White flag statement was published without verification, Frederica Jansz

The alleged statement made by the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka regarding the white flag incident, was published in the newspaper without being verified by any authority, said the Editor of the Sunday Leader Newspaper Frederica Jansz.

She said this when the white flag case was heard before a trial-at-bar at the Colombo High Court yesterday.

The case pertaining to the alleged statement made by Sarath Fonseka in relation to a white flag incident during the conflict, was heard before justices Deepali Wijesundara, W. Waraweva and M. Ized Raseem.

Counsel appearing for the defence, Nalin Laduwahetty continued to cross examine the chief witness in the case, editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper Frederica Jansz.

Answering cross examinations of the defence, she stated that although she attempted to verify the white flag incident at the time with Brigadier Shavendra Silva, the Military Spokesperson, Minister Basil Rajapaksa, the present Army Commander and the Defence Secretary, her efforts proved futile.

She noted that the present Army Commander and Shavendra Silva who was a Brigadier at the time refused to comment on the matter.

Frederica Jansz further stated that the Minister Basil Rajapaksa also did not make a comment in that regard.

She accepted that the publication did not state that the information contained therein, was based on what Sarath Fonseka had heard from a third party.

The witness went onto accept that the publication in question had in fact been submitted for an Editor’s Guild award, adding statements which were subsequently corrected by Sarath Fonseka were not annexed.

The Sunday Leader editor also accepted that one of the conditions of the Editor’s Guild was that the publication submitted for the award, should contain the correct statement of Sarath Fonseka and any challenges or verifications.

Meanwhile, a copy of the application submitted by Frederica Jansz for the award was handed over to the court by a representative of the Editor’s Guild.

Thew case has been postponed for next Tuesday.

“We expect justice. We know that justice will be served if there is no political influence. Justice granted to us, is justice granted to the public,” said Sarath Fonseka addressing the media. from newsfirst.lk


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