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 Post subject: Descendant of King Dutugemunu
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:33 am 
Descendant of King Dutugemunu

Minister Mervyn Silva is a unique character. He is tough to those who are tough. His association with political leaders on the one hand and with underworld elements on the other hand, has made Silva infamous. He is fearless. He takes on his opponents with facts concerning their private lives. Claiming to be a descendant of King Dutugemunu, he says he could prove his lineage.

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"I bought this Porsche before I bought the Jaguar. In another year or so, I hope to purchase a helicopter. After this, I will even buy a jet. Why, who cares? My car, my petrol."- Mervyn

@ The Nation / Sunday July 08th, 2007
By Wilson Gnanadass and Santhush Fernando


Labour Minister (non Cabinet) Mervyn Silva is a unique character. He has carved out a niche for himself in today’s politics, through his utterances in public and his choice of words when doing so. The unparliamentary language he enjoys using within Parliament, has given him an inimitable place within society. He is tough to those who are tough. His association with political leaders on the one hand and with underworld elements on the other hand, has made Silva infamous. He is fearless. He takes on his opponents with facts concerning their private lives. Claiming to be a descendant of King Dutugemunu, he says he could prove his lineage. In a wide ranging and exclusive interview with The Nation, the minister said that it was none of anybody’s business to know how many cars he owned or, how he managed to purchase them. He accused the JVP of trying to obtain details of his vehicles, to inform the LTTE. A vociferous minister, who also said that he would shoot and kill anyone with his own pistol, if they support the LTTE.


Following are excerpts:

Q: There is so much uncertainty in today’s politics with crossovers by MPs, according to their whims and fancies. How do you see the cross over of former ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriarachchi?
A: When an affluent person imports a vehicle, a pickpocket takes his purse, in search of valuables. Finds nothing. Purse is empty. That is what has happened to the UNP today. The UNP thought these two members could bring riches with them. They found none. Talking of the UNPers who crossed over to the government, they are the cream of the UNP. So I think this is a huge loss to the UNP. We have not lost anything. All who came to our party are giants, while the two who went to the other side were just two pebbles. UNP is no more a United National Party.

Q: JVP’s Anura Kumara Dissanayake has accused you of concealing details of your vehicles. Why are you keeping them secret?
A: During the height of the JVP insurrection in 1989, three members of my family were killed. My younger brother who was in the Navy, my pregnant younger sister and her husband, were all killed by the JVP, leaving her two children orphaned. Even today, I look after them. During this time, the UNP MP for Dehiwela was also killed. I was also shot on my foot. Fortunately, my son was in the St. Thomas’ College hostel. If not, he too, would have lost his head. This is what the JVP was up to at that time. Today, these fellows are asking me how many vehicles I have and how much rent I pay. Was it fair to ask? These people have an agenda and I say this without fear. These people are exposing vehicle numbers and names of our bodyguards and especially of politicians whom they dislike, to the LTTE. I tell this with responsibility. When there are so many problems in the country, why are they asking for these details? Whom are they targeting? It is the President, Basil Rajapaksa, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and me as well. I came from the village. I was not born in a Walauwa. My father was a merchant in the village. I may not be important to the JVP. But, I am important to myself and to my family. This is why I refused to give details. I won’t reveal further details. But, if anybody proves that I have paid a rental in excess of Rs. 39,000, I will resign from Parliament.

Q: Certain remarks you made in Parliament against Anura Kumara Dissanayake were expunged from the Hansard. What were they?
A: I never said anything indecent. I only said certain things that the respective member was not supposed to do in society. I cannot say this in public. It is unfair. In society there are things that are taboo. It is an accepted norm that one does not marry the relatives of one’s father. But, in today’s newspapers, we read of fathers sleeping with their daughters. I am not like this. My record is straight. Although society tried to sling mud at me, the same society will know who I am, in time to come. When someone is guilty of such grave mistakes, why point their fingers at me. We formed the government with the JVP. But, if they got onto the bad books, I will not hesitate to expose them in public. If society gets to know more about them, they will be cursed.

Q: What in your view is the cause for the present hostility between the SLFP and the JVP?
A: They say there are too many Cabinet ministers and that we get big salaries. But, they also get the same salaries. Previously, I donated my whole salary to the needy. They are talking about vehicles. If they want to talk like this, they can buy Tata for a lesser price. Why should they buy Mercedes? Gandhi wore a khaddar to show simplicity. Anagarika Dharmapala wore the saffron robe and went around the country preaching not to eat beef. But, the JVP preaches one thing, while practising another. This is hypocrisy. If we bring out the JVP’s dirt, then society would hate them.

Q: You have said that if anyone supports the LTTE, you would personally shoot them. Did you mean it?
A: Yes. I say it even now. This country is for the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers. Nobody can take up arms. If anyone took up arms, then we must oppose them. It is a shame that those who took up arms, even went to the extent of assassinating our own leaders. Even the police or, the armed forces, cannot do this on their own. We have identified a section of the Tamils who are directly supporting the LTTE. But, at the same time, there are Tamils who have aligned themselves with the Sinhalese. But, if anybody supported the LTTE or, attempts to destroy peace, I won’t go to the police to lodge an entry. Instead, I will kill them with my own pistol.

Q: Do you have a license to kill?
A: To do something beneficial for society, I do not need any license. Never fear to do good. King Dutugemunu said that his efforts were not for his throne but, for the Sinhala race and Buddhism.

Q: You claim to be a descendant of Dutugemunu. How do you justify this claim?
A: I have written proof of my lineage to Dutugemunu. My original name is Hewakoparage Mervyn. The name Silva was bestowed by the Portuguese as a honour. Hewakopara means head of a brigade. Only our relatives were appointed as heads of brigades. Those who are in the South, are linked to King Dutugemunu. I am from Giruwa Gamdholasdahassa Magampaththuwa. Even the President is from there.

Q: You are implicated in the abductions that have taken place within the past few months. You have also been linked with Airman Nishantha Gajanayake who has been arrested in this connection. What is the truth?
A: I have learnt this only from you. No police, no newspaper, not any court or, even Parliament has mentioned this to me so far. I have no connection with him. I challenge anyone to prove this. I have a backbone and I am not afraid. The importance of a person cannot be judged by his wealth but, should be counted by the virtue of his parents. After all, I am convinced that my mother never slept with outsiders. What runs in my veins is my parents’ blood. I grew up drinking my mother’s milk. But, dirty blood runs in those who are involved in abductions. I am not that type.

Q: Your name is also allegedly connected with underworld kingpin Lal Peiris alias ‘Kudu Lal’. He has been seen with you quite often. What is the connection you have with such an underworld character?
A: Who prefixed “Kudu”? Has he been imprisoned? He is a Municipal councilor. He won the election while in England. He is a good friend of mine. I repeat that he is my good friend. So, if he is involved in ‘kudu’ business, the law enforcement authority should catch him and punish him. The day he is found guilty of drug peddling, I will spit on his face and abandon my friendship with him. I will not give character certificates to such elements. If the police is competent enough, let them catch him.

Q: Your son has been involved in several brawls even with the police. What corrective measures have you taken to discipline him?
A: Children have their own freedom. Up to a certain period, they are under our control. After this period, they decide on their own. If a child is hit by a parent, he/she can go to court. My wife never gave birth to Sidhartha or Mahoshada Panditha or Robbin Hood or Saradiel. We are from a normal family. I have two children - son and daughter. My son wants to enjoy like others, once a week. There are nightclubs and he has a right to go and enjoy himself. If someone confronts him, he has a right to respond according to his own conscience. On his birthday, there was a party. Police officers came and switched off the sound system and created trouble. My son reacted to this. And the country knows what happened after that. You see, today, my son will go to a nightclub and tomorrow he could even engage in meditation. So this is how children are, and this is how they grow. I will not try to hamper their growth in any way or, clip their wings.

Q: You have also been accused of owning luxury vehicles. Earlier you had Volvos and Jaguars but now, you and your son are seen driving Porsches. Being an MP how do you find the income to own such luxury vehicles?
A: If you go to my village and inquire of me, they will tell you that I was the first to wear a suit. I changed about two to three suits a week, those days. I used to wear nylon socks. This fellow ‘Mervyn Silva’ always wore tetron shirts. I had a supermarket in Nugegoda. It was called Malathi textile. I did vehicle business and land business. I have so far got three vehicles from the government. I sold all these vehicles and got the money. I bought this Porsche before I bought the Jaguar. In another year or so, I hope to purchase a helicopter. After this, I will even buy a jet. Why, who cares? My car, my petrol. If I had defaulted paying tax, then I could be charged. Who should worry about it? I am doing this with my own income. I pay tax. All these are spread by those who are jealous. In our society, if someone dressed nicely, there is jealousy. If somebody ate well, they are jealous. The only shortcoming I have is that I am a little short. I would have been more handsome than Vijaya Kumaratunga, if I were three inches taller than him. My father-in-law owned a horse and my wife went to Church in a chariot. My father’s brother was the first to own a radio and the entire village came to our house to listen to sermons. Those days, it was my father and his brother who owned a vehicle in our village but, the villagers were never jealous of it.

Q: You seem to be threatening people who say they fear you. Why?
A: I don’t know why they fear me. Anyone who associates with me, would never fear me or, say I’m bad. Those who do wrong, fear me. Because, I point my fingers at them fearlessly.

Q: You have allegedly threatened a Muslim beef seller in your electorate. Is it true?
A: Yes, I did. Because, he was selling beef in that area. Kelaniya is a place where Lord Buddha visited and that place must be kept clean. Lord Buddha even bathed in the river, and we cannot allow that place to be defiled. Take for instance, India, people don’t slaughter cattle. So why encourage this in Kelaniya?

Q: You have also raised objection to Tamils and Muslims taking residence in your electorate. Why?
A: No, there is no such thing. But, if a Tamil or, a Muslim planned to settle down there, he should prove his identity. Almost all the destructions have taken place because they have been allowed to come into the city, unchecked. I have made an order in my electorate that all minorities must establish their identity.

Q: There is also accusation that the UPFA has given money to the LTTE to win the presidential election. What is the truth behind this?
A: If this could be proved or if LTTE chief Prabhakaran admits this then we will ask Prabhakaran to take over the government. Now the deposed ministers are saying this because they did not receive from the government what they wanted.

Q: You were once a confidante of the former President. Now, you have become a close confidante of the present leader. Though President Kumaratunga is now sidelined, you have not shown any interest to talk about it. And this, people say, make you an opportunist? Your comment?
A: When I was in the UNP, I was close to Ranil Wickremesinghe. I have always been close to the leaders. With the present leader, we have a friendship for generations. Nothing has happened to the respect I have for the former president. But, I am very angry with her, for making derogatory remarks of our party and of our leader, in a private newspaper.

Q: What, in your view, is the solution to the North-East conflict?
A: Certainly, negotiations. We do not want to fight with the Tamils. Freedom was won by both Sinhalese and Tamils. If the LTTE is prepared to agree to our terms and conditions, we can hold talks. Self governance is good, provided the LTTE came to some sort of agreement with the government. We are even prepared to have Prabhakaran as the Chief Minister, if he agreed to work with us.


Related:
:arrow: Deputy Minister and son - Story continues..


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