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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

awsome interview