Tuesday, 4 November 2003  
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Dawasa restrained from publication

by Sandasen Marasinghe

Colombo Commercial High Court Judge K. P. Chithrasiri issued an enjoining order on Friday restraining the respondent, Sri Lal Priyantha, a publisher from using the name Dawasa for a newspaper published by him.

The petition filed by M. D. Gunasena and Company Ltd. says that the Independent Newspapers Ltd was started in 1961 and they published Dawasa, Sun, Dinapathi, Chinthamini, Sawasa, Weekend and Star. The Dawasa was sealed on April 19, 1974 by the government in power and reopened on March 30, 1977. Until 1989 the Dawasa was a popular newspaper and its trade mark and the logo belonged to the Independent Newspapers Ltd. The Dawasa was to be closed due to the financial crisis faced by the company with the withdrawal of the banking facilities.

Independent Newspapers Ltd and Petitioner, M. D. Gunasena and Company Ltd are run by same board of Directors.

Later they learnt on October 28 of a newspaper by the name Irida Dawasa was to be published on November 2. By using the name Dawasa the public would be misled into believing that it had connection with the original Dawasa. It could cause damage to the commercial transactions of the petitioner, the Newspaper Group said in their petition.

The petitioner prayed for a declaration that the respondent had no right to use the name Dawasa and to issue an enjoining order restraining to use the name Dawasa.

The Commercial High Court Judge issued an enjoining order for 14 days.

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