“කොරෝනා ආසාදිතයන්ගේ පෞද්ගලිකත්වය උල්ලංඝණය කිරීම.” හිරු සහ දෙරණ ට එරෙහිව වැලිගම නගර සභාවෙන් තහනම් නියෝගයක්..!

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දෙරණ සහ හිරු යන මාධ්‍ය ආයතන නියෝජනය කරන මාධ්‍ය වේදීන් කිහිප දෙනෙකු, කොරෝනා වෛරසය ආසාදනය වී ඇති බවට සැක කළ පුද්ගලයෙකුගේ නිවසට අනවසරයෙන් ඇතුළු වී, අදාල පුද්ගලයාගේ සහ එම පුද්ගලයාගේ පවුලේ සාමාජිකයන්ගේ පෞද්ගලිකත්වය උල්ලංඝණය වන ආකාරයෙන් හැසිරී ඇති බවට චෝදනා කරමින්, වැලිගම නගර සභාවේ සභාපති රෙහාන් ජයවික‍්‍රම මහතා, දෙරණ සහ හිරු යන මාධ්‍ය ආයතනවල ප‍්‍රධානීන් වෙත ලිපියක් යවා තිබේ.

1987 නගර සභා පනතේ 255 – 4 උපවගන්තිය යටතේ තමන්ට පැවරී ඇති බලය අනුව, කොරෝනා ආසාදිත බවට සැක කරන පුද්ගලයන්ගේ පෞද්ගලික ස්ථානයන්ට ඇතුළු වීම දෙරණ සහ හිරු ඇතුළුව සියළුම මාධ්‍ය ආයතන නියෝජනය කරන මාධ්‍යවේදීන් හට තහනම් කර තිබෙන බව, එම ලිපිය මගින් නගර සභාවේ සභාපතිවරයා පවසා සිටියි.

මෙම අනතුරු ඇගවීම් වලට අනුකූලව වැඩ නොකරන්නේ නම්, එම මාධ්‍ය ආයතනය දෙකට විරුද්ධව නීතිමය ක්‍රියාමාර්ග ගන්නවා පමණක් නොව, තමා  යටතේ වැඩ කරන මහජන සෞඛ්‍ය පරීක්ෂකයන් හට සිය රාජකාරියට බාධා කිරීම යටතේ වෙනම නීතිමය ක්‍රියාමාර්ග ගැනීමට උපදෙස් දෙන බවත් වැලිගම නගරාධිපතිවරයා දන්වා තිබේ.

Channel Head

Hiru TV

No 51/5Alexander Place

Colombo 07

8th May 2020

Ref: Unauthorised entry and invasion of privacy of suspected COVID 19 case in Weligama

It has been brought to my attention that your media channel personal have unlawfully entered and captured still and video footage of a suspected COVID 19 patient in New Street Weligama on the 7th of May 2020, thus causing great distress to the surviving family members.

The said patient was incidentally cleared of COVID 19 but the social stigma that it has caused the rest of the family members is shocking and distressing. It is of paramount importance to note that our Country along with the rest of the world is going through turbulent times due to this disease but it is only in Sri Lanka that I have seen patients been treated as criminals. This, I believe is because of the various times media personal from your channel and others, blatently violated the rights of the suspected patients by visiting their personal properties and in some instances recording voice cuts which they do not intend to be made public.

I do not wish to educate you on media ethics as I am sure you have the common sense to believe in what’s right and wrong. Even though I had to turn a blind eye and watch in disgust when this was happening all over the Country, I will not as Head of the Weligama Urban Council tolerate such violations in our town limit.

I wish to bring to your notice The Urban Council act of 1987(255) section (4) which states,

The Urban Council constituted for each town shall,subject to the powers reserved to or vested in any other authority by this Ordinace or by any other written law,be the local authority,within the administrative limits of the town,charged with the regulation,control and administration of all matters relating to the public health,public utility services and public thoroughfares, and generally with the protection and promotion of the comfort,convenience and welfare of the people and the amenities of the town

By the powers vested to me under the the Urban Council act of 1987(255) section (4), I am hereby banning the unathorised entry of any media personal into the private vicinities of suspected COVID 19 cases. In the event that these warnings are not heeded, I will not hesitate to not only iniate legal action against your channel but will also instruct the relevant Public Health Inspectors(PHI)working under me, to file separate charges in regard to the obstruction of their duties.

In addition to this, you are already aware of the unambiguous guidelines issued by the Government information department in reporting of COVID 19 related matters, pointing out specifically the guidelines that requests media networks to avoid highlighting individual cases.

I wish to remind you that the broadcast frequencies that you are operating on is public property regulated by the Telecom Regulatory Commision of Sri Lanka. This means that you should be more mindful when reporting cases like this which is sensitive in nature.

Rehaan DW Jayawickreme

Chairman Weligama Urban Council

Cc: 1) Head of the COVID 19 taskforce, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva

2) Dr Anil Jayasingha, Director General of Health

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