Intense Legal Battle Between Media Moguls: Dilith's Company Obtains Enjoining Order Against MTV Network

November 23, 2020

An intense battle between Sri Lanka’s most well-known media moguls — Dilith jayaweera and Killi Maharaja — came to a head today with the Colombo District Court today issuing an enjoining order against MTV Channel (Pvt.) Ltd.

A defamation case filed by George Steuart Health (Pvt.) Ltd., owned by Jayaweera, claimed MTV network continued to carry defamatory news items damaging the reputation of their company.

The plaint referred to a number of segments carried out by Sirasa on News 1st on the 11, 13 and 16 November on the importation of rapid antigen test kits by George Steuart Health.

The company in their plant referred to a number of instances of factually incorrect news to mislead public and defame George Steuart Health as well as its Chairman and demanded to Rs. 2 billion from the news network for the reputational damage.

The enjoining order has prevented MTV channel and its agents and employees from defaming George Steuart Health, its Chairman and key officials in any manner in any forum whatsoever.

The lawsuit is perceived by many as a battle between media moguls as the pharmaceutical company in question is also linked to the Derana media network, owned by Jayaweera.

The controversy over the importation of rapid anti-gen test kits has sparked a fierce debate in the political sphere. The company, however, maintains that there was no malpractice during the importation process as no government funds were used to bring down the test kits. “We received orders from private hospitals and other institutions like the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, after the NMRA approval was received. We placed orders with our principals on 25th October,” the company said.

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