Responding to an article we published on 12 July, senior journalist Poddala Jayantha has sent us a response, of which an English translation brief is given below.
Poddala Jayantha says in the letter from New York that ex-defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had never told him that he was a bastard dog and that his beard would be cut, gagged on his mouth and that limbs would be broken.
It was true that Gotabhaya had summoned the then association president Sanath Balasuriya and himself through Bandula Padmakumara to his office and threatened them of trouble if the protests ongoing at the time were not stopped.
When asked who would do that, an enraged Gotabhaya responded that that would be seen then and there.
He accused them of having appeared for Iqbal Athas, and when asked why his protection was withdrawn, Gotabhaya said that they had failed sometimes because before an operation began, he wrote everything about it beforehand.
The then defence secretary was told that top military officers sat together to plan operations and that Athas did not attend those meetings, and that he was given information by those who attended the meetings. Stop leaking the information and don’t take revenge from Iqbal, they told him.
Gotabhaya again lost his temper and turning to Lakshman, inquired from him as to who would have fathered them.
They told him that their parents were poor, but that they had a good upbringing.
Jayantha says exaggeration is uncalled for and asks us to confirm facts before writing articles, since he has given a very clear statement to the CID regarding the matter.
If the reporter does any exaggeration in reporting that happens without prejudicing the victims. In the art of crime reporting, basing 100 per cent of what had happened would benefit the criminals, as his lawyers would use them to their client’s advantage.
Therefore, we are consciously bound to avoid such situations. Our end objective is to ensure justice to the victim even through exaggeration to some extent. We thank you for revealing things unknown to the reader.