NYT report: Mahinda Rajapaksa to sue for defamation
Posted on July 1st, 2018

RAVI LADDUWAHETTY Courtesy Ceylon Today

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he will be taking legal action against the New York Times, over a defamatory news report in the American newspaper, that he had solicited funds from a Chinese company for election purposes.

There isn’t an iota of truth in this massive defamatory report and I have filed litigation papers with my lawyers and will claim damages,” the former President told Ceylon Today. He said that the report has been filed for political reasons to tarnish his name and that it had been planted by interested parties in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, in a news release issued yesterday, said that China would oppose any country’s interference in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka and will continue to firmly support the latter’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Responding for the first time, to the recently published article in the New York Times, which alleged that Sri Lanka was placed in a debt trap by China due to the loans obtained for various development projects, Luo Chong, Chief of the Political Section and also the spokesperson of the Embassy, in a statement, insisted that the report was full of political prejudice and completely inconsistent with the fact.”

The New York Times (NYT), in a recently published article, claimed that Sri Lanka was entrapped by China due to various loans obtained by it during the leadership of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It also alleged that China had funded Rajapaksa’s 2015 presidential election campaign.

The Embassy has noticed the New York Times’ article published on 25 June, as well as the clarifications and responses by various parties from Sri Lanka, criticizing it. It is encouraging that all sectors of the Sri Lankan society, highly appreciate China’s tremendous support and selfless assistance for ending the civil war and for post-war reconstruction in the Island nation,” Chong has noted.

It was also emphasized that, despite any interference from a third party, China would like to work together with Sri Lanka to actively implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and concentrate unwaveringly on our fixed goals, continuously promote the pragmatic co-operations under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiatives following the ‘golden rule’ of ‘extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits’, to better benefit the two countries and the peoples,” it was further stated.

5 Responses to “NYT report: Mahinda Rajapaksa to sue for defamation”

  1. Hiranthe Says:

    Right thing to do by MR. It will shut the mouths of the likes of Ranjan.

    But I have a question bothering me. Why China did not deny giving such bribes?

  2. Dilrook Says:


    Hope he actually files a case for this very serious defamation against a head of state. Otherwise it raises legitimate suspicions of bribery and conspiring with an international party (both are crimes in Lankan law).

  3. Vaisrawana Says:

    Isn’t the whole yahapalana regime unlawful, considering the many violations of the basic law of the country (the existing constitution) committed at its installation and on subsequent occasions? It is heartening to hear this piece of news from an authoritative writer like Ravi Ladduwahety.

    Huge amounts of American money changed hands before, during and after the treacherous regime change operation of 2015 January. It is now common knowledge that Americans spent many millions of dollars (587 or so million according to some) for such undemocratic projects in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The comparatively derisory amount of US $ 7.6 million alleged to have been paid to MR as a contribution towards his 2015 campaign funds is probably meant to be insulting to him, and to the Chinese themselves. But, in terms of increasing global economic influence , where are the Americans, and where are the Chinese?

    Let that be as it may. The very parasites who bloated their bodies with the lifeblood of our nation are now desperately trying to prevent the return of the Rajapaksas who led the country to victory over terrorism, and laid a firm foundation for equitably distributed economic development across the whole country and political stability, and restored the customary communal harmony that always existed in the island. Through the libelous article in question, these bloodsuckers have shot themselves in the foot. Mahinda must exploit this towards reversing the infamous 2015 counter revolution.

  4. nilwala Says:

    MR has taken the right decision to take NYT to Court. This kind of news designed to target leaders of sovereign countries in the run-up to elections, and obtained through non-legal means and swept into secrecy under cover of media confidentiality, is what has been been used by the UNHRC as well (Darusman Report ) in its continued harassment of the Sri Lankan Army for having defeated the terrorist LTTE even though Resolution 1373 against terrorism is still active. International law is ignored as political objectives are pursued.

  5. Nimal Says:

    Right thing to do and good luck to MR..

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