Court stops Janapathi Janahamuwa

Tuesday, 6 January 2015 02:36 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Two-week enjoining order issued by Kaduwela District Court banning ITN and all other channels from featuring programming of incumbent or any other candidate until polling day The District Court of Kaduwela yesterday issued enjoining orders against ITN and all state-owned and private media channels preventing the telecast of a presidential talk-show last night and until the presidential election on Thursday. Issuing two enjoining orders yesterday the court also prevented the telecast of any such similar programming until 8 January because it could favour the incumbent. The court order was being issued because the common opposition candidate had not been afforded similar airtime. As such the telecast of such programs would violate the Election Commission’s media directives, the court said. Janapathi Janahamuwa featuring President and candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa was scheduled to be telecast across several state-owned and private media channels last night. The court has also banned ITN and Lakhanda from telecasting interviews or programs featuring ministers, MPs, statutory board heads or Government officials to campaign for President Rajapaksa between 5-8 January. The order also disallows the two state-owned channels from broadcasting any material to promote President Rajapaksa or any other candidate until polling day. The court issued the order after a complaint was filed by the Maithripala Sirisena candidate that the program was one-sided and its telecast would be a violation of media guidelines issued by the Polls Chief. The enjoining order has been issued for the period of 14 days and will expire on 19 January 2015. Yesterday, the JHU and other Opposition groups led a protest outside the Rupavahini Corporation about state media’s partisan coverage of the presidential election. Meanwhile, a group supporting the Opposition are now on a protest outside the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation premises against its “biased” media coverage. (DB)