Dilith sends letter of demand to BBC Sandeshaya for defamatory publications

Dilith sends letter of demand to BBC Sandeshaya for defamatory publications

November 15, 2011  12:15 pm

Bookmark and Share
  Dilith Jayaweera has sent Letters of Demand to British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for broadcasting an interview with Shan Wickremesinghe of TNL Network (Pvt) Ltd on Sandeshaya BBC Sinhala Service on 26th October 2011 and for carrying an article quoting the same allegations on the BBC Sinhala.com website of the same date. Letters were dispatched to both BBC, UK and its local representative office last week demanding a sum of 5 million Sterling Pounds each and Jayaweera is awaiting a response.

Considering the unfounded allegations made in the above publications, Jayaweera plans to file defamatory charges against Sandeshaya BBC Sinhala Service and BBC Sinhala.com in the event that this demand is not met.

Jayaweera has already sent a Letter of Demand claiming Rs 500 million to Shan Wickremesinghe and his co-host on TNL Isira Radio Dasadesin Puwathpath programme, Mr.Sudath Jaysundera for comments made on the show. Wickremasinghe and Jayasundera claimed that funds used by Jayaweera in stock trading was generated through drug trafficking and money laundering. He further claimed that the downfall of the Colombo stock market was due to the lack of funds in the aftermath of the shooting of MP Duminda Silva.

According to the said Letter of Demand, Jayaweera is a director of 35 companies, including four public quoted companies, and is an attorney-at-law by profession.

The full text of the Letter of Demand follows:

4th  November 2011



British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Sandeshaya BBC Sinhala Service

Room 417, NE, Bush House,

The Strand, London,



Mr. Charles Havilland

Bureau Chief

BBC Sri Lanka

10A, Cambridge Terrace,

Colombo 7.



Dear Sir


Defamatory Publications Carried Out Through Sandeshaya BBC SINHALA SERVICE


I write on the instructions of my client Mr. Dilith Susantha Jayaweera of No 53/3, Gregorys Road, Colombo 7.


I am instructed by my client to write to you stating that my client is the Joint Managing Director of Triad (Pvt) Ltd, iconic indigenous advertising agency of Sri Lanka.


My client holds an LLB from the University of Colombo and is an Attorney-at-Law by profession. He also holds an MBA from the University of Wales.


My client is a co-founder of Triad (Pvt) Ltd, a pioneering advertising company which has won many awards including the best advertising company in Sri Lanka.


Based on the success built in the advertising industry, my client over a period of time has embarked on a successful diversification of business endeavors including advertising centric backward integration into photography, TV production, outdoor advertising, Public relations, Corporate publications & annual report production, publishing, pre-press & printing. Developing the Groups interests into other fields of vibrant commercial activity, my client has also initiated and presently heads and or co-owns 35 successful business ventures including Citrus Leisure PLC, Colombo Land PLC, George Steuart & Company Ltd, Power House Ltd and Divasa Finance Ltd.


My client throughout his professional and business career spanning over a period of 19 years has always upheld the highest traditions and ethical values of the industry and conducted his affairs in a transparent and lawful manner with the national interest in mind.    


As a result of my clients achievements described above, he has acquired a reputation and a goodwill as a successful and patriotic businessman, investor and as a professional.  


I am instructed by my client to write to you stating your company broadcasts Sandeshaya BBC Sinhala Service - the Sinhala language radio program specially targeting Sinhala speaking listeners, with a worldwide coverage.


I am instructed by my client that your company in an interview over the telephone with Mr. Shan Wickremesinghe the Chairman of Teleshan Network (Pvt) Limited who had been carrying on a campaign to tarnish the reputation of my client had aired and/or broadcast and/or published and/or made several comments during the aforesaid Sandeshaya BBC Sinhala Service directly referring to my client by his name and/or entities which my client co-owns and or controls. Such a reference had been carried out in Sandeshaya BBC Sinhala Service of your Radio Channel inter-alia on 26th October 2011.


I am instructed by my client to write you stating that the said news item and/or broadcast inter-alia per se and in innuendo referred to my client and the Sri Lankan public and the whole world has understood those as referring to my client.


In the said news items, comments and remarks you have broadcast and/or published and or caused to publish, you have inter-alia stated and/or conveyed and or held out that;


a)      My client is involved in money laundering

b)      My client has made money  through unlawful, illegal and dishonest means

c)      My client is involved in drug trafficking

d)      My client along with Mr. Duminda Silva, his brother Rayynor Silva and Varuni Amunugama owns and or leases out a suite at the Ceylon Inter Continental Hotel

e)      My client has threatened and or caused to threaten Mr. Shan Wickremesinghe and        Mr. Sudath Jayasundara with death.          


I am instructed by my client to write to you stating that the said comments and remarks had been made and/or news items have been broadcast and published during the program conducted by the Sandeshaya BBC Sinhala Service.


The said news items and/or comments and/or remarks made against my client in said program and/or broadcast per se and in innuendo defamatory of my client and the general public have been understood as defamatory of my client. You are aware as a Chairman/Director/Bureau Chief of a Radio Channel which has worldwide coverage and/or you should have been aware the contents and/or the presentation of the aforesaid comments and/or remarks made about my client are false and false to your knowledge.


I am further instructed by my client that all transactions and purchases made by my client in the stock market had been done with total transparency and openness and had been effected through the Colombo Stock Exchange with clear disclosure of funds.


My client could account for every rupee which has been invested to acquire the business referred to in your comments and/or remarks which include funding obtained from several leading private sector banks in the country which amounts to almost Rupees two billion.


I am instructed by my client to write to you stating that the wild allegations that you have made against my client in the aforesaid Sandeshaya BBC Sinhala Service are baseless, unfounded and have no legal basis whatsoever.


I am further instructed to state that the aforesaid malicious actions of carrying out and/or publishing and or broadcasting the said defamatory comments and/or remarks and or news items have been caused by you without reasonable and probable cause and with animus injuriandi of defaming and tarnishing my clients reputation, goodwill and public image. The said publications/broadcasts have been carried out with express malice.


My client reasonably estimates the loss of reputation, goodwill and dignity as well as pain of mind which has been caused to my client as a result of the aforesaid publication and or broadcast at a sum of 5,000,000 (Pounds Sterling Five Million) and the same is hereby demanded from you to be paid within 14 days from the date hereof.


I am also instructed to demand that you immediately cease your malicious campaign of defamation of my client.


In the event you fail and neglect to pay and settle the said sum of 5,000,000 (Pounds Sterling Five Million) and to immediately stop the malicious broadcasts/publications referred to above, I have instructions by my client to institute legal action against you and your institution to safeguard my clients interest and to recover the said sum of 5,000,000 (Pounds Sterling Five Million) with legal interest. 


Thanking You,

Yours Faithfully


Saman Senadheera

Attorney- at- Law


CC : Mr. Dilith Susantha Jayaweera, 53/3, Gregorys Road, Colombo 7