By Uditha Devapriya –
(Dr) Mervyn Silva wants attention. He craves for it so much it’s no wonder he was the Minister for Public Relations once. At present though, he’s an orphan. Has nowhere to go. Having been denied nominations from his own party despite his overtures to President Maithripala Sirisena (he was one of “Mahinda’s men” before he lost, as we know), he’s seeking a way out. He’s trying to find an ally. Trying to worm himself in.
This is not the first time he’s tried to jump ship. Not the first time he’s regretted the past and vowed to repent. If anyone reads up on his history (s)he’ll come across instances where he’s begged for forgiveness, promised repentance, got largesse, and broken that promise. Wherever he is, whatever he joins, he’s shown himself capable of forgetting the past and doing wrong by everyone around him.
He’s planning to jump again. He’s launching a campaign for Ranil Wickremesinghe and his good governance brigade. He’s betting on victory. To substantiate all this, he’s also accusing Mahinda Rajapaksa of denying him nominations when worse rogues are campaigning from the UPFA. He then foretells doom: if Mahinda returns, so will the White Vans.
Point well made, Doctor. But well taken? Of course not.
People have preferences. Silva has his. They change as soon as his patrons do. Explains his allegation that the Rajapaksa family have taken over the SLFP. Explains why he remained blissfully unaware of what they were doing throughout these 10 years. If words are indeed worth a dime a dozen, the Doctor is selling himself. Cheaply. Yes, if it’s about preferring one outcome to another and choosing the lesser evil, he’s no different from most politicians.
But he’s insufferable. Then again most politicians are. In his case however, he has demonstrated that he is arrogant, doesn’t care for anyone’s dignity, treats state property as his own, and pays obeisance to whoever calls the shots. For him, politics is all about flattering patrons. Not democracy. Not helping the voter.
The Doctor has a plan. He wants to campaign in Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Matara, Hambantota, and Tissamaharamaya. Among other districts. He’s supporting the Ranil Wickremesinghe-led United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG). He’s forgotten that he was once a beneficiary of the same regime whose big-shots continue to oppose those in that Front. Sure, he’s offered excuses. “I was threatened,” he said. “I couldn’t budge,” he whined. “I’m with Maithri!” he yelled. All words. All rhetoric. Cheap.
Wickremesinghe mustn’t be taken in by him. Nor should Sirisena. Things are looking bleak however. Some people in their campaign have in effect “endorsed” this thug. No one who spoke as much against Mahinda Rajapaksa as they did would allow Silva in. That’s what these people have done.
Let us be clear here. If Silva is taken into the campaign, it won’t lose much. But it’ll be blemished. Forever.
That’s why he should be put out. Why Sirisena and Wickremesinghe, both would-be custodians of good governance, must come out. They must declare position. They must align with one side or the other. That side cannot include Silva. That’s not because he’s an orphan. Not because he’ll revert to his usual antics if he’s taken back in. It’s because he’s done this before. Pathetic if history repeats itself. Again.
The good Doctor has ranted. Time he’s given a talking to. Time he’s kept shut. For good.
*Uditha Devapriya is a freelance writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His articles can be accessed at fragmenteyes.blogspot.com