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Editors resolve 169 complaints under the ‘Right of Reply’ option

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National newspaper Editors resolved 169 complaints made directly to them by aggrieved readers in 2021, while the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) handled 57 complaints from the public, of which 16 were outside its scope.The complaints resolved by the Editors come under Clause 04. ‘Opportunity to Reply’ (‘Right of Reply’) procedure laid down by The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka in their Code of Professional Practice (Editors’ Code).

The Editors’ Code, which is implemented by the PCCSL, provides for conditional third party complaints. Third party complaints are entertained from six categories viz; environmental groups, animal welfare groups, adults on behalf of minors, an immediate family member of an accident victim, an immediate family member of a person in custody and anyone complaining on behalf of another, provided the prior written permission of the person personally affected is obtained and the Complaint Form signed.

The annual report of the PCCSL for 2021 presented by its Chief Executive Officer Mr. Sukumar Rockwood was released via a zoom meeting on September 07, 2022, stated that the PCCSL conducted 31 meetings with 200 publishers, editors and journalists. Sixteen awareness meetings were held with 485 members of civil society.

The PCCSL, which is an independent, voluntary, self-regulatory body will celebrate its 19th anniversary on October 15, 2022. The PCCSL is supported by the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka (NSSL), The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka (TEGOSL), the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) and is affiliated with the Federation of Media Employees Trade Union, the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum, the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance and the South Asian Free Media Association – Sri Lanka Chapter.

The PCCSL works on the principles of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration through its Secretariat and the Dispute Resolution Council (DRC). The DRC is made up of six non-journalist, including the chairman and five journalists. It is headed by former Secretary General of Parliament, Attorney Nihal Seneviratne. The other non-journalist members are; Mr. Javid Yusuf, Mr. Dion Schoorman, Mr. Lucille Wijewardene, Mrs. Gnana Moonesinghe and Dr. A. C. Visvalingam. The journalist members are: Mr. Siri Ranasinghe, Mr. P. Balasingham, Mr. Pramod de Silva, Mr. D. M. L. Andree and Mr. Nilantha Madurawala.

The nine-member Board of Directors comprise; Mr. Kumar Nadesan (Chairman, nominee of SLPI), Mr. Sinha Ratnatunga (Deputy Chairman, nominee of The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka), Mr. Nimal Welgama (nominee of the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka), Mr. Thaha Muzammil (nominee of the Free Media Movement), Mr. Manik de Silva (nominee of the SLPI) and Mr. Frank de Zoysa (nominee of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association) were re-elected via the zoom meeting. Mr. Dharman Wickramaratne, Mr. N. M. Ameen and Mr. Mohanlal Piyadasa were re-elected by the general membership via the zoom meeting of the PCCSL.Messrs Ernst and Young were re-elected Auditors of the Company and Messrs. Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited were re-elected secretaries of the Company via the zoom meeting.



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Embassy officer arrested at BIA remanded

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The Embassy official who was attached to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oman who is accused of being involved in a human trafficking racket was arrested by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and remanded till the 13th of December when he was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate

The official was arrested on his arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning (29 November).

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Easter Sunday terror attack suspect hacked to death

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By Norman Palihawadane

A 38-year-old Easter Sunday terror attack suspect was hacked to death yesterday morning (28) in Mattakkuliya.

The victim, Mohamed Badurdeen Mohamed Harnas, was a resident of Safiya Avenue, Mattakkuliya, police said.

A suspect in the Easter Sunday terror attacks, he had been released on bail.

The suspect was rushed to the National Hospital, Colombo, after three individuals, who arrived in a car around 10. 00 am, attacked him.

Two persons attacked the man while the other was keeping the car engine running, according to eyewitnesses. The attackers thereafter fled in the same car.

Harnas was pronounced dead on admission to hospital.

Further investigations in this regard are currently underway.

The victims family members said that Harnas had been taken into custody, following the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, but later released as there was no evidence of his involvement in terrorist activities.

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Rail service between Mahawa and Jaffna to be suspended for five months

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Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that the railway services between Mahawa and Jaffna will be suspended for a period of five months in 2023.

The Minister said that operations will be suspended from January 15, 2023.

The Minister said it was to repair work on the railway line.

He said so in response to a question raised by Vanni District MP Selvam Adaikalanathan.

“We are focusing our attention on the request made by you. We have to halt railway operations between Mahawa and Jaffna for five months from January 2023. Train services have been continuously operating to Jaffna, but now we have faced a situation as we have not been able to carry out any repair work thus far,” the Minister said.

Assuring that this issue can be rectified in five months, Minister Gunawardane said that, thereafter, a good railway service can be provided for this route.

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