Right of reply
Mr. Premasara Epasinghe, well-known cricket commentator, Free Lance Journalist and Media Consultant to the Education Ministry has sent us the following letter (relevant extracts) through the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka:
I was appointed to the Interim Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket by the Minister of Sports and Public Recreation by his letter dated 11th July 2007.
It is very unfortunate that The Sunday Times is targeting me regularly and attacking me in a column titled ANEY IS IT TRUE, WITH NAM – after I was appointed to the Interim Committee. These reports give a wrong impression about my character. I feel that the writers’ motive is to tarnish my good name. This has caused an irreparable damage to my reputation and integrity.
The related articles are as follows:
1. The Trojan Horse – 08.07.2007, 2. Please Help Me – 15.07.2007, 3. Alimadiwata Harak – 12.08.2007
Reference item one, I was never attached to a Newspaper establishment. I am a free-lance journalist writing articles on Sports, Buddhism, Education, Archeology, Culture, Arts and Tourism in Sinhala and English, for nearly four decades.
Item 2, states that I am going round asking my friends to write about me, which I have never done in my life.
I was shocked to read item 3, which states that I asked for a vehicle from Sri Lanka Cricket. I never requested for a vehicle as I have my own vehicle and an official vehicle too.
I have had many telephone calls expressing the view that some of these references are directed at me, and needless to say this publicity has caused me much pain of mind.
It has probably due to my experience in cricket for (sic) and the services rendered by me towards Cricket that the Minister appointed me to the Interim Committee. I was very glad to serve in that Committee I am committed to do an honorary job.
Sports Editors Comments:
Mr. Epasinghe has put the cap on to identify himself as the person referred to in the column by Nam. He has accepted the fact that he is a cricket commentator and a freelance journalist and he was appointed to the interim committee by the minister. So then, doesn’t the question of his eligibility to hold the position in the Sri Lanka Interim Cricket Committee come in to play? Does his appointment violate both the Sports Law and the SLC constitution.
The National Association of Sports Regulations, No2 of 1974, published in Gazette Extraordinary No. 110/3 of May 7, 1974, was amended as follows.
(1) by the repeal of regulation 14 of that regulation and the substitution therefore of the following regulation :-
“14. (1) A person shall be disqualified from being elected or otherwise to hold or to continue to hold any paid or unpaid office, or to hold any paid or unpaid post, or to be a member of a committee of any National Association, or to be nominee of an affiliated club or organization in a National Association if –
(d) he is a professional sports reporter; or
Then 31 GENERAL of the SLC constitution (b) reads:
No person who is an employee of a newspaper or contributes to any newspaper, journal or magazine whether under his own name a nom-de-plume for a fee or reward shall hold office in the Board or attend any of its Meetings or those of its Committees or Special Committees except by invitation.