The Jathika Sanga Council yesterday
warned President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government of dire
consequences if they turned a blind eye to a violent campaign
against Rupavahini workers following an incident Minister Mervin
Silva and his bodyguards created at the Rupavahini Corporation
on Dec. 27, 2007.
Referring to Singalowada Sutta, Ven.
Dutuwewe Lankananda, the Secretary of the Council said that the
ruling coalition would have its imaged irreparably damaged,
should it allow the minister and his goons to target workers
The monk said if this was the fate of an
institution which represented the interests of the government
and stood by the Mahinda Chintanaya, the fate of others went
without saying. Expressing shock, dismay and anger at the
continuing wave of attacks, the Council said the governmentís
failure to put an end to attacks was tantamount to its
complicity in them.
Police spokesman DIG N. K. Illangakoon yesterday
claimed there was no need to question Minister Mervin Silva in
connection with Fridayís attack on Rupavahini employee Anurasiri
Hettige. He was the fifth Rupavahini employee to be attacked
since late January.
Illangakoon said Rupavahini employees in their
statements to police investigating attacks on workers subsequent
to the incidents at Rupavahini on December 27th had not
mentioned the minister as a suspect.
But, Kanchana Marasinghe of Rupavahini dismissed
the police spokesmanís claim. He accused the police of turning a
blind eye to attacks on workers there and giving a free hand to
the Ministerís gang.
Poddala Jayantha of the Silumina newspaper asked
whether the government couldnít take action against the Minister
due to some kind of agreement with him. He severely criticized
the government and the police for their reluctance to deal with
Meanwhile, the National Trade Union Centre has
called a special meeting to discuss ways and means of pressuring
the government to act against the Minister. The meeting
scheduled to take place on March 18th would be chaired by JVP
trade union heavyweight Lal Kantha.
The JVP unions have already threatened to
cripple the Rupavahini operations unless the government puts an
end to attacks on SLRC personnel.
The JVP frowned on the attempt by police to
shield Minister Silva. When the entire media community accused
Minister Silva of instigating attacks on Rupavahini workers, the
Colombo police seemed powerless to pursue the investigations, it
Sumathipala Manawadu of the Organisation for the
Protection of the Properties and the Rights of Railway Employees
also demanded action against the perpetrators of violence
against the Rupavahini workers.