Monday, December 31, 2007

Debacle Aftermath Interview: Dutugemunu, 10 Giants, Underworld and I

Yesterday's Sunday Times had an interesting debacle aftermath interview with MP Dr Silva. It is reproduced here for comic relief of a wider audience and for a broader appreciation the doctor's views. The Times online edition has the full article:

Those who hit me will garland me – Mervyn

Says that like religious leaders he also is being persecuted

By Asif Fuard, Pix by Saman Kariyawasam

Controversial Labour Minister Mervyn Silva remained defiant despite the barrage of allegations levelled against him over last Thursday’s dramatic Rupavahini riot. In an interview with The Sunday Times from his hospital room at the National Hospital Merchants Ward, he said last Thursday’s attack on him at the Rupavahini Corporation was a cowardly act where some 1000 people surrounded and assaulted a single individual but despite the attack he said he remained strong.

These are excerpts from the interview:

* Mr. Silva the incident that took place last Thursday was widely publicised. What is your side of the story?

First I like to thank The Sunday Times for listening to my side of the story. I didn’t go there for war and I never expected one. I know how to wage wars. I went there as a Minister who had minimal security to find out why they didn’t carry my speech which I made at Matara. So I spoke to the news director who walked away from me while I was talking. Then I went and spoke to the Chairman.

At that time a mob that had gathered there held me hostage in the chairman’s room. I would like to know if this is journalistic ethics. If I wanted to wage a war I would have brought 5,000 people from Colombo Central.

* It is alleged that you attacked the news director?

I did nothing of the sort the reports have been blown out of proportion. I am not a person who commits such acts of violence. If the person in question can prove I assaulted him, I will quit my job as Minister. The people behind these reports work for a private television station which does the dirty work of the opposition with the ulterior motive of toppling the government.

* Mr. Silva you said a private television station is behind this. What proof have you got? Haven’t you previously harassed and openly made threatening gestures to journalists and this particular private television station?

I have never threatened any journalist. Most of what I say has been misinterpreted. I have proof of their involvement in putting the country down and they will be exposed soon.

* You speak of journalistic ethics. How about parliamentary ethics? Is this a good example to the people? Don’t you think you are embarrassing the government and the president?

No I don’t think so. Humility is part of life. Christ was stoned while preaching, so was Prophet Mohammed. Lord Buddha also had a lot of obstacles to face. But those who gave them trouble eventually followed them even to the extent of garlanding them with flowers. Likewise those who assaulted me will do the same so I am not deterred by such incidents.

* Several MPs of your party have condemned your behaviour. I understand there is to be a disciplinary inquiry against you. What can you tell me about this?

I stand up against social injustice. People in my area know this. I can only say that they should first hold a disciplinary inquiry against those who suggest holding a disciplinary inquiry against me.

* There are allegations that you are involved in peddling narcotics and associating with drug barons. What do you say about this?

Once again this is false propaganda to tarnish my image. I have no involvement in such illegal activities.

* Can you prove this?

Of course I can.

* If so then how do you justify your connection to drug kingpin Kudu Nuwan who was with you and was later arrested by the police? It was also revealed that he is wanted by the police for dealing in narcotics and he is also linked to several high profile murders.

I am a servant of the people. I don’t go around checking people’s backgrounds. I help any one who comes to me. To my knowledge that boy Nuwan has no such criminal record. If he had a criminal record it is the duty of the authorities to take necessary action against him.

* What can you tell me about your alleged involvement with key underworld figures?

There is no truth of my being involved with underworld figures. The people around me are a courageous group who will do anything for me. If my associates are classed as underworld figures then what do you say about King Dutugamunu’s ten giants or people like Puran Appu or Keppetipola.

* Do you claim to be a national hero like those whom you just mentioned?

I do not have to prove myself to you or to any one else, the people know who I am. Who Mervyn Silva is.

For the full article, refer here.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Doctoral Thesis

The doctor's porsche cayenne. My car, my petrol, my president, country, etc., etc, 'Ouch!'

Yesterday was the day the woodpecker decided to have a go at the banana bush. Got entangled, beaten up and dyed as well. At last the people have got hold of one of the biggest thugs in history. One of the dirty thugs of the ruling party got it and nicely.

If this was a honorable country, as it is much falsely reputed to be, the first time the guy did anything like this he'd have gotten in jail and treated like the common thug and tried properly. But being Sri Lanka, there's a thousand and one ways for people like this to elude the rule of law and get the slip, and boast about it as well later. But this time it all got foiled. Where the judiciary and the executive were failing to take action, the commoner took. It was a big mistake to go into Rupavahini Corporation and beat up a director, and a big bravo, hurrah and hallelujah goes for everyone at SLRC that took part in it: but I daresay that big trouble will follow regarding this is SRI Lanka.
There's a second part to it. We all know the attributes of governments of Paradise Island, just to consist of people ike this. The president has one final, absolutely last and THE last chance to show the people what stuff he and his government are made of. If it was proper, the firing letter would've left the presidential secretariat well within yesterday. So far doesn't look like it, and I don't expect, too. This is the government of the thugs’ n thieves, elected by them in corruption and governed by them, so Sri Lanka doesn't have any hope left for justice, unless the people catch them like this and become the judiciary even to get fired later. Just think of the Peter Hill drama.

Mervyn will go home spitting filth, wash, shower up, perhaps watch his toes with his hands behind his back at Temple Trees, file a rights petition for getting beaten, make batches get fired at SLRC, while his friends at SLFP delay and make forgotten the party inquiry against him. Another bomb, another match, a coupla price and tax hikes to fund Mahinda, and everything will be forgotten.

And the good Doctor will continue to thug around happily.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"I Can't Filter Out the Terrorist!"

Yesterday I was watching evening news and was greeted by Parliamentary chaos over the Tamil arrest scene last Sunday. The Tamil representatives were outraged stating that a large number of Tamil citizens were being held in custody, sometimes with children, while they had full papers of identification and reasons of stay. But the most interesting one statement was made by a governing parliamentarian defending the issue: "If you can explain out who is LTTE and who isn't, we'll release them in 24 hours".

Now this asks for thinking. Does this mean that the government and the forces are still operating on the assumption that 'Tamil = LTTEer'? Well that was the situation in the mass deportation which happened last June. The people were simply deported without concrete evidence, which was echoed by the successful and unchallenged Supreme Court order reversing the deportation. Of course, if the police forces had concrete evidence that they were LTTE operatives, then arrest and press charges. Then they'd have been able to challenge the court decision even Just deportation of Sri Lanka's own citizens is simply outrageous.

It has been crystal clear whatever the GOSL is saying about its military operation in the NorthEast, it has been very lapse on the southern security. Almost all major targets in Colombo were unashamedly been attacked since the start of insurgencies, and the best the government can do is simply choke the south with massive and useless road checks once something happens, and let everything be forgotten in a matter of weeks before start trumpeting about NorthEasteren military operations [and blaming everything from cost of living to the size of the Cabinet over it]. The GOSL forces are simply at a loss of finding out and thwarting LTTE undercover operations in south. By current developments what we can see is either they can put a majority of the southern Tamil population behind bars, or let the bombs go on. To echo the government's own words, the southern security situation is utterly lapse. I seriously doubt if the LTTE aircraft were to infiltrate into Colombo skies once more, there's anything much more the air force can do than the two previous times. We need a better structured defense plan down here, not just stupid policemen who cannot even properly thwart a bomb threat or evacuate the scene properly after an incident as demonstrated about a week back, not to mention identifying the terrorist from the Tamil.

The government is very vocal about the country having a terrorist problem which is solvable via a military approach. If anybody in the government had even a little bit of brains, they should've noticed that almost 100% of the terrorists are Tamil. In fact, they 'cannot even distinguish who's the terrorist and who isn't', as was admitted in Parliament yesterday. There definitely is a problem about it. If almost all the LTTE are Tamil [well any stupid idiot knows], then surely there's something deeper than "a simple terrorist problem", isn't it?

The LTTE are terrorists and shit, there's no doubt about it. They should be destroyed as much as that was their choice; they thwarted peace efforts every time. But there should be a distinction between the Tamil citizen and the terrorist, an absence of which the current GOSL actions seem to show. Unless more care is practiced, there'll be a time when there indeed IS NO such distinction. Such times may be the ones the real LTTE is eagerly looking forward to.

In short, the GOSL need a broader perspective on the problem definitely. As well as a true pointed military approach to destroy terrorism [not one which is just there to justify every shit going on in the country, the president personally did it in Parliament], an elite and intelligence-based long sighted southern defense plan, we need a solution to the fact that 'every LTTEr is a Tamil'. That's what would complete a true mission to end this chaos.

On a happier term, I also heard last evening that the Supreme Court has outlawed permanent search barriers [i hope it includes utterly useless, traffic-choking road checks] and VIP road-choking at ruch hour. Thank goodness, there are some people in the country with sense.