Janaka Ratnayake, the former Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL),

filed a petition in the Colombo District Court yesterday (18), seeking compensation of Rs 2 billion and legal fees for damages caused to his reputation, stemming from the publication of private videos online by his former private secretary, Gayathri Bimba and her husband Kavishwara Gunaratne.

According to Ratnayake’s petition, he had a private relationship with Bimba during her employment under him.

He alleges that Bimba and Gunaratne circulated private video through a YouTube channel named ‘Meemasso TV’ and via another social media account managed by Gunaratne.

Citing violations under Section 24 of the recently enacted Online Safety Act, Ratnayake prayed the Court to issue an interim injunction preventing further dissemination of the video footage through media channels.

After considering the arguments presented by Ratnayake’s Attorney Arulpragasam, District Court Judge Sandun Withana, issued an injunction against Bimba and Gunaratne, prohibiting the dissemination of the mentioned footage on social media until the case is concluded.

Furthermore, the Judge instructed Bimba and Gunaratne to appear before the Court on 6 May.

In a separate case filed by Ratnayake in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court, concerning the same matter under the Online Safety Act, which was heard on the same day (18), the lawyers representing the respondent former secretary informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Tharanga Mahawatta that objections regarding the legal authority to hear the case before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court will be submitted at the next hearing.

Ratnayake filed the case against eight individuals, including Gayatri Bimba, and obtained an injunction against the publication and circulation of the videos in question on social media.

President’s Counsel Kalinga Indatissa representing Ratnayake, informed the Court that he will present preliminary objections on behalf of the respondent without objection.

Meanwhile, President’s Counsel Kaushalya Navaratne, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), requested the Court to allow the BASL to independently monitor the case, as it significantly impacts the freedom of speech and expression in Sri Lanka.

As a result, the Additional Magistrate announced that the case will be scheduled before Colombo Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis on 3 May.



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