Mervyn Silva

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Not to be confused with Mervyn De Silva. ‹See Tfd›
Mervyn Silva
MP
Deputy Minister of Highways
In office
5 May 2010 – 10 August 2010
Incumbent
Assumed office
8 September 2010
Deputy Minister of Mass Media & Information
In office
23 April 2010 – 5 May 2010
Non-Cabinet Minister of Labour
In office
2007–2010
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for Gampaha District
Incumbent
Assumed office
2010
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for National List
In office
2004–2010
Preceded by J. A. Mary Lucida & Mahesh Kolla
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for Hambantota District
In office
1994–2000
Personal details
Born (1944-03-25) March 25, 1944 (age 70)
Nittabuwa
Nationality Sri Lanka Sri Lankan
Political party Sri Lanka Freedom Party
Other political
affiliations
United People's Freedom Alliance
Spouse(s) J. A. Mary Lucida
Children Malaka
Residence 296/7 Park Road, Colombo 05, Sri Lanka
Alma mater Mahinda Vidyalaya,Maligakanda
Religion Buddhist

Hewa Koparage Mervyn Silva (Sinhala:හෙවා කොපරගේ මර්වින් සිල්වා) (born March 25, 1944) is a Sri Lankan politician, Member of Parliament and government minister.[1]

Political career[edit]

Silva entered politics by joining the Sri Lanka Freedom Party in Hambantota District but later joined the United National Party.[2]

At the 1994 parliamentary election Silva was elected to represent Hambantota District for the UNP.[3] He later rejoined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

At the 2004 parliamentary election Silva was a United People's Freedom Alliance candidate in Colombo District but failed to get elected after receiving only 2,236 preference votes and coming in last place amongst the 23 UPFA candidates in the district.[4] However, in May 2004 he was appointed as National List MP for the UPFA, replacing his wife who had resigned to allow Silva enter Parliament.[5] In January 2007 Silva was appointed Non-Cabinet Minister of Labour.[6]

At the 2010 parliamentary election Silva was elected to represent Gampaha District for the UPFA.[7] Afterward he was appointed Deputy Minister of Mass Media & Information.[8] This caused strong protests from journalists because of Silva's history with the media.[9] Reporters Without Borders described the appointment as "asking an arsonist to put out fires". Silva resigned as Deputy Minister of Mass Media & Information in May 2010 but was immediately appointed as the new Deputy Minister of Highways.[10][11]

On 3 August 2010 Silva subjected government official Mohammed Ishan Murshuk to public humiliation by tying him to a mango tree.[12] Silva invited the media to witness the official's humiliation. This resulted in public outrage and demonstrations by government officials. On 10 August 2010 it was announced that Silva had been dismissed from his ministerial post and suspended from the SLFP.[13] However, a subsequent SLFP disciplinary cleared him of all charges and on 8 September 2010 he was reappointed to his ministerial post.[14][15]

On 11 April 2011, Silva’s Parliament Affairs Secretary Jayasena Mudiyanselage Buddhi with two Policemen in uniform and an underworld gangster who is a henchman of Silva had arrived in an official vehicle belonging to Silva, and attempted to extort five million rupees from a scrap metal businessman in Grandpass. However that businessman who happened to be a friend of the Defence Secretary got them arrested while they were threatening & demanding the kappan money from him. When things became too hot and beyond the control of Silva, he immediately disassociated all connections with Buddhi saying that his Secretary had left the employment couple of weeks before. However even if it is so Silva could not explain; how that person who had left Silva's staff managed to take the official vehicle belonging to Silva and got the two policemen released from the police station in Silva’s electorate on this extortion mission two weeks later.

It is also said that his henchmen were the ones who assassinated the former chairman of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha.

Relations with media[edit]

On 27 December 2007 Silva and his bodyguards stormed the offices Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation where Silva assaulted SLRC's news director T. M. G. Chandrasekera.[16][17] SLRC employees then took Silva hostage and demanded he apologise. When Silva refused the SLRC employees assaulted him. However later on Silva's henchmen targeted those SLRC employees involved in assaulting Silva and individually subjected them & their family members to merciless beatings, stabbing and cutting their mouths with barber knives. Most of those SLRC employees had fled Sri Lanka and had sought asylum in other countries.

On 4 August 2008 Silva and his bodyguards assaulted Sirasa TV journalist Saliya Ranawaka and cameraman Waruna Sampath and seized their equipment at the opening of a flyover at Thorana Junction in Kelaniya.[18] Silva was tried for the assaults but was acquitted after the police failed to file any charges against him.[19] However, earlier Silva had agreed to pay the Sirasa cameraman Rs. 750,000 compensation after the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka heard a Fundamental Rights petition filed by the cameraman.[20]

Presence in Mega Star reality show[edit]

However Silva worked in cooperation with media during his appearance in the Swarnavahini Mega Star reality program as a judge. His controversial remarks about the contestants became a wide topic of discussion and drew the attention of the general public. He made many remarks about the opposition MP Rosy Senanayake, MP Ranjan Ramanayaka and MP Upeksha Swarnamali.[21] During the live final show held at Sugathadasa indoor stadium he made many rude remarks over contestant and other judges.[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sri Lankan minister who tied up official is sacked". BBC News. 10 August 2010. 
  2. ^ Jansz, Frederica (2 May 2010). "Meet The Real Mervyn Silva". The Sunday Leader. 
  3. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1994". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  4. ^ "General Election 2004 Preferences". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  5. ^ Wijitha Nakkawita and Sanjeevi Jayasuriya (19 May 2004). "Four new MPs and a switch". The Island, Sri Lanka. 
  6. ^ "New Cabinet of Ministers sworn in". Current Affairs. The Official Website of the Government of Sri Lanka. 
  7. ^ "Parliamentary General Election – 2010 Gampaha Preferences". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  8. ^ "New Ministers and Deputies". Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 24 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "Rights group decries Sri Lanka media appointment". BBC News. 27 April 2010. 
  10. ^ "Mervyn resigns from media". Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 5 May 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  11. ^ "4 Sri Lankan ministers, 6 deputy ministers take oaths". TamilNet. 5 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "Samurdhi officers declare war on Mervyn". Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 4 August 2010. 
  13. ^ Bandara, Kelum (11 August 2010). "Mervyn sacked". Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 
  14. ^ Expected exoneration for Mervyn (1 September 2010). "Expected exoneration for Mervyn". Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 
  15. ^ "Mervyn is back". Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 8 September 2010. 
  16. ^ "Discipline' minister Mervyn Silva". BBC Sinhala. 31 December 2007. 
  17. ^ "Media freedom in Sri Lanka under grave assault". The Nation, Sri Lanka. 30 December 2007. 
  18. ^ "Journalists slam President, police". BBC Sinhala. 8 August 2008. 
  19. ^ "Minister Mervyn Silva acquitted". BBC Sinhala. 20 February 2009. 
  20. ^ "Minister Mervyn Silva to pay Rs. 750,000 to MTV/Sirasa cameraman". Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 17 December 2008. 
  21. ^ The Island. Island.lk. Retrieved on 2012-11-20.
  22. ^ The ‘Mega Star’ mayhem | DailyFT – Be Empowered. Ft.lk (2010-11-01). Retrieved on 2012-11-20.