Hewa Koparage Mervyn Silva . Sri Lanka’s minister of public relations and public affairs is reportedly in “deep shit” at present as relations between him and the ruling Rajapaksa family has soured.
The self –styled descendant of “Dutu Gemunu”notorious for his foul mouth and violent actions is currently in a precarious position and is quite fearful about his future say informed sources.
Though Mervyn Silva functions overtly as a running dog of the Rajapaksas and has even been photographed sitting on the ground at the feet of President Rajapaksa ,the hound from Hambantota district has behaved in a manner regarded as being ‘unfaithful ’to the ruling family in recent times.
Apparently Mervyn Silva while being adopting a sycophantic posture publicly towards the Rajapaksas has in private gatherings made several critical and disparaging remarks about members of the Rajapaksa family.Economic Development minister Basil Rajapaksa, Defence and Urban Development secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Hambantota district MP Namal Rajapaksa have borne the brunt of these vicious tongue lashings. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa have been spared such ferocious verbal intensity .
Mervyn Silva has also been consulting several astrologers and inquiring from them about the personal and political fortunes of the Rajapaksa family on the one hand and the Mervyn Silva family on the other.
When reports of Mervyn Siva’s deviant conduct became known he as placed under quiet surveillance. When his activities were closely monitored further intelligence reports about his faithless conduct became available. Though this cause danger no action was taken because President Rajapaksa retained a soft spot for the man who had been of service to him in several matters.
Things however came to a head when Mervyn’s notorious nighclub brawling son Malaka Silva was allegedly assaulted by a gang in the presence of his foreign girl friend at the ODEL Shopping arcade car park in Colombo last July.Malaka was admitted to Nawaloka hospital and Mervyn vowed revenge publicly.
When a journalist asked him then whether he was was aware that such an incident might happen, he said if he knew he won’t be here talking to the media.
“My brother, sister and brother-in-law were killed by the JVP-UNP. Go to Tissamaharama and ask how many of the murderers are still alive,” the minister said then.
Minister Silva also told Hiru TV that he had no need for the police and he himself would deal with the assailants if they dared come forward.
Despite all this bluster and bravado Mervyn Silva simply clammed up.The “failure”of the Police to apprehend even a single assailant after the incident was a powerful indicator of the “identities”of the assailants.
There are however doubts as to whether the assault incident was genuine or whether it was stage managed by Malaka himself for certain reasons. The general impression however is that forces more powerful than Mervyn had been responsible and that it was a warning signal.
Subsequently Mervyn Silva adopted a comparatively low profile but continued to titillate the public with his occasional “playing to the media gallery” stunts.
On another level Mervyn Silva continued to engage in conduct that was viewed with disfavour by the Rajapaksas.One such act was a surreptitious visit and discussions with Ven. Maduluwewa Sobhitha Thero at the Naga Viharaya in Kotte. Sobhitha Thero is the head of the National Movement for Social Justice and is thought of as a possible Presidential elections contender by sections of the Anti-Rajapaksa opposition.
In another bizarre move that has infuriated the ruling hierarchy Mervyn Silva flew to Singapore with his family for a brief holiday. Mervy however made a short detour and flew to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. It is believed that former UPFA minister and current UNP Parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera went to Jakarta and held secret discussions there.Mangala Samaraweera has neither denied nor confirmed these reports so far.Speculation is rife about what transpired in the Jakarta confabulations
More interesting and intriguing has been Mervyn’s concern over the safety and security of his son Malaka after the ODEL Carpark incident. Mervyn has begun a diplomatic offensive on behalf of his son.
The Public relations minister has been wooing several diplomatic missions of western nations to help facilitate a stay of lengthy duration for his son in the country concern ed. He wants the countries to provide a scholarship or grant for Malaka to pursue some form of tertiary studies in a western countries. So far his attempts have failed as no western country is inclined to invite unnecessary trouble by relocating a person of Malaka Silva’s calibre to their soil for whatever reason.
The only Country that has shown a limited amount of sympathy at least so far according to reports is the United States of America.It is learnt that Mervyn Silva had met several US officials at the Embassy and begged for a US visa for son Malaka to move to the states. Mervyn had stated with tears in his eyes that his son was in mortal danger in Sri Lanka and that he was willing to seek even political asylum in the US if necessary. Apparently the US officials had asked Mervyn Silva to submit a detailed memorandum in this regard if he was indeed serious about his son requiring asylum due to fear of imminent harm.
These acts of Mervyn Silva have however been detected by officials monitoring his activities. These have been brought to the notice of powers that be and Mervyn himself has been notified by those concerned that they are aware of Mervyn’s antics. “Dutu Mervyn”has been admonished for his meetings with Maduluwewa Sobhitha Thero and Mangala Samaraweera. He has also been queried about his attempt to seek a US visa for his son.
The Gampaha district MP who is allegedly corrupt to the core and reportedly involved in several nefarious enterprises had been enjoying “impunity”due to his proximity to the corridors of power. Since he is now in the doghouse Mervyn’s immunity days seem to be over. He is now under intense scrutiny by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC).A special investigation has been launched against Mervyn Silva about his declared and undeclared movable and immovable assets. He has been presented with a questionnaire and st a deadline to provide answers. Mervyn however has sought an extension of the deadline.
Another problem confronting Mervyn Silva now is the investigation into the assassination of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member Hasitha Madawala in January this year by motor cycle gunmen. Mervyn Silva was suspected of having engineered the killing as Madawala was closely associated with Kelaniya PC chairman Prasanna Ranaweera. Mervyn Silva and Prasanna Ranaweera have been immersed in a lengthy tussle both politically and personally. It appears now that Police sleuths pursuing investigations into Madawala’s killing would now be given a free hand to probe the alleged role played by Mervyn in the murder.
With the heat increasing the tyrannic bully who once tied up a Samurdhi official to a tree and intimidated the victim into confessing that he had tied up himself is now desperately trying to seek clemency from President Rajapaksa. His recent attempt to curry favour with the President by making an outrageous offer to marry visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms.Navi Pillay boomeranged as the lady concerned took offence at the crude statement and raised the issue with the President directly. A highly embarrassed President Rajapaksa apologised profusely on behalf of his boorish minister to Ms. Navi Pillay and later lambasted Mervyn Silva on the phone.
Speculation is rife that Mervyn Silva would lose his ministerial portfolio in the anticipated cabinet reshuffle after the Commonwealth summit in November.
Political observers however feel that despite the current estrangement,Mervyn Silva would somehow get back into the good books of the Rajapaksas again through persistent appeals of “mea culpa”. They point to the fact that President Rajapaksa still has some sympathy for Mervyn Silva and that tiny glimmer of hope may turn out to be the light at the end of the tunnel for “herr Doktor”
DBS Jeyaraj can be reached at ~ firstname.lastname@example.org