Jan 11, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s top business chamber came out in support for state television workers who broadcast live a government minister’s attempt to intimidate its news chief and called for better governance from law makers. It also called on government law enforcement agencies to act speedily on complaints of threats to the media, so that the public does not get the impression of state complicity in such intimidation.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said it viewed with concern “the regular reports on threats on media personnel who figured in bringing to the attention of the public the recent despicable conduct of a Minister of the government (with a track record of such conduct) at the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation.”
“We applaud the media personnel and agencies responsible for alerting the public of this dangerous trend of an apparent flagrant abuse of power and the unfortunate consequence of the public taking the law into their hands, in response.”
The chamber was referring to last month’s incident where Labour Minister Mervyn Silva stormed into the TV station with his bodyguards and allegedly threatened and assaulted its news director T M G Chandrasekera.
Silva was subsequently