SLFP in grip of unwholesome men – Mervyn Silva
BY PANCHAMEE HEWAVISSENTI
The much talked-about Mervyn Silva has stolen the limelight once again with the launch of a new political party. Although still lacking a name and a symbol he says they have been decided on, but it was premature to make it public until the party gets legal recognition from the Election Commissioner's Department. The former MP rebukes political leaders for wilfully depriving him of the right to contest elections. "Some politicians in the party conspired to withhold my nomination," he quips.
He also criticized the Good Governance Government stating that it is akin to a grafted tree which neither gives shade nor bears fruit. "The two parties hardly correlate with each other and cannot go ahead together. Either the SLFP or the UNP should have full authority in the Government" he said.
In an interview with Ceylon Today he further stated that the party formed by him will be free of corruption and he is looking for a capable youth leadership to lead the party as he prefers to remain the President of the newly formed party.
Excerpts of the interview:
?There are over sixty political parties in the country. What made you form another party?
A: I am sick of the SLFP's discrimination towards me. Without a valid allegation, my membership was terminated by the Party. I was not given nomination for the last General Election. There was a conspicuous conspiracy against giving me nomination. I also blame the President of the SLFP for treating me in this manner. I earnestly declare that I will never join the SLFP again. If anyone is thinking of joining the Party, I advise him not to. The party is an abode for ungrateful persons and it is in the control of a handful of unwholesome people.
The Joint Opposition's faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is not a successful venture. It accommodates corrupt people and the leadership is ineffectual. The political parties in the country are filled with corrupt and inefficient politicians.
These reasons have motivated me to form this new political party. I am not the only person who suffered this discrimination by the existing political parties in this country. I invite all of them to join me.
?You claim that there is no unblemished political party in the country at the moment. So, how does your party differ from that of the others?
A: There are strict rules and regulations in our party and all the members are expected to abide by them. They cannot engage in politics for individual gains. They cannot abuse power. Those who join to serve the country should not be greedy for wealth or power. They will not be given star class facilities. If they are willing to spend their money to serve the people, they can join me.
The leaders in the past such as D.S. Senanayake, John Kotelawala, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and Anagarika Dharmapala utilized their personal finances to serve the people of the country.
The members of the party should take the lead to preserve the lofty tradition of Sinhala ethnicity and state the place of Buddhism as the State religion.
I will remain the President of the party and look forward to a young leadership for the party from among those who are educated, intelligent, wise and visionary, with a holistic disposition to the Party. I do not encourage family or recommendation-based politics.
We are planning to assign youth with positions in the party so that they will be exposed to a vast spectrum of opportunities.
?You assert that the Party's leadership should be in the hands of youth. And you are also aware that neither of the two major Parties will afford you or your son the opportunity to contest an election as a member of either Party. Isn't your intention of forming a new party that of facilitating you and your son's re-entry to politics?
A: If my son is concerned about making a foray into politics, he has the right to do that. I neither have the right to hinder him from entering into politics nor to force him to engage in politics. The Party that I am going to form is for everyone who can strictly abide by the rules and regulations of the party. If Malaka fulfils the requirements, let him be so appointed by our Party's Executive Board.
The Party will not accept recommendations in handing out nominations.
?How many members are there in your party at present?
A: A large number of educated, intelligent and qualified persons have joined hands with me at present. I would like to invite members of the armed forces and media personnel to collaborate with us to develop our country by engaging in good politics.
?When are you going to embark on the activities of the Party, and from where?
A: Shortly after we receive accreditation for the party, we will begin to function. We plan to hold our inauguration ceremony in Anuradhapura. We intend to take oaths before the statue of the great King Dutugemunu that stands in Ruwanweliseya.
The great King Dutugemunu is reported to have sworn to safeguard the Buddha Sasana. Likewise, we too make a pledge that 'our endeavour is to serve the public, not ourselves'.
?You claim that you are going to found a political party devoid of corruption and crime. Can you declare that you have not abused your political power for material and financial gain during your stints in Parliament in the past?
A: If you accuse me of abusing power to engage in corruption and to gain financial benefits, I dare you to produce clear evidence of such corruption. If I had engaged in any corruption financially, I should have been summoned by the FCID by now.
I come from a wealthy family. My father engaged in business. I had many businesses in Beliatta. So, I do not need to loot public money for the sustenance of my family. If anyone accuses me of mishandling public finances, I am ready to accept the challenge of proving clean hands.
?You invited media personnel to join forces to bring about a corruption free and good society by taking responsibility in your new political Party. Unfortunately, your name was associated with many an assault on media stations in the past.....
A: I don't know what's wrong with this society. People only remember the wrongs one has committed. They hardly remember the services he has rendered. It is the same in this case. During my brief tenure as the Deputy Minister of Mass Media and Communication I proposed several welfare programmes for media personnel such as housing, vehicle and pension schemes.
I deny the charges of assaults on the media. There were disagreements between some media organizations and myself because the manner in which they were conducting themselves was highly injurious to the lofty values of Sri Lanka's culture.
When I went to a State-owned media institution to talk some matters over, some of the staff were prepared to assault me. When the leaders of the organization asked me to leave by the rear door, I refused because I am brave enough to face any challenge.
However, if we come to power, freedom of media will be highly assured.
?Although you were a fervent aide to the Rajapaksa family in the past, nowadays you seem to belittle them. Why are you disillusioned with the Rajapaksas?
A: The Rajapaksas have been known to me since childhood and I still revere the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He was an outstanding leader who ruled the country in an excellent manner. Yet, unfortunately he faced tragedy due to the misdeeds of his two brothers. One was responsible for a large number of abductions and killings and the other for looting the country. These two caused the downfall of Mahinda Rajapaksa.
One of his brothers, who was the organizer for the Gampaha District, wanted to keep me away from the last Presidential election campaign and appointed two more organizers for the Kelaniya electorate which is a small area. I quit the election campaign and I supported no one. The same person, over the years, plotted against me and created misunderstandings about me in the minds of other politicians of the area. That is why I do not have any regard for the brothers of the ex-President.
Although those two brothers held high positions in the government, none of them held Sri Lankan citizenship. They are American citizens. They neither feel for the country nor its people. That is why one of them left the country as soon as the Presidential election result was announced.
Although I reprimand them, I still hold Mahinda Rajapaksa in high esteem.
?Why do you speak ill of the SLFP and have a high regard for the UNP?
A: I detest the SLFP for the injustice the Party has done to me. But the UNP is a first rate political party. It has an exemplary leadership. The leader of UNP is highly educated and hails from a sound family background. He is wise and has long-term vision.
He does not show hostile reaction to his opponents.
When I underwent tough times under Sirimavo's regime, I quit the Party and joined the UNP. I contested and won the election in Tissamaharama.
However, when former President Chandrika Bandaranaike wanted me to join hands with her, I deserted the UNP though Ranil Wickremesinghe kept asking me not to leave. I regret that decision.
?Are you planning to contest elections under your new Party? If so, which electorate would you choose to make your comeback, Beliatta or Kelaniya?
A: I am undecided whether to engage in politics again. I wish to remain the President of the Party that I form.
?You talk good about the UNP and its leadership. Do you intend to form an alliance with the UNP?
A: I have no right to decide on that on my own. If there is any opportunity of that nature, I will have to consult the members of the Party.
Proposed crippling countrywide strike TO SAVE ECONOMY, ASSETS, NATURAL RESOURCES– D.J. RAJAKARUNA
Weather Today 1373
- Venezuela’s collapse and its impact on the region 3605
- Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe crisis and the executive presidency Use your powers, Mr. President 4431
- TELO Suspends Deniswaran 3261
- 27 Indians rounded up in Jaffna Group included 19 Soothsayers 3239
- Lankan students at CERN Programme 3386
- Gold smuggling bid thwarted Indian and 3 Lankans nabbed 3277
- Uma Oya waste pollutes Wellawaya CHR complains to authorities 3219
- Farewell to Army Commander 3235
- To return to politics or not Tissa’s decision after polls announced 3235
- Face-lift for Thileepan monument Damaged by various parties 3279
- Pre-historic rock bed discovered Found in Opanayake cave 3269
- 20,000 jobs for graduates – Ranil Calls for assistance to develop country 3195
- JO mulls attending SLFP Anniversary MR yet to receive an invite – Zoysa 3208
- Police hunt for Tuition master CID takes over leaked paper probe Father and brother arrested 3197
- President’s directive on drought relief Dry rations for affected persons 3194
- Voter drop in Colombo – EC 3198
- No legal provision to set up Spl Court – BASL 3520
- Advocating corruption court Ajith trying to make PM happy – Namal 3606
- MR tells SLFP & UPFA MPs: Oppose New Inland Revenue Bill 3200
- Rajitha urges Ranil: Reopen Avant Garde case 4027
- Prevalence of wasting SL third highest Result of acute food shortage 3558
- In The Shadow of Weimar:Understanding America’s Blossoming Domestic Terrorism Problem 3627
- FROM THE UN TO THE ASIAN SUPER POWERS DAUNTING CHALLENGES FOR THE NEW FOREIGN MINISTER 3641
- The true motive behind India’s Investment in MRIA 3457
- Risks of consuming Genetically Modified Food 3378
- The march of folly Better service through local empowerment 2812
- Therapeutic properties of mangoes 2331
- New trio to handle middle-path foreign policy, friendship with all 2886
- Mixed reaction to ‘bus priority lane’ 2062
- Why jo remained in CA 2201
- SL Coach blames selection policies 2828
- Asian Sevens Series first leg Muthuthanthri set to take over 7s captaincy 2804
- Malinga is a bit ‘old’ now – Dhawan 3857
- Brathwaite reported for suspect action 2808
- Pakistan to host World XI, Sri Lanka and West Indies 2812
- Fan protests and security jokes rock Dambulla 2823
- ‘Singer Cup’ Under-15 Division II Cricket Semi-finals today 2797
- 2nd Matara Super League T20 Servatius Green emerge champions 2799
- X Pro Academic looks to repeat performance 2795
- Farah motors home in victorious adieu 2797
- Wear and tear of joints at a glance 2662
- The quest for peace:Let us not ignore crime’s impact 2376
- Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Gambit 2692
- Mother and son die in electrocution horror 2690
- The day JRJ survived an assassination attempt in Parliament Recollection of a miraculous survival! 2000
- media sensationalizing Crime in Jaffna – Reginold Cooray 2191
- I believe that the current minister of justice must resign – Ashu 2703
- Students won’t give up till demands met – Lahiru 3792
- Thai firm to build 2713
- 2019 FDI target $5B Expectation lowered to $500M this year 2714
- New Pharma Chamber President urges public-private collaboration 2704
- CBSL appoints new Deputy Governor 2852
- LPG prices to increase? 2727
- Inflation stays at 6.3% in July 2712
- Regime change has failed biz expectations 2699
- Lanka IOC wins Best Employer Brand Award 2696
- Money printing costs fall despite increase in stock 2701
- Shares start week in the red 2701
- Political administration Adopting a holistic approach 1263
- A time of gifts Staying on 1598
- Manuka honey:The superbug killer 2578
- An app that supports your healthy living 806
- A traditional treatment for Diabetes 1211
- Food for people with ‘cholesterol’ 1206
- Ayurvedic Treatment for kidney stones 1200
- Treatments From ‘Hathawariya plant’ For childless women 1192
- prelate who promoted Buddhist studies in British era 1866
- Principles underlying planetary combinations Understanding and Interpreting their results 1861
- CAUSE OF DEATH- 2 1847
- How to identify 22nd Derkanadhipati 1829
- Shadow planets transit new Houses 1836
- Cinema of Attraction 3617
- The global and local in Hong Kong cinema 3676
- Pakistani Cinema Had Its Own Way of Looking at Partition Too 3365
- Locarno: Sri Lanka’s Sky Entertainers Presents Lineup at Open Doors Lab 3459
- Fitting Social critique 3937
- Collection of critical essays 3334
- Knowledge on the go 1222
- Anxiety: the 21st century pandemic 1377
- Prawn farming – a delicious destruction 1257
- When you hit rock bottom 1284
- Electronic waste – a looming threat 1218
- The humble roti revamped 1225