Fonseka petitions SC against biased publicity by State media
Joint Opposition Common candidate for the January 26 presidential election General Sarath Fonseka yesterday filed a fundamental rights violation application in the Supreme Court against the Independent Television Network, the Rupavahini Corporation, and the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited.
The petitioner alleged that those media institutions publicised news items critically abusive of him, the United People’s Alliance and the JVP, which could cause prejudice in the minds of the voters. But, however those same media institutions were promoting the candidature of President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the January 26, 2010 poll. The unfair, unreasonable publicity given to the petitioner, was arbitrary and a violation of the right to franchise of the petitioner and other voters, the petition claimed.
The petitioner requested the Supreme Court to direct the Commissioner of Elections to prohibit these institutions from giving unfair, unreasonable publicity to petitioner.
The petitioner had listed news items, published by each of the media institutions to the detriment of the election campaign of the petitioner.
The General said that under Article 104/B/4/6 of the Constitution, the Commissioner could use his powers overs these media institution, and pave the way for the conduct of a free and fair poll.