By Malinda Seneviratne -
When the Minister of Public Relations and Public Affairs, Mervin Silva, set out to capture a public servant, he made it a photo opportunity. The media was invited. TV stations were ‘camera-ready’. The victim was tied to a tree. It was reported in the newspapers and the footage was shown on television. The police did nothing. The Attorney General did nothing. The entire justice system shamed itself that day.
In March this year the same minister openly stated that he was responsible for Poddala Jayantha leaving the country. Jayantha, a well-known media activist was earlier abducted and assaulted. His assailants are yet to be brought to justice. While bragging about his role in Jayantha’s exit, this minister also threatened to personally break the limbs of Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Sunila Abeysekera and Nimalka Fernando. All four mentioned above have dubious track records in financial dealings as well as being pawns of the LTTE. All that is irrelevant to the matter of threat and threat-execution. The law has not pursued these individuals for wrongdoing, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to take the law into his or her hands.
Two days ago, the minister’s son assaulted an Army Major. He was accompanied by an entourage of thugs. It is reported that the entire incident was caught on camera. Police Media Spokesperson, SSP Ajith Rohana in a radio interview last morning told SLBC Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe that this was true, i.e. the assailant, Malaka Silva, son of Minister Mervin Silva was caught on camera assaulting the Army officer. Statements have been issued, also, claiming that the Police was looking for this thug.
The man, whose face is familiar to the entire population and ought to be familiar to every single policeman in this country, was photographed worshipping the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics at the Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya. It is known that the police were out in full force to ensure security and to control crowds thronging to pay homage to the Relics. It is incredible that he was not arrested.
It is hard to believe that the police do not have eyes. It is hard to believe they don’t have legs to walk up to this thug and handcuff him. It is hard to believe that they were ignorant of the fact that he is wanted for assault and battery of a citizen and probably (given context) wanted for other and more serious crimes.
The father got off scot-free. Now, for all the pledges of the Police Media Spokesperson, the people cannot be blamed for thinking ‘the son will get away too!’ Indeed, it has come to a point where editorial comments about these acts of thuggery containing demands that the police do their job have been likened to hitting head against brick wall.
The impotency of the law enforcement authorities clearly indicate a numbing imposed by people in positions of power. We have to come to some conclusions here.
The police are not sleeping, but pretending to sleep. The Attorney General is not sleeping but is pretending to sleep. The President hardly ever sleeps, we are told. He cannot therefore pretend to sleep.
Sooner or later what was caught on camera will go viral on youtube. It won’t spark a movement to overthrow the Government, for Mervin Silva’s antics and gross violations have also gone viral on youtube. Things add up though. Dots are joined. Credit gets spent. Worms turn. Birds come home to roost.
Every minute that passes without Malaka Silva being arrested, we get closer to a terrible moment where we begin to walk a path we’ve walked twice in the last 40 years. That is because of Mervin Silva, Malaka Silva and all the other Silvas who have been spared by the law.
There are crimes of commission and there are crimes of omission. Neither is spared in the karmic matrix. There will be loud knocks on the doors of big houses. The doors may or may not be opened, but if it is not they will be broken down, in violation of the law. A letter might be delivered. It would probably contain an 11-word reminder: ‘What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander’.