15 September 2012

Keheliya’s Kehelmal*

Malaka Silva, son of Mervin Silva, Minister of Public Relations and Public Affairs is a thug.  He is rumored to be involved in drug trafficking but rumor is not fact.  If indeed he is, there is either a lack of information to warrant investigation or there’s pressure from above to keep things quiet or the investigation is being carried out in hush-hush ways.  It is rumored that the Army officer who was assaulted by Malaka and his thugs and who is known to be attached to the Army’s Intelligence Unit, was actually on duty investigating drug trafficking and drug traffickers. Those who will connect the dots will do so, but that’s all conjecture. 

What is fact and indeed caught on camera is that Malaka Silva and his gangsters assaulted this officer, causing grievous hurt and necessitating hospitalization.  Police Media Spokesperson, SSP Ajith Rohana has acknowledged that the assault was captured on camera and said that the culprits will be apprehended.  The Army has launched its own investigation.  Two Police teams have been deployed to hunt the man down. 
Meanwhile, even as the nation in one voice calls for the arrest of this thug and wonders about the logic of a soldier putting his life on line to free the nation from the menace of terrorism having to suffer the fate of being banged up a common thug, Malaka Silva calmly visits the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihare, as a VVIP, bypassing the long queues, to pay homage to the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics and this in a place where over 2,000 policemen were stationed to maintain law and order.  He is photographed, duly and the photographs are published.  Malaka is essentially lifting a metaphorical sarong at the country’s law, law enforcement officers, the judiciary and the general citizenry. 

That’s serious stuff.  Here’s the flip side, and the hilarity that should not provoke laughter but does, perhaps because (for good or bad) we are a nation that can see the funny side of things even in the midst of grim sobriety. 
Mervin Silva, the assailants father with a considerable scot-fee history of intimidation and assault himself, claims that his son would never hit a man in uniform.  According to him, Malaka hit someone who he believed was an ordinary person, whose crime was that although he had a cigarette he was ready to give cigarette-needing Malaka, didn’t have a lighter to go with it.  So Malaka can assault anyone he bums a cigarette from if he didn’t have a lighter as well, provided he didn’t happen to be in military uniform.  Stretch that argument and we have Malaka with a license to assault anyone other than military personnel (who too would be spared only if in uniform).  We should not take Mervin too seriously, for the man thinks the law allows anyone to tie anyone else to a tree.  We should take issue from those who do nothing about it. 

Keheliya Rambukwella now holds the dubious record for besting Mervin at this kind of humor.  At the weekly media briefing on Cabinet decisions, responding to a query, he is reported to have said that the Police didn’t arrest Malaka in Kelaniya because ‘he was on sacred ground’.  Now, had Prabhakaran been spotted worshipping at the Madhu Church and the Army had surrounded the place, would he have been accorded the same privilege?  Let’s assume so.  At some point Prabhakaran would have had to leave or starve.  Let’s assume he chose the former option.  Would not the Army have captured him there and then, or shot him dead if he attempted to fight his way out? 
Malaka Silva walked away.  He would have exited ‘sacred ground’ at some point.  The Police could not have been so blind as to leave a to-safety avenue for the thug.  He could have been apprehended at the gate. He was not.  The police are not stupid.  The people are not stupid.  Keheliya seems to believe that both are stupid. 

Malaka Silva is not an extraordinary citizen.  If I did what Malaka did, I would be behind bars now.  I would have been arrested within the hour of assaulting a senior Army officer.  Malaka is free, still.  That doesn’t say a lot about law enforcement in the country.  It says a lot about Malaka’s and Mervin’s political backers.  It leaves a question:  ‘Who is the President of this country, Mahinda Rajapaksa or Mervin Silva?’

*literally ‘plantain-flower’ but used colloquially to mean ‘balderdash’. 
Reactions:

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

If Kelaniya is a sacred land where criminals can't be arrested, criminals now only need to commit crimes and go to Kelaniya! What immunity! What rubbish!

Lalindra said...

More than the frailty of the law enforcement, this talks loads about governance. If the law enforcement authorities were given a free hand without interference from powers above, they would have done their duty. But if they are intimidated for carrying out their duty without fear or favor, the structure collapses.

Aruna Kulatunga said...

Methinks El Presidente is about to fire the honorable doctor, no?

Walter Rajaratne said...

I just enjoyed the reading. But I dont want to comment because I do not know how to make any argument.

Anonymous said...

Dr Edward Perera

"Who is the President of this country, Mahinda Rajapakse or Mervin Silva?"... This is exactly what I had raised in my open letter to the President in August 2010.

I am happy that Malinda and I share many national sentiments commonly as we both feel strongly for our country.

Mahinda Rajapakse was almost boasting when he sarcastically uttered at a meeting that there are only two noticeable groups exist in Sri Lanka namely those who love the country and those who don’t.

Now exactly after two years since I raised that question on who rules the country, I would like to put the following questions to our "deaf and blind" President concerning dubious and shameless conduct of Malaka and his Father Minister.

Are you with the group who don't love their country? Which category do you really belong to in accordance with your values?

Not only the whole nation but the entire World is anxiously waiting for your direct answer.

Anonymous said...

The President his government and family operate under guise of being patriots but are the worst anti patriots we have seen. At least the diaspora openly claim to be anti patriots although I do not agree with them at all they are honest with their views whereas the government is robbing our money, respect and identity as Sri Lankans.

A terrorist is some one who voliontly disrupts the public's peace by working against the law and order of a country. What the LTTE did in a sophisticated manner is what Malaka and Mervin are doing with the support of the Rajapkasa's. If the army that liberated our country is being reduced to nothing by the inaction of the government they if a Tamil or Muslim attacks any army officer in the same manner should not be called a terrorist. This government practices double standards , and needs to be taken out. But their crookedness in every form will keep them in power for a short while longer. They do away with people who brought them into power. Mangala, Tiran, Chandrika the JVP. SF fought for them the LTTE supported them by preventing the Tamils from voting in the North and East during the Presidential election with the money for Tsunami victims being paid to the the LTTE as a favour. This government has a history of double crossing the people who support them.

Today Pillayan, KP , Mervin and other terrorists have better patronage with the government than SF or even the army that fought simply because the former have agreed to worship the Rajapakses for money and positions they hold. The people are being held to ransome. The government is taking undue advantage of the passiveness of the Sri Lankan public. It's a a shame that we are being reduced to nothing by this government.

Anonymous said...

Oh Kheliya! Pleas give us a break we know that all of you in government have the thickest of skin and do not bother about what we say in these forums about all of you. Do give us intelligent answers that befits a Minster. We know you have to parrot out the right words so that it has approval from the President to keep you in your position but please do it at least in a sensible way.

Anonymous said...

Noam Chomsky: “There are intellectuals who like to pretend that they're influential. But in fact political leaders don't pay any attention to them. If there is a popular movement carrying out substantial actions, then maybe they may respond.”

Neil Gaiman: “It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.“

Sadly the knowledge of a scholar with education at Peradeniya, Harvard, USC and Cornell does not prevent people from being half-wits.

Anonymous said...

Noam Chomsky: “There are intellectuals who like to pretend that they're influential. But in fact political leaders don't pay any attention to them. If there is a popular movement carrying out substantial actions, then maybe they may respond.”

Neil Gaiman: “It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.“

Sadly the knowledge of a scholar with education at Peradeniya, Harvard, USC and Cornell does not prevent people from being half-wits.

Malinda Seneviratne said...

when people make claims but cannot substantiate, it's sad. when people throw quotes it generally means they can't formulate an idea by themselves. the last three 'anon' comments (i suspect, by the same individual) are pretty sad. get some courage up and say who you are and what you have done to change things, darling(s).

Ramzeen said...

Keheliya was trained to be a chef although he's now an expert "dhobi"

senaka said...

Dear Malinda, I noticed that U have started kind of anti corruption campaign against some politicians. Good move:-)and keep going! We need such criticism.