Minister clashes with media

Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 12:53 | Posted in Media | Leave a comment
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Sri Lankan minister of labor Mervyn Silva has had a clash with the local media. The minister apparently entered uninvited the HQ of the state run Rupavahini television to complain that Rupavahini had not covered one of his speeches in the news. The station’s news manager was allegedly assaulted by a member of the minister’s staff which prompted the journalists to demand an apology.

“A henchman of the minister forcefully pulled the news director and all employees are protesting demanding an apology,” Rupavahini’s director-general said.

The journalists then held the minister pending his apology. The government sent special troops to rescue the minister:

An anti-hijacking and hostage rescue squad of army commandos deployed at the Rupavahini state television network to free Labour Minister Mervin Silva who had allegedly stormed the studios with body guards and attacked journalists, officials said.

The action taken by the Rupavahini staff is cheered at least by one blogger:

they have stood up to the state of terror and had hold their ground for the rest of the people of Sri Lanka.
Bravo Rupavahini Bravo.
The bizarre incident today was not the first clash between Mr. Mervyn Silva and the media. Protests against his “abusive language” aimed at media have been reported earlier. There is even some video footage in the web showing the minister personally escort away a member of the press to avoid unwanted media attention.
Edit: Lanka Page has more details about the incident.
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