Selvarajah Sellathurai, founder of a Tamil temple in Ilford, has launched libel claims over two stories in London Voice, a free Sri Lankan newspaper.
He is suing Thesam Publications and editor Thambirajah Jeyabalan for £50,000 over two stories published in May 2010, which he claims were defamatory.
The stories claimed he was notorious for his wrongful involvement with illegal drugs, according to a High Court writ. He denies the claims.
Sellathurai, a British citizen from Sri Lanka who has lived in the UK since 1990, is also suing over the website version of the stories.
The stories gravely injured his professional and personal reputation, and caused him serious distress and embarrassment, the writ alleges. Sellathurai is also seeking an injunction banning repetition of the allegations at the centre of his lawsuit.