by Kusal Perera
Latest news on Mervyn caught every one off guard and in total surprise. There were frantic calls on Tuesday night by many who wanted to know, if the news was right. Some one left a comment for an online news on Mervyn’s removal that said, “Don’t do this. This would rob us, of our popular Sri Lankan identity.”
All that said, the Rajapaksa regime is duly acknowledged for its decision to remove Mervyn Silva from his Deputy Minister’s position and from the SLFP membership. For once President Rajapaksa has shown he is willing to concede to public pressure to politically punish one of his veteran foot soldiers, for doing things too shoddily and to arouse public anger.
This nevertheless brings out more issues now that leads to other logical conclusions, the Rajapaksa regime would not be happy about. Removing Mervyn Silva from his Deputy Minister’s position and from SLFP membership, only proves that President himself had accepted, Mervyn did commit an offence that can not be ignored, as he did when Mervyn stormed the Rupavahini Corporation in 2007 November. It is good, the President accepts it so and it is good too that Mervyn is punished within the political system.
But now, what of his parliamentary seat ? If, as revealed by “Lankapuwath”, Mervyn Silva has been removed from his SLFP membership, he automatically ceases to be a member of the UPFA too. Once he looses his membership of the UPFA from which party he was nominated for the 2010 April parliamentary elections, he ceases to be an elected Member from that list of nominees to the Gampaha District, according to Parliamentary Elections Act No. 01 of 1981 as amended thereafter. Preference votes gained, loses all validity and count, once a candidate loses the political party membership, on which he or she collects those preference votes from.
Therefore, as Secretary (General) of the UPFA, Susil Premjayantha has to inform the Commissioner of Elections of Mervyn Silva’s removal from the party and request for the appointment of the next person in the UPFA list on preferential votes, as MP of Gampaha district. If that does not happen, then it would create a conflict in parliamentary law and would amount to Mervyn Silva as a delisted person, enjoying parliamentary privileges. Any elected MP could therefore raise this issue as a privileges issue, at any parliamentary sittings.
From Mervyn Silva’s side, he could go to Courts asking for an injunction till a ruling is given on his removal. That has many precedents already created, on which he could stay as a MP.
While citizens could wait for a few more days to see the outcome of Mervyn’s political influence in this Rajapaksa regime, President’s decision to remove Mervyn from his Deputy Minister’s job, proves Mervyn has committed an offence that President this time can not ignore. That therefore demands an answer as to why no legal action has not been taken against Mervyn to date.
As every ordinary citizen understands, Mervyn Silva has to be arrested and produced in a Court of Law for the criminal offence committed against the Samurdhi employee in Kelaniya, on 03 August. Witnesses if necessary, could be the police men who were there at the time of roping the Samurdhi employee. With President now accepting Mervyn’s offence, the next logical step should be to initiate legal action, at least now.
This has to be the next issue trade unions, political parties and concerned citizens should raise, immediately. With too many Presidential pardons granted before, the President can not now compromise on his own decision, having accepted Mervyn as continuously breaching the law of the land.