The private media getting stoned is about as predictable as Akon getting stoned, but one doesn’t usually put the two together. If you don’t know, Maharajah runs the major TV station MTV (not music) and, being independent, is at constant odds with the government. Today a mob was bused in and stoned the place till they got chased off. I went to the scene and it was a bunch of cops and a bunch of shirtsleeves hanging around. Milinda Moragoda and a muckety from the UNP (Secretary?) were there, but they said whatever happened was unrelated to them.
Asked a lady and guy outside and they said a few hundred people (two busloads) were gathered outside chanting and throwing stones at the office. Apparently they weren’t chanting the usual slogans, but stuff against Akon of all people. As a back story, Akon of is having a concert here. The last big concert we had here was Shah Rukh Khan and people threw grenades at the stage and we never saw him again. I really hope that doesn’t happen again.
So that’s how the story looks, but one cannot assume anything. I heard that the buses came from Kelaniya but I consider that unconfirmed and perhaps unconfirmable. That would seem to imply Mervyn Silva and the usual Sirasa thrashing goons and the usual Sirasa thrashing agenda. But implication is masturbation and in this both oppressed and depressed media environment one can know little beyond the end of ones nose.
So I drove over there and looked at the building. The lamposts are shattered and the first floor window has a hole in it. The ground is littered with bricks but on the whole there is not so much carnage. I heard that people were injured and I hope they’re OK. While I was there an ambulance pulled inside.
Charlie from the BBC and chaps from the Daily Mirror, usual suspects really. A lot of chaps in shirt sleeves and I got some info from a woman who worked there and saw the thing. I called my friend inside and she seemed non-plussed, I guess she was back at work.
This is a silly country sometimes. Why are people stoning the media for one, and what does Akon have to do with anything. I know girls were dancing in front of a Buddha statue in ‘Sexy Bitch’, but we also have, like, priests molesting children and any number of more serious things to worry about. More to the point, how did the media situation get so messed up that we A) regular violence and B) chronic ignorance and rumor-mongering? I think these two things are related.
Update: Perambara has better photos