Moratuwa Mayor threatens provincial journalist: President orders probe

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed UPFA Secretary-General Susil Premajayantha to probe an incident where Moratuwa Mayor Samanlal Fernando had allegedly threatened Divaina provincial correspondent Henry Priyashantha Mendis.

The President’s order follows written representations made to him by Mendis, who has asserted that the Mayor verbally abused and threatened him with death. He has also complained to the Moratuwa police about the incident.

A news story with a photograph of mountains of garbage dumped near De Soysa Stadium – a residential area – had infuriated the Mayor who had telephoned the journalist, used abusive language and threatened him.

According to the complaint lodged with the police, the Mayor had warned the provincial journalist to keep away from the Moratuwa Municipal Council saying that he has been barred from covering the monthly meeting of this local body.

Mendis had been told by the Mayor to lodge a police complaint, if he so desired, "as nothing can be done to him".

The Sunday Island learns that the police had visited the Mayor and recorded a statement from him.

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