By Colombo Telegraph –
Army intelligence officer Major C. Pradeep was admitted to the National Hospital after being assaulted by a group led by controversial minister Mervyn Silva‘s son Malaka Silva at a five star hotel in Colombo last night, according to a complaint made to the police.
Army Major was assaulted by Malaka Silva, Former Minister Mano Wijeratne’s stepson Rehan and five other persons at the Jaic Hilton car park at around 3.30 early this morning.
Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said a corporal who was with the Major at the time of the incident was also injured during the clash. The Slave Island police have recorded a statement from the Army Major who charged that his official pistol had been taken away by the group.
Not unlike his father, Minister Silva’s son Malaka has been notorious for terrorizing Colombo and its nightspots and is also a paid government official in Minister Silva’s Ministry. No one dares speak out against the Silva family due to their connections both with the underworld and their immunity due to presidential patronage.
Malaka’s track record
* In September 2007 an Accountant, Chaminda Senasinghe was hit on face with pistol butt by Malaka Silva at the Bistro Latino Restaurant. Speaking to The Sunday Leader from the Nawaloka Hospital, Chaminda recounted those last moments before he fell to the floor only to be kicked and manhandled by about 10 persons. (Sunday Leader September 9, 2007). After visiting hospital Chaminda lodged a complaint at the Bambalapitiya Police Station. However Malaka had made it to the police station before Chaminda and had himself made a complaint indicating a small bruise on the bridge of his nose and stating a group of persons had assaulted him. Senasinghe who had 11 stitches on his forehead and Malaka Silva was remanded on September 11, 2007 for pistol whipping Chaminda Senasinghe.
* Malaka Silva and two of his bodyguards on November 2, 2006 pleaded guilty to attacking attacking Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) officers who were on a drug raid at a night club in a five star hotel.
Colombo High Court Judge Upali Abeyratne ordered each of them to pay compensation of Rs. 10,000 each and enter into a bond in Rs 100,000 each to be of good behaviour for one year. The accused were Malaka Silva and his bodyguards Sampath Kumara Rajapakse and Prasanna Kumara Suresh. The judge ordered that the compensation be directed to the Police Rewards Fund.
In a direct indictment by the Attorney General the three accused were charged with willfully causing hurt to deter a public servant from his duty. Malaka Silva was charged with intimidating and obstructing the PNB team which went on a narcotics raid with a court order to the night club My Kind of Place at Taj Samudra in the early hours of July 24, 2005.
The accused were indicted with assaulting police personnel including PC R.W. A. Dayan Lasantha – an offence punishable under Section 323 of the Penal Code.
According to the statements given by PNB officers and PNB OIC Buddhika Balachandra at the magisterial inquiry, on the said date the narcotics team, on a tip-off had raided the night club to arrest an ‘ecstasy’ dealer who was said to have been trafficking the drug at the hotel. When the PNB officers who were in plain clothes were leaving the night club after completing the ten-minute raid, Malaka Silva had obstructed them and abused them in foul language. Malaka Silva had allegedly threatened the police officer at gunpoint and assaulted the police officers. Later he had called his bodyguard who was armed with a pistol and attacked the police officers.
The PNB team had allegedly withdrawn from the place as the accused were armed and as they did not want to create a problem there. Later they had complained to the Colombo Fort police station.
The accused had later surrendered to the police station. Ironically two days after the attack former Police Chief, Chandra Fernando, announced the release of Malaka Silva and his mates saying that there was no evidence. Media reported that the police were under pressure not to work hard on the case.
In his attempt to defend his son, Mervyn Silva abused journalists in filth and stated that he knows what to do with the owners of Sirasa and Swarnavahini – two privately owned media outlets.
Earlier in connection with this trial Malaka had also been banned from entry into night clubs after 7 p.m with a warning that if the ban were violated the one million rupee bail on the two persons would be converted to a fine and charged from them. (Sunday Leader September 9, 2007)
* According to a leaked US diplomatic cables, in February 2007, US Ambassador Patricia A. Butenis wrote to her Secretary of State saying that “according to a former Sri Lankan security services official, drug kingpins in Sri Lanka have political patrons in the government, chief among them Dr. Mervin Silva, a Member of Parliament and the Minister of Labor. His son, Malaka Silva, is suspected of trafficking the drug ‘ecstasy’ in Colombo.”
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Late minister Mano Wijeratne has two son’s from his first marriage and his second wife Bharathi Wijeratne (the present Sri Lanka Ambassador to Turkey) has a son from a previous marriage. His name is Rehan Jayawickrema and he recently changed his name as Rehan Mano Wijeratne. Rehan is the person who allegedly involved with this attack with Makal Silva. Earlier version of this story named him as former minister Mano Wijeratne’s son.