The New Democratic Front (NDF), the party from which General Sarath Fonseka is contesting the forthcoming presidential election, complained to the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake that the State media was giving publicity only to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidential election campaign.
In her complaint, Secretary of the NDF Sharmila Perera said that all State media institutions, the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (National Television), Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), Independent Television Network (ITN) and the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (Lake House) were violating Article 104B 4 (a)(i) and (ii) of the 17th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution. "This part of the Constitution prohibits the use of state property for the purpose of promoting or preventing the election of any candidate."
Perera said that she has submitted a summary of violations of this part of the law by State media institutions to the Elections Commissioner along with the complaint. These publications, telecasts and broadcasts are carried out for the purpose of promoting or preventing the election of any candidate or any political party or independent group contesting such election.
"As per the provisions of the said article of the Constitution contained in the 17th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka, you (Elections Commissioner) are vested with the power and the duty of issuing a directive in order to prevent such abuse," she said in her complaint.
According to the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Act No 37 of 1966 (as amended) and Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation Act No 6 of 1982 (as amended), such telecasts, broadcasts and publications are prohibited Perera said.
Perera told The Isalnd that the Elections Commissioner has yet to be respond to her complaint.