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Last updated: 31 December, 2007 - Published 17:13 GMT
 
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'Minister's thugs' assault VFM team
 
Protest against Minister Mervyn Silva (Library photo)
Minister Silva is often accused of assaulting and threatening journalists
Labour minister Mervyn Silva's supporters are accused of assaulting media workers in Kiribathgoda on Sunday night.

VFM News Manager Pradeep Anura Kumara told BBC Sandeshaya that a group led by minister's official assaulted VFM workers who were pasting posters to mark radio station's anniversary.

"It has been confirmed that the group was led by Minister Mervyn Silva's co-ordinating Secretary Amal," he said.

 It has been confirmed that the group was led by Minister Mervyn Silva's co-ordinating Secretary Amal
 
VFM official

VFM, the radio station of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's political ally, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) celebrates one year since first went on air on 01 January.

The VFM has lodged a complaint with the police saying VFM workers were assaulted and their bicycles were burnt by minister's supporters.

However, Minister Mervyn Silva categorically denied any knowledge of assaulting the VFM team.

"I was only released from the hospital this morning," he said.

 There are many other Amals in Kelaniya and Gampaha
 
Minister Mervyn Silva

There are many "Amals" in Kelaniya and Gampaha district apart from his secretary, the minister added.

The attackers have accused the radio channel of 'slinging mud' on minister Mervyn Silva, Pradeep Anura Kumara told BBC Sinhala.com.

The group was angry that the VFM carried the news of minister Mervyn Silva being assaulted by SLRC workers on Thursday, he added.

 
 
LOCAL LINKS
'Discipline' minister Mervyn Silva
31 December, 2007 | Sandeshaya
Police report 'unacceptable'
28 December, 2007 | Sandeshaya
Govt. 'trying to punish' journalists
28 December, 2007 | Sandeshaya
Eyewitness on assault on journalists
28 December, 2007 | Sandeshaya
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