Will leaving it to
the Gods end Mervyn’s thuggery?
spectre that is Mervyn Silva has appeared again. It is tiresome
to dwell on the doings of a man with a warped mind, but then
write of him we must, however nauseating the task may be,
because not to do so, will be tantamount to ignoring, and
therefore endorsing his deranged dare devilry.
To have matters in perspective, this week’s incident involving
the serial scallywag is not his first; we daresay it shall not
be his last. The entire country is aware of his buffoonery,
courtesy of an earlier incident where he manhandled an employee
of the Rupavahini Corporation, and was himself manhandled in
return and daubed in red paint. But, he carries on regardless
with blithe disregard for law and order.
Where does this leave the ‘average’, peaceful, law abiding
citizen? If any other individual acted in a like manner, or
indeed with a level of aggression that is a fraction of what
Silva displays, he would be behind bars and counting the days of
a lengthy prison sentence. But then, Mervyn Silva is the best
example that some are more equal than others even before the
law, in this pristine democracy of ours.
When government politicians are confronted with the question of
Mervyn Silva at press conferences, they make fools of
themselves, making ridiculous statements to the effect that they
condemn his antics, and that they are ashamed of his behaviour.
The likes of Maithripala Sirisena, Susil Premajayantha and Anura
Priyadarshana Yapa did so this week again!
Sirisena, for instance, is so aggrieved that he has left it to
the Gods. The Gods will punish Silva, assures the man who is the
General Secretary of the ruling party. Well, if we were to take
Sirisena at his word, we might as well extend that argument to
everyone else, close down the Police, the courts of law and the
Attorney General’s Department and leave the Gods to deal with
all our legal work! Or, should we say, Sirisena-like, ‘bambuwa’!
Surely, if senior ministers really feel that Silva is a
liability to the Government they can ask the man to resign, and
sack him if he doesn’t do so. When it comes to that decisive
step, Mervyn Silva is nobody’s business and we have another
minister, the intrepid Nimal Siripala de Silva, taking an
altogether different stance and making another hilarious
This Silva says that there is already a high powered committee
inquiring into the Rupavahini incident, and that the probe is
taking long because it has to be meticulously conducted. This
committee consisting apparently of very busy people cannot sit
just because someone wants it to, and will arrive at the proper
decision in due course. No wonder this Silva was sent to Geneva
for talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam!
Has the law and order situation in this country deteriorated to
such a degree that when a person flouts the law with impunity
and does so with unnerving regularity, he has to be dealt with
by a committee appointed by the ruling political party? Do the
wheels of justice stop turning when the accused is a minister?
What role do the Police, for instance, play in all this, except
turning a very convenient blind eye?
We have seen the same wheels of justice turning with lightning
speed on certain occasions. When the late Sripathi
Sooriyarachchi crossed over from the government to the
opposition benches for instance, he was charged with the
misappropriation of a vehicle and quickly put in jail. But alas,
the alacrity with which justice is dispensed for Mervyn Silva
has never been the same.
Unfortunately for the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA),
Mervyn Silva is doing it more harm than good. By tolerating
Silva’s histrionics, it is the UPFA that has come to be at the
butt end of criticism not only from the opposition but also from
the general public. And, if nothing is done to stem the rot,
that criticism would transform itself into downright anger that
will be directed at the government itself.
Does Silva have any political value which results in him being
granted this cloak of immunity? He is a man who polled some 2000
preference votes at the general election and then entered
Parliament through the national list. But if he is being
retained for the political gung-ho that he regularly displays,
he is doing more harm to the UPFA than good and it is a pity
that the Alliance hierarchy appears to be oblivious to this.
We have been assured that at a recent meeting of
Parliamentarians, after the latest incident involving Silva, he
was told off by President Mahinda Rajapaksa for his boorish
behaviour. But desperate situations need desperate solutions,
and Silva is a desperate man; merely asking him to mind his
business does not achieve anything.
In issues such as this the government must not only act
impartially, it must also appear to be acting impartially. With
Silva that is certainly not the case. And as long as this fiasco
drags on and as Silva’s behaviour declines from the absurd to
the abominable, it will be the government’s reputation, already
under considerable strain, that will take a beating from which,
at one point, there maybe no turning back. And, judging by
recent events, that point of no return, at least for Mervyn
Silva, seems to be fast approaching.
It is time then that someone, somewhere in the government told
Mervyn Silva to go, for God’s sake. For, those whom the Gods
wish to destroy, they first make them mad.