Media Rumpus

Dec 27, 2007 (LBO) – A Sri Lanka minister who was held hostage by angry colleagues inside a television station after he assaulted the news chief of the broadcaster was rescued by commandos, an LBO journalist at the scene said. Chandrasekera’s colleague Lal Mawalage said this was the first time the Rupavahini Corporation had acted in a united fashion and with a backbone in more than two decades.

He said even female colleagues who would not normally even hurt a fly had taught a lesson to a bully. Mawalage said he was speaking out in public even though authorities may “remember his face” and take him away later.

International media rights bodies have named Sri Lanka as the third most dangerous place in the world for journalists after Iraq and Somalia after seven mediamen were either killed or ‘disappeared’ so far this year.

Meanwhile Deputy Media Minister Mahinda Abeywardene who came to the scene and climbed up a table to calm the crowds promised an inquiry into the incident.

Television stations in the island interrupted regular programming to bring updates on the story and also ran unedited footage of event.

Updated Controversial Minister Mervyn Silva left the state-owned Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corp