The article appeared in the column ‘Londoner’s Diary’ under the caption, “Is Prince Andrew’s Southyork mansion going to Sri Lanka?”
It says President Chandrika Kumaratunge has bought the Sunninhill Park mansion belonging to Prince Andrew, the second son of the Queen.
The article says, “Has the Duke of York finally sold his country mansion, Sunninghill Park? One well-placed source tells me the property – dubbed
The article says that the Prince Andrew has been desperate to sell the mansion since divorcing Sarah, Duchess of York in 1992.
Worth £10 million
Stating that the mansion has been on the market for more than three years for ten million pounds, says it is not known how much Mrs.Kumaratunge might have paid for the white elephant on the Berkshire-Surrey border.
The article also alleges that two flats in Paris have also been bought by President Kumaratunge.
The Evening Standard further says that President Kumaratunge is known to have been keen in buying a house in the UK nearer to her son who is qualified recently as a veterinary surgeon from the Bristol University and her daughter who is a doctor in the UK.
The office of the President Kumaratunge says that it, “…….wishes to categorically reject the references to her in the said article which are baseless, as she does not, nor propose to, own property abroad.”
Considering the extreme damage the said article has done to the reputation of President Kumaratunge, office of the pesident requests the Evening Standard publish the statement issued by them.
It also says that legal action will be taken by President Kumaratunge against the newspaper for publishing defamatory article.
However, a member of the editorial of the paaper told Sandeshaya that they stand by their report.
“We have not received any denial or a formal letter of litigation”, the editorial member said.
Palace declines to comment
When we contacted the Buckingham Palace to verify this information the media unit in the palace said they would not comment on private transactions.
The Unit said they reject the article appeared in the Evening Standard.
CBK looks at legal recourse against slanderous press report
Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga last week received a written apology from the managing editor of UK’s ‘The Evening Standard’ after it erroneously wrote she had bought a sprawling mansion in England.
The letter from Doug Wills said Buckingham Palace has since confirmed there was no truth in the report.
Wills letter also expressed its “regret to President Chandrika Kumaratunga for any distress the report had caused her”.
Despite the apology, sources from Kumaratunga’s office said that she had not suspended plans to institute legal action against the newspaper.
“The newspaper has fulfilled our first demand for a clarification but we have not given up on legal action,” said Piyadasa Dissanaike, Kumaratunga’s spokesman. “The damage and distress caused was immense.”
The story — headlined ‘Is Prince Andrew’s Southyork mansion going to Sri Lanka?’ — had claimed that Kumaratunga purchased the Sunninghill Park mansion belonging to Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son. Kumaratunga’s office promptly issued a denial but the report still generated much controversy in Sri Lanka.
The newspaper carried a correction twice.