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Labour minister faces damages suit
By Nilika Kasturisinghe
Labour Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe is being sued for Rs. 50 million by the President of the Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agents (ALFEA) for alleged defamatory statements made against him in a weekend paper early this month.

ALFEA President Suraj Dandeniya told The Sunday Times he would be commencing legal action against the minister for causing him to suffer damage to his reputation, in the event the minister did not pay the Rs. 50 million within a period of two weeks.

In an interview with the said newspaper Minister Samarasinghe had allegedly stated, "We also had to sack a board member, namely Suraj Dandeniya, because he was giving a very subjective view of the FEB. In addition it came to my notice that there were 210 complaints against him, including one fraudulent act, which were investigated by the FEB."

Dandeniya, a former Director of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment said the fabricated statements had been made by the Minister in an attempt to justify the illegal and arbitrary removal of him from the position of a Director appointed in terms of the Foreign Employment Act No. 21 of 1985. Minister Samarasinghe was unavailable for comment as he was away in Dubai.

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