Did Mervyn do it?

Groundviews.org carried a post which claimed that Mervyn Silva has stated publicly that he was behind the senseless slaying of Lasantha Wickrematunge, the Editor of the Sunday Leader. The post goes on to say that the news site Lankanenewsweb.com, which broke the news, has been blocked in Sri Lanka. Below is a screen shot of the original article. Click it to expand. This is the original URL of the story on Lanka News Web.



Groundviews

“Lasantha from the Leader paper went overboard. I took care of him. Poddala agitated and his leg was broken. Now a fellow in my electorate is trying to stand against me. I now tell him in his own hometown, I will give him only seven more days. If he does not resign as chairman of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha, don’t blame me later on. You’ll don’t find fault with me. If this fellow goes against what I say, I will send him to the place where I sent Lasantha,” Non-cabinet Labor Minister Mervyn Silva stated publicly at a meeting in Hunupitiya, Kelaniya.

Silva had made this statement addressing a gathering at the Jayanthi Mahal Junction at the opening ceremony of a Sathosa outlet in Hunupitiya, Kelaniya on Thursday (9).
The BBC, however, says that the website (Lanka News Web) was blocked because it published a story on Namal Rajapakse - Mahinda Rajapakse's son.

BBC

Paris based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says Sri Lanka authorities have blocked Lanka News Web after the website published a news item on President's eldest son, Namal Rajapaksa.

The RSF has also condemned Namal Rajapakse's alleged seizure of news media videos following an assault by displaced people in Menik Farm camp.

It's getting hard to differentiate the smear campaign on Sri Lanka from the truth these days. Already the connection between Mervyn and 'Lanka News Web' looks to be shrouded with doubt.

What's even more confusing is that 'Lanka News Web' republished a story from another site (Lanka Polity) which refers to it's self as a 3rd party, and accuses the government of blocking their site. They failed to publish their own view.

Lanka News Web

Authorities have also taken steps to block the Lanka News Web(http://www.lankanewsweb.com/) in Sri Lanka since July 11. This site published both in Sinhalese and English post news that thoroughly criticise the government, its allies and the pro-government media. It was started in February and came under criticism from the pro-government lobby since the beginning.
My personality is as such, I always scrutinise everything. So now I need to find the truth. Is there any truth to claims made by the opposition that Mervyn threatened them with the same fate which befell Lasantha? Is there any truth that he was behind Lasantha's death?

It is true that Kelaniya Pradeshya Sabha Chairman, Prasanna Ranaweera's house was attacked. The Island has reported the incident and citing witnesses to the attack.

The Island
Ranaweera told The Island, "We woke up to the sound of shattering glass and then I found shards of glass strewn on my bed."

He said he, his wife and two children had taken cover upstairs. "I immediately called the police emergency number 119 only to be asked to lodge a complaint at the Kiribathgoda police," Ranaweera said.

An eye witness to the incident said; "I heard dogs barking and when I looked out from the window I saw four persons in T-shirts armed with clubs and swords scaled a boundary wall and run towards Ranaweera’s house. Then they smashed windows of the house with clubs. But they didn’t enter the house. I heard cries raised by a female. Her cries woke the neighbours and they rushed to the Ranaweeras’ aid but by that time the attackers had fled."

Labour Minister Mervyn Silva’s media Secretary Dulan Hettiarachchi yesterday denied any involvement of Minister Silva’s supporters in the attack.
Lanka News Web stated 'recorded versions' of Mervyn Silva's acceptance of involvement in the killing of Lasantha was handed to president Rajapakse. Despite having searched for hours, I could not locate a video or an audio clip on line of the event.

Mervyn Silva is an uneducated thug who is not an elected member of parliament, and not the choice of the people. In 2004 he lost miserably in the general elections for the Colombo district, but somehow rubbed former president Chandrika Kumaratunge the right way to get a foot in the door.

Mervyn Silva has a history of attacking journalist. In the video below he is seen attending an opening ceremony for a new highway in Kelaniya. He is informed by one of his aides that a cameraman from Sirasa TV is present. A channel which Mervyn has many disagreements with in the past. Watch what unfolds.



Such is the character of the man in question. He is a loud mouth and an impulsive thug.

Mervyn likes to tell the public that his dislike for Sirasa and other media institutions is due to the lack of patriotism these stations have displayed during Sri Lanka's war against the Tamil Tigers.

He accuses them of favouring the Tamil Tigers and airing a lot of Hindi content on their channels. Which, according to Mervyn, is destroying our values and culture.

The typical right wing extremist. It is not so. Mervyn's gripe with some members of the media has a lot to do with their coverage of him.

Mervyn also knows his own survival in Sri Lankan politics is dependent on how well he kisses ass. He knows if he portrays himself to the rajapakses as a devoted slave who is committed to this nation and the president's family, he gets away with almost anything.

Some believe that Rajapakse is obligated to Mervyn for securing a few thousand votes from Mervyn's hometown and also helping the president with his previous campaigns. I on the other hand feel that Mervyn is just a minor inconvenience that Rajapakse has not bothered with yet.

This master and slave relationship, and Mervyn's constant need to please the Rajapakses is enough of a motive for Mervyn to want to help rid them of the 'Lasantha menace. '

Gothabaya Rajapakse was long accused of being behind the slaying of Lasantha. If Mervyn did it, then there is a good chance it was not under the orders of any Rajapakse. Mervyn is an incompetent fool and nobody in the right mind would entrust him with anything, let alone a hit job.

Could Mervyn have been behind the murder of Lasantha in hopes of pleasing his masters?

I doubt we will ever know. The investigation has stalled. This is typical in Sri Lanka. No one will come forward as a witness. No one is ready to testify and it's not because it's Lasantha.

I lost a friend to an automobile accident. The eye witness who initially told Police he saw a 'hit and run' claimed later he had not seen a thing. It didn't matter that a person died and justice must be served. In this part of the world "everyone has their own problems" and nobody wants to get into "trouble".

The police is just as limited. If Mervyn was behind it, the investigating officer would either have serious threats against himself and his family, or be transferred mysteriously.

All this doesn't necessarily come from the Rajapakses. Corrupt ministers and underworld thugs together make a lethal combination which is as much of a threat to our nation as Prabhakaran was.

This corruption and violence isn't just a Sri Lankan problem either. All developing nations are cursed by it. Abuse of power isn't just a Sri Lanka problem either.

The journalist who threw a shoe at George W. Bush was beaten and tortured. The US did nothing to prevent or stop it.

New York Times
The television reporter who threw his shoes at President Bush was burned by a cigarette in the hours after his arrest on Dec. 14 and was beaten so badly by Iraqi security personnel that one of his teeth was knocked out, the reporter’s brother said Sunday after a visit to the jail.
It's not just journalist who fear for their lives when it comes to Mervyn Silva and his family. Mervyn's son, Malaka Silva, has tormented the Greater Colombo Area for 10 years straight.


Photo courtesy Sunday Leader.

Malaka preys on the innocent and their girl friends. If your at a club and he happens to like your date, he has no issues approaching her and pushing her partner out of the way. His thugs promptly escort you away from the dance floor and the petrified girl is forced to put up with this nuisance. I witnessed this shameful act several years ago.

Malaka, however, met his match when he took on narc. agents on a drug bust. After assaulting on duty police officers, and after a host of other assault charges, he was indicted and a judge banned him from visiting any bars and clubs on the island.

As long as unscrupulous individuals like Mervyn Silva and his son Malaka Silva roam the streets with 'Ministerial powers' and underworld influence, Sri Lanka will never have media freedom, nor will it be rid of terrorism.

Mahinda Rajapakse must act now. Defeating the Tamil Tigers is an enormous feat, but unless he wants his legacy to be marred with charges of murder, he must be open to impartial investigations to clear his name.

He must show the world he is committed to such investigations and he must protect those conducting the investigations.

It will only be a matter of time before the minor inconvenience turns into a major headache.

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