Godage Publishers has decided to revoke two awards presented by the organization to Sujatha Alahakoon, the author of book ‘Eth Api Piyambamu’ over allegations of plagiarism. The company announced this decision in a release this week.
Alahakoon was accused of plagiarising parts from the books ‘Thanithalawe Pihiti Kuda Nagaraya’ and ‘Mihirathi Sonduru Samaya’ translated by Ganga Suduwelikanda. Readers had posted sections from all three books on social media showing that Alahakoon had in fact used sections from the translated works in her novel which has won several awards since.
Releasing a statement regarding the allegations of plagiarism the Godage publishers said the issue has been brought to their notice. In the statement Anurasiri Hettige, the project coordinator for Godage Publishers noted that it goes without saying that some of the passages quoted in that book are quoted from other translated works and novels.”It must also be acknowledged that this is a serious mistake that should not be made by a writer” he said.
“This book has won a manuscript competition organized by our organization as well as the 22nd Godage National Literary (Co) Award” he said adding that two out of three members of the Awards committee has already conveyed their dismay on the matter.
“The two were of the opinion that this was an undesirable situation and therefore a quick and interim decision on this matter should be taken till they are able to take a final and joint decision on the matter.”
According to Hettige a discussion was also held with Alahakoon on the matter during which she admitted her work has included parts from works of other authors.
“Whatever the underlying reasons, we would like to inform readers that this is a very bad precedent and that the company’s administration has reached the following decisions the release said.
- Award presented to Sujatha Alahakoon’s book ‘Eth Api Piyambamu’ for the 2019 manuscript competition and the 22nd Godage National Literary (Co) Award 2020 has been revoked till a final decision is made.
- The company is to obtain a written statement from the author on the matter and the company will also take a decision on her future planned publications with the company.
In the release Godage also expressed their apologies to any publisher, writer, reader, or award-winning researcher for any inconvenience caused by this unfortunate fact. Sujata Alahakoon is a former educator and a former member of parliament.