The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today’s winner is Mervyn Silva. He gets the award for the following.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – A government minister and his bodyguards rampaged through the offices of a state television station Thursday, assaulting its news director before employees fought back and took them hostage, officials and witnesses said.

Press freedom advocates demanded punishment for Labor Minister Mervyn Silva, who has repeatedly been accused of threatening reporters.

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Silva’s alleged attack and the employees’ retaliation captivated this war-torn country as it unfolded throughout the day.

The violence began Thursday morning, when Silva and a group of his bodyguards entered the offices of the Rupavahini Corporation and attacked news director T.M.G. Chandrasekara for not broadcasting one of Silva’s speeches, said Kanchana Marasinghe, a station employee.

In an interview aired later on Rupavahini’s news station, Chandrasekara said that one of Silva’s aids attacked him and ripped his shirt open while Silva threatened to destroy the station’s offices if his speech was not aired.

Angry staffers quickly chased the attackers into the chairman’s office and refused to let them out for three hours as soldiers and police gathered outside to defuse the situation, a standoff that was broadcast live by Rupavahini.

Silva was eventually freed after issuing a public apology to the staff and left the office escorted by police amid hoots and jeers from station employees.

“I express my apology to the staff and Rupavahini for this incident,” he told reporters.

This story is funny not just for Silva’s stupidity but that his bodyguards couldn’t keep him safe from injury. He had to be admitted to a hospital for a head injury. I hope this brings the Labor Minister the wrong type of campaign publicity but first I name Mervyn Silva today’s Knucklehead of the Day.

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