( www.lankadissent.com) Labour Minister Mervyn Silva, who claims himself to be a devoted Buddhist, abused media personnel in front of a leading prelate and ejected them from a function in Kelaniya today (Apr. 10th).
Minister Silva was the chief guest at the renaming of the flyover at Thorana Junction after slain Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle.
As Chancellor of the Kelaniya and Buddhist and Pali Universities Ven. Welamitiyawe Kusaladhamma Nayaka Thera began to address the gathering, the minister had obstructed a cameraman from ‘Sirasa TV’ from filming the proceedings.
He had also accused Sirasa of having killed Minister Fernandopulle.
Minister Silva’s bodyguards drove out the TV cameraman from the scene, and also threatened the journalists from ‘Daily Mirror’ and ‘Lankadeepa’ who were covering the renaming ceremony.
The Labour Minister has a history of having threatened and abused media personnel, Sirasa being the main victim among them, for reporting his anti-social behaviour as well as those of his son.
Accompanied by his henchmen, he also stormed the state-owned Rupavahini Corporation in late December and assaulted its News Director.
Enraged SLRC staff gave the minister and his henchmen a taste of their own medicine before the security forces intervened and ushered him out of the premises.
It was the beginning of a spate of attacks and threats targeting Rupavahini employees, with three of them narrowly escaping grievous harm to their lives.
However, Minister Silva has rejected all charges against him regarding continuing harassment of SLRC employees.