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I love the people and the people love me: Mervyn

10 September 2012 06:57 am - 11     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Ha­feel Far­isz

Q: What are your views about the is­sue in Mun­nesh­war­am?
This is an is­sue I spoke about a long time ago. Even last year, my friends and I res­cued the an­i­mals from the Ko­vil and re­turned them to their own­ers a few weeks lat­er. A lot of peo­ple are afraid of the ‘Poo­sari’ and the evil that can fol­low. But I know for a fact that “Ka­li Am­ma’ is a pi­ous dei­ty, and that dei­ty doesn’t want blood. There are no gods who want blood. The ‘Sa­mis’ fright­en peo­ple in or­der to make mon­ey. They do this ev­ery year and an an­i­mal which usu­al­ly costs Rs.2000 is sold at Rs.20,000. Peo­ple buy them be­cause of their de­vo­tion. This time they threat­ened to kill me if I went. We could have seen what would have hap­pened if they did that. I thank our gra­cious Pres­i­dent for lis­ten­ing to me and ap­peal­ing to the Sa­mis. I thank them al­so for ac­cept­ing the ap­peal.


Q:But they had said that they would con­duct the sac­ri­fice af­ter the ex­po­si­tion of the sa­cred rel­ics is con­clu­ded?
They have to hold this tra­di­tion­al­ly on a giv­en date each year. If they plan to do that, tell them that I’m not asleep and that I’m al­ways awake. I’m ready. They have said they would be armed with bombs, kni­ves and bot­tles of acid but I plan to go there un­armed. I have the sup­port of the peo­ple and I will go there with a sea of peo­ple. I won’t take any weap­ons - not even the weap­on I le­gal­ly pos­sess.


Q:Now that you are against all of this, are you a veg­e­ta­ri­an?
No, it’s like this - I eat a bit of fish and some­times I have some wine when I go for a par­ty. I don’t preach the fifth pre­cept - if there isn’t wine and there is on­ly whis­ky at the par­ty I will drink it. Why should I lie? How­ev­er I don’t have any sort of meat.  I eat on­ly veg­e­ta­bles on Poya days, Tues­days, Wed­nes­days and Thurs­days be­cause those are days of the gods that I pray to. I ab­stain from eat­ing meat be­cause of the sim­ple fact that we all be­lieve in re­birth and the meat that we eat could be of our chil­dren, pa­rents friends or oth­er peo­ple we knew in our pre­vi­ous birth.


Q:Your re­ac­tion to this is­sue how­ev­er, seems to give the im­pres­sion that you’re cre­at­ing ra­cial dis­har­mo­ny?
These are peo­ple who don’t have brains and who are hyp­o­crites. I don’t un­der­stand how this is rac­ist. If they show one place where it is preach­ed in Hin­du­ism to kill an­i­mals I will com­mit sui­cide to­mor­row.  It’s Ha­keem who is cre­at­ing ra­cial ten­sion in the East. It’s our Pres­i­dent who gath­ered all com­mun­i­ties and brought to­geth­er a coun­try that was on the brink of de­struc­tion - he is our king. He is the on­ly lead­er of the State who speaks in Tam­il. I am a mem­ber of his cab­i­net and came from his vil­lage, how could I be cre­at­ing ra­cial ten­sions?


Q:You have said pub­lic­ly that an­i­mal sac­ri­fice is not suit­a­ble for the 21st cen­tu­ry and that it is a prac­tice of the dark ages, and on the oth­er hand you ad­dress the Pres­i­dent as our king and var­i­ous oth­er terms used by peo­ple in those ages. Isn’t this con­tra­dic­to­ry?
My point is that af­ter Par­a­krama­ba­hu the sixth, the Pres­i­dent is the on­ly lead­er who uni­ted our coun­try- a coun­try that was on the brink of dis­as­ter. What is wrong in call­ing the brav­est lead­er of our times a king? That isn’t fol­low­ing the dark ages. We took a word used in his­to­ry and gave it a new mean­ing by ad­dress­ing a per­son who is fit to be called that.


Q:My ques­tion is, are we not giv­ing the Pres­i­dent a li­cence to be­have in a way that a king would have in those times? A sort of ab­so­lute pow­er - by ad­dress­ing him in that man­ner?
Well there were kings who were not very good but the ma­jor­i­ty of kings did a lot of good for the coun­try. Just be­cause your fa­ther and moth­er are old wouldn’t you ad­dress them in the same way? Do you not have alms­giv­ings for those who are dead?  You have to take the good things from the old days and not the bad. Kill­ing of an­i­mals is not a good thing and should be re­jec­ted. Now if you take Eu­rope or the Mid­dle East they didn’t have veg­e­ta­bles like we do, so I don’t blame them for kill­ing an­i­mals be­cause their en­vi­ron­ment war­ran­ted it. But we don’t have that.


Q:Re­cent­ly the Ma­hay­nayake Thera of the Mal­wat­ta chap­ter had pub­lic­ly said that ‘Pan­cha Ma­ha Ba­la­ve­gaya” are all on the street due to the ac­tions of the gov­ern­ment, what do you have to say?
Yes, I know that the uni­ver­si­ty lec­tur­ers are an im­por­tant class of peo­ple and be­lieve that they should be con­sid­ered as a spe­cial cat­e­go­ry. You can’t im­port them like im­port­ing ve­hi­cles. I in­vi­ted them to come and talk to me but I don’t know - might be be­cause they don’t want to talk to a small man like me they re­fused to do so. I was the first man to pub­lic­ly de­clare that they are a spe­cial cat­e­go­ry of peo­ple.


Q:Do you re­spect de­moc­ra­cy?
I don’t re­spect a five star de­moc­ra­cy. I be­lieve there should be free­dom of speech, re­li­gion and all oth­ers but even the me­dia should be used as me­dia, not to take re­venge or to sat­is­fy per­son­al agen­das of some peo­ple.


Q:What ex­act­ly do you mean when you say that you don’t re­spect a five star de­moc­ra­cy?
A good ex­am­ple is the non use of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment for hei­nous crimes in our coun­try. This is be­cause we have a five star de­moc­ra­cy and I be­lieve that this should not be a case. Mur­der­ers, rap­ists and child-abus­ers must be hanged. Peo­ple who rob state prop­er­ty should al­so be in­clu­ded in this spe­cial cat­e­go­ry and should be exe­cu­ted ir­re­spec­tive of de­moc­ra­cy.


Q:What do you think about the coun­try’s op­po­si­tion?
The op­po­si­tion has failed in its du­ty - take this Ko­vil is­sue for ex­am­ple. The UNP is a par­ty that looks all over for pet­ty slo­gans but on this is­sue they were all si­lent. That is be­cause they were fright­ened of the Poo­sari.
I chal­lenge all these Sa­mis to try and pun­ish me; af­ter I’m pun­ish­ed then they could ach­ieve what they want. Un­til that they should stop do­ing this. From to­day on­wards I chal­lenge them to sing ‘Vas ka­vi’, thrash co­co­nuts and do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to pun­ish me. I’m will­ing to take up that chal­lenge.  


Q:What do you have to say about the al­le­ga­tions lev­el­led by mem­bers of the Ke­la­niya Pra­de­shiya Sab­ha?
I have noth­ing to say. Can I stop a dog from bark­ing? Can I stop a crow from crow­ing? There is noth­ing that hap­pened to me af­ter what they did. I’m still the or­gan­is­er for Ke­la­niya and still the min­is­ter of Pub­lic Re­la­tions. Noth­ing has changed.


Q:There is a se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tion against about your in­volve­ment in ex­tor­tion?
Peo­ple can go to courts, or com­plaint to the com­mis­sion against brib­ery and cor­rup­tion. Not even a sin­gle com­plaint has been made against me at any po­lice sta­tion. I chal­lenge any­one to go and lodge a com­plaint.


Q:Isn’t that be­cause peo­ple are afraid of you?
If they were afraid why would they come out in the open and say these things? They weren’t scared to do that. What is there to be scared about writ­ing some­thing in a book? In or­der to ex­tort there should be a per­son who lays claim to hav­ing been a vic­tim of ex­tor­tion. They should pro­vide some sort of proof but even that they ha­ven’t done. They’ve just li­ed all along.



Q:You were ap­poin­ted Me­dia Min­is­ter at one point. What did you feel at the time?
I was look­ing for­ward to do­ing a lot of things. The me­dia is a coun­try’s gov­ern­ment and it is a uni­ver­si­ty in it­self. It has the abil­i­ty to bring out wrong do­ings and ed­u­cate the pub­lic. The jour­nal­ists are the pro­fes­sors and doc­tors of this uni­ver­si­ty and they should be strength­ened and that is the du­ty of a gov­ern­ment.  But there is more to do, they should be giv­en more free­dom. We can’t ex­pect the me­dia to al­ways ex­tol our vir­tues. I don’t think there was any Pres­i­dent in this coun­try who had trea­ted jour­nal­ists as well as our Pres­i­dent has.



Q:But isn’t it un­der this Pres­i­dent that so many jour­nal­ists have been kil­led, as­saul­ted, ab­duc­ted and where me­dia in­sti­tu­tions have been dam­aged?
That is a good ques­tion. Please don’t hold the Pres­i­dent re­spon­si­ble for mur­ders. There might be var­i­ous rea­sons for this like per­son­al grudg­es be­tween peo­ple which lead to a kill­ing. These peo­ple who com­mit these crimes must be brought be­fore the law; many of them have been ap­pre­hen­ded.


Q:No. Many of them have not been ap­pre­hen­ded, Min­is­ter?
Well some of them have, and oth­ers are still at large. If you look at what hap­pened from the time of D.S. Sen­a­nayake, I think this is the era where the least amount of crimes of this sort against jour­nal­ists have been com­mit­ted. I think we should apol­o­gise to the na­tion for these crimes. Our po­lice are very strong and so is our De­fence Sec­re­ta­ry; now there is a steady de­cline in mur­ders, rapes, and oth­er crimes of the sort. But there will al­ways be cer­tain el­e­ments com­mit­ting these.


Q:Min­is­ter, one thing that brought in­ter­na­tion­al at­ten­tion was the threat you made against some in­di­vid­u­als who went to Gen­e­va. In that state­ment you said that you as­saul­ted Jour­nal­ist Pod­da­la Jayan­tha?
That is a very wrong in­ter­pre­ta­tion. What I said was that he should be hit, not that I hit him. The pun­ish­ment for those who be­tray their moth­er­land should be death. Peo­ple who be­tray their coun­try for dol­lars or for for­eign vi­sas is sim­i­lar to sell­ing your moth­er for pros­ti­tu­tion. These peo­ple should be pun­ish­ed and I’m sad that I don’t have the op­por­tu­ni­ty to pun­ish them. This is why I’m say­ing that this fool­ish de­moc­ra­cy is wrong. This fool­ish de­moc­ra­cy should be done away with. We call for the head of a per­son who com­mits a mur­der but what do we do about those who mur­der their coun­try?


Q:But Min­is­ter, aren’t those whom you term trai­tors in ac­tual fact peo­ple who op­pose the gov­ern­ment?
No. that is not true. If they are against the gov­ern­ment why couldn’t they point it out with­in the coun­try? They could have easi­ly spo­ken to the Pres­i­dent and raised their con­cerns be­cause the Pres­i­dent is very ac­com­mo­dat­ing. Is it wrong that the LTTE were de­fea­ted?  It’s ob­vi­ous that dur­ing a war both sides would suf­fer cas­u­al­ties.  


Q:But the main con­cern is that af­ter the end of the war the rec­on­ci­li­a­tion has not tak­en place as it ide­al­ly should have?
I ask these peo­ple if they have vis­ited the war- af­fec­ted areas and seen the de­vel­op­ment. You have to go and see the de­vel­op­ment tak­ing place in these pla­ces. Ev­ery­thing can’t be done over­night and it will take time. All these peo­ple who talk big have to take a look at how long it took for oth­er coun­tries to de­vel­op af­ter the end of a con­flict. I am cer­tain that we were the coun­try that took the short­est time to re­cov­er from the de­struc­tion. I urge the Dai­ly Mir­ror web­site and the pa­per which many peo­ple fol­low to high­light these facts.


Q:Min­is­ter there are al­le­ga­tions against you to the ef­fect that you are in­volved with drug ped­dling?
I ha­ven’t heard any­thing of the sort. No one has told me any­thing like that. If there is any­one who says some­thing like that, he was not borne by a hu­man. There is no rea­son for me to do any­thing of that sort.  I’m not ready to give an­swers to these peo­ple. I want them to con­tin­ue to say these kinds of things, it’s good. I don’t have hous­es abroad nor do I have es­tates. I ha­ven’t earned prop­er­ty.


Q:Many Min­is­ters in­clud­ing those like Min­is­ter Wi­mal Weer­a­wan­sa have criti­cised some of your ac­tions, why is that?
Any­one can criti­cise me but I’m not go­ing to stop what I’m do­ing. These peo­ple were not my po­lit­i­cal gu­rus and they didn’t teach me any­thing. So I don’t care about what these “We­da Be­ri Tar­zans” say. None of these peo­ple opened their mouths against this an­i­mal slaugh­ter. They should act prop­er be­fore they point fin­gers at me.


Q:Peo­ple ac­cuse you of try­ing to at­tract cheap me­dia pub­li­ci­ty by your ac­tions?
Why would I want to do that? I re­ceived 152,000 votes dur­ing the last elec­tion, the pre­vi­ous elec­tion I got on­ly 2000 but ev­ery­one knows that I didn’t cam­paign for it. I’m mar­ried now, I am al­so a grand­fa­ther why would I want cheap pub­li­ci­ty? Peo­ple who say these things are peo­ple who aren’t with the mass­es of this coun­try. Ev­ery­one knows who Mer­vyn Sil­va is. I love the peo­ple and the peo­ple loveme.
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  Comments - 11

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  • ranjit Chandrasekera Tuesday, 11 September 2012 02:18 AM

    I don't agree with all what Minister Mervyn Silva says and what he has done in the past. However, in this instance his action to prevent animal sacrifice is adorable. As he has mentioned in this media interview no other politician or our mahanayake theras has opened their mouth against this uncivilised ritual of animal sacrifice. Why cant people stop and think about this so called Goddess and her pseudo powers to punish people or to give back health to those seriously ill, in return for lives of innocent animals. This is nothing but devil worship introduced by rogue swamies.

    I too wish to challenge this rogue swamy to pray for the evil Goddess and punish me for my criticism.

    ranjit Chandrasekera Tuesday, 11 September 2012 02:31 AM

    Those politicians who are in favour of animal sacrifice and looking for protection from this evil Goddess are those who would do anything to stay in power.

    If, these poor animals have voting rights I would not be surprised to see them go down on their knees and worship these animals for their blessings and support to come to power.

    Thank you Minister don't stop half way, go ahead and stop this barbaric ritual, for good.

    We are watching you. If you fail this time, you plan to fail for ever.

    Sajeewa Tuesday, 11 September 2012 05:40 PM

    Ado......mervin pissu poosa..stop lying.

    Public Abilik Monday, 10 September 2012 08:09 AM

    I love the people and the people love me, ...and if they don't, I will tie them to a tree. I have a son, who's just as crazy as me, when elections are near, my carzyness goes on a spree.

    SL_democrazy Monday, 10 September 2012 05:04 PM

    pleas take this "gon bana"and scarifies to Kali mamma for the betterment of the Sri Lankan society

    Rifzy Tuesday, 11 September 2012 05:58 AM

    I love the people and the people love me, ha ha ha comedy of the year!!!

    Roy Tuesday, 11 September 2012 06:01 AM

    This proves,

    LOVE IS BLIND>

    tsham Monday, 10 September 2012 09:54 AM

    ppl love u........as the best top comedian in the government........and the next is wimal modawansa

    Goat Perea Tuesday, 11 September 2012 12:35 AM

    You idiot you cannot look after your Son, & Your Family you think that people will love you.

    You are good for hair color advertisement. You looks like walking jewellery shop.

    Buuruputha Tuesday, 11 September 2012 01:30 AM

    No...Donkeys are not accepted by Kali !

    deselfa, ashley Tuesday, 11 September 2012 01:26 AM

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK,MR.MERWYN DE SILVA.SRILANKA NEEDS MORE OF YOUR KIND.I ADMIRE AND RESPECT PEOPLE WHO CALL A SPADE A SPADE..THIS IS THE TYPE OF POLITICIAN WE NEED IN OUR OUR BLESSED SRILANKA.AND MY PROFOUND RESPECT TO OUR HONOURABLE PRESIDENT FOR HAVING DONE A EXCELLENT JOB IN ANNIHILATING THE
    TERROR GROUPS.GOD BLESS YOU,THHE PRESIDENT AND OUR BLESSED COUNTRY.


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