Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva’s son Malaka was again highlighted in the recent past, because of his alleged involvement in attacking an Army Intelligence Officer. After he was released on bail after a few days spent in remand prison, Malaka Silva reportedly went to the US for studies. Following are excerpts of his interview
By Dayaseeli Liyanage Q:Are you a bandit? Why do you always get involved in brawls?
I am not a bandit. These brawls are not pre planned, they keep coming to me. I try to keep away from getting into trouble. It is not only me; any youth has a limit to patience. I am not an arahath or a god. I am only a human being.
Q:But from what we have heard you don’t keep to yourself.
Reason is this. I am the son of Minister Mervyn Silva. The media is always following me. If I am found at someplace whenever something happens, the media makes capital out of it. Then they say Malika has some connection to the incident. The best example is the incident that happened recently. The media fabricated a big story. When the incident occurred I was inside my car. It can be proved with the video. I was not there at that time. Media always said Minister’s son Malaka assaulted. Only thing I was nearlly when the incident occurred. If I was not there no such incident may occur. They have given the publicity claiming Malaka assaulted. What really happened was revealed by that officer. He said I did not assault him at all. I was remanded by the media.
Q: Are you saying that you have not done anything wrong.
Yes, I did nothing wrong.
Q:Has your father who is a Minister given you the security personnel he has?
That is a wrong statement. I have no security personnel.
Q: Then why is there such a big crowd with you?
I have many good friends.
Q:What kinds of friends?
No one special. I am not so selective. Some of them are rich, while some of them are poor.
Q: Why do you have so many friends around you?
I wish to enter politics, so I must have lots of friends whether they are from poor or rich families. To do politics we need money and I think rich friends are very helpful in politics. I always try to find solutions for problems faced by my friends. They are not bandits, and are not members of the underworld and they are only our political supporters and voters. I don’t want to avoid them. I need them for my politics. We do not commit murder or any bad things. I don’t understand why the media is trying to show me in this manner. That is why I am reluctant to give interviews to the media.
Q: Many people regard you as a youth who is always associated with club goers and drug addicts. And you try to live like an American.
There are clubs in many countries in the world except in Arab countries. Today society is very different from ancient society. Today youth prefer to enjoy KFC and MacDonald’s foods instead of jak fruit and bread fruit. I am also this kind of persons.
Q: You mean you are a regular club goer.
I used to go to clubs frequently but now I visit clubs very seldom. When I feel I need a change I will go to a club. My answer to your question about drugs I do not take any drugs. I take red wine nothing else. Media has painted me as a drug user. There was an incident of using my name in a story of drugs relating to another person who was taken into custody by the Narcotics Bureau. I don’t know why the media behaves in this manner. By looking at a person’s behaviour you can know whether he or she is a drug addict. Do you see me as such addict. As I wish to enter politics I don’t want to involve in this type of anti- social activities.
Q: Are there female friends among your associates?
Yes I have girls among my friends. But my friends are very decent. I don’t see any wrong in associating with girls.
Q: There are sons of many ministers who are your age. But they are different and they don’t patronise clubs.
A: I have already told that I was not a frequent club goer. You can go to clubs and have a good view of the sons you mention. The problem is the media. They are very selective in reporting about these incidents. Society is different. Youth in rural areas don’t go to clubs but urban youths do. There is nothing abnormal about it. But the problem here is with Malaka only because he is Minister Mervyn’s son.
Q: Don’t you think that your present behaviour is an obstacle for your future?
Unfortunately media look at us only from one angle. They don’t see us positively. Police, Courts, Hospitals are the places the media reports when it is linked with me. If I push a man in defence and he gets injured the media will report me as a thug who has smashed a head of an innocent man. I don’t take these things seriously.
Q: Don’t your family members blame you for this type of behavior.
Father always warns me and says that he won’t get involved in any of my problems. And he doesn’t seek help from others for my affairs. He doesn’t like my friends visiting me. He is very strict.
Q: But your family members came to court.
Yes as family members they came to court. They know I was not a criminal and offered their help as family members.
Q: Don’t you like to stay free of these troubles?
I have already told you that I don’t create problems. Some always try to link me with problems. I don’t want to get involved in any incidents. I always tend to help others to the best of my ability.
Q: How do you feel about this type of incidents?
I am frustrated. That is why I am leaving the country as I did on a previous occasion too. I am innocent. I have been charged for what I have not done. And it is intolerable.
Q: How do you see yourself?
All are not entirely correct. Look at us positively too and show any wrongs so I can correct them. I am a free man. I like to enjoy a simple life.
Q: Have you any message for readers?
Even your paper has seen only the bad side of my character. I remember former President R. Premadasa saying, “Kill me, but not my reputation”. I am in a very frustrated and mentally depressed state. Rural youths have chances to go to the conciliation board and get settlement for their minor disputes. But we are always being attacked by all. I have also been subjected to physical injuries and mental pain.