President requests report on article on Defence Ministry website

internetPresident Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that he has requested for a report on how a defamatory article on Indian leaders was published on the Defence Ministry website without authorisation. President Rajapaksa informed the media of this when he met with newspaper editors and news directors of radio and television stations at Temple Trees.

During the meeting, a journalist posed a question pertaining to an article that was “published without proper authorisation” on the website of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development about letters written by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Responding to the question, Head of National Intelligence Major General (Rtd.) Kapila Hendawitharana explained that the article had been published “without proper authorisation” and that, upon notification, it was immediately removed from the site.

“As a government, we express our regret over the incident,” President Rajapaksa said. The President further told the journalists that he has requested for a report on how the article was published without authorisation.

The derogatory article triggered a furore in India within hours after its publication and Tamil political parties in India have even urged the Indian Government to severe diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka. The Defence Ministry immediately removed the offending article and published an “unqualified apology” to the Indian leaders.(FT)

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