Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana yesterday requested the Speaker to hold a hearing regarding the propagation of hateful, defamatory and false statements by certain media and refer it to the Committee on Privileges to take the necessary decisions.
The Minister said that if it is proved that he has committed any irregularities in his political career, he will retire from political life and some media have spread false statements against him on the basis of the recent railway strike.
The Minister said this making a special statement in Parliament. The Minister also said that in the past few days, programmes of some media organisations have spread many facts that promote false, hateful and insulting hatred towards me.
The dates and some related information are shown herewith. “Chamuditha Samarawickrama’s discussion with Indika Dodangoda, a train driver, YouTube Chamuditha Newsbreak on March 1, 2023, 59,511 views. On 13.09.2023 Hiru TV newspaper details at 6.25 am the time of being deceived by media shows is over Minister Bandula Gunawardhana, on 9.14.2023 Hiru TV newspaper details at 6.25 am, Criticism on Rs. 500,000 compensation for the student who died in a train accident, on 14.09.2023 Hiru News at 11.55 Indika Dodangoda held a press conference saying that I am the most corrupt and fraudulent Minister who got into the Ministry by dealing with Indian companies without calling for tenders. Hiru TV news telecast this. Hiru News on September 14 at 6.55 train driver Indika Dodangoda’s media meeting and 2023.09.14 Web Thidasa News, Bandula attacks railway unions say, 2023.09.17 Neth FM. The Minister is struggling to turn it into a Authority, 2023.09.17 Neth FM. Even though he said that the two news clips were not stolen, the DVD containing the above information was stolen by him. I name this as disk number one and I hereby table that disk.
“I graduated from the Sri Jayewardenepura University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a class pass and received a scholarship to study abroad in Beijing.
Not only to me, but also to the Ministers in this House, without investigation, without responsibility, without any evidence, they are making extremely derogatory statements. In 1989, as a Member of Parliament of the People’s United Front, I was appointed to this House and worked to protect the honour of the House.
“We have not stolen even a thread from the people of the country. If it is proved that I have committed a fraud of fifty cents, I will say goodbye not only to this Parliament but from politics. None of my children are involved in politics. I am the only one in my family doing politics for the last time. If this is proven, I will leave the political arena forever.
“In spite of this, I believe that my privileges have been violated according to the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act No. 21 of 1953 by doing this with media organizations knowing that. The reason is that even the salary received from this parliament was fully credited to the fund that was started by the parliament itself during the war. I have never been in an official residence during my life. The Pragna Bandhu Scholarship Fund was established using Rs.10 million from my personal funds.
We have taught the children what we know till we feel the blood in our throats until we sweat their socks off and they have become doctors and professors. It is inappropriate for the media to spread falsehoods in such a way as to create insulting and hateful thoughts. The Speaker is requested to refer this issue to the Privileges Committee to do the best possible for this.