar airtime or an opportunity to reply. The enjoining orders prevent the broadcast of 'Janapathi Janahamuwa' by that name or any other name, or any other similar programme.
Lawyers for Sirisena said that the programme was sought to promote the candidacy of the incumbent President and since it was the last day for propaganda, no other candidate would be provided similar airtime.
Ronald Perera PC appeared with Suren Fernando and Nalin Amarajeewa for the Plaintiff.
President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka Upul Jayasuriya said that the decision was an encouragement to the citizens who strive for an independent judiciary. (Susitha Fernando and Hafeel Farisz)