Mervyn or mosquitoes; which one is more menacing?

by Pearl Thevanayagam

(December 01, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) I am not sure what it is but among all the ministers in the Rajapakse Government the only honest and straightforward one is Dr Mervyn Silva. I am dead serious when I say this. He calls a spade a spade although he equates journalists with his pet menace the mosquitoes. Both are such irritants you cannot ignore. Just when you think they are a spent force one keeps buzzing into your net no matter how much you secure the four corners and inveigle the book you hope to read in peace.

I searched through the Smithsonian Institute which researches into anything from cancer cure, Aids and a myriad of illnesses and it also has a plethora of flies including mosquitoes. It failed miserably to find researchers who could annihilate the mosquito menace. Okay, if you cannot win over the mosquito you could at least find ways to avoid it inside your mosquito net should one surreptitiously find its way into your sleeping abode.

How do you attack this vicious mosquito? You stretch out your hands and once you are within reach of this pesky insect you bring them down simultaneously but it veers off having the seventh sense that its life is in danger. You have lost the will to sleep or concentrate on your book for the night.

Arabs may sit alongside Israelis, North Korea agree to hold talks with South Korea and the LTTE could negotiate with the Sinhala government but I am not willing to concede even an inch of my sacrosanct bed with mosquitoes or Mervyn; equally irritable pests.

This is a conundrum that I have to face come rain or shine. I am not willing to share my space with a humble but menacing mosquito.

Then something like a buzz awakens you from your blissful night and you feel you are not alone. You are sharing your privacy with that pesky mosquito. Mahinda should know; having got Mervyn in the cabinet he is going nowhere until he goads you into reminding him he got his hooligans to vote for him and God forbid he lets you forget it.

For a brief period he was made the media minister and he proclaimed he would forfeit his wife in bed to accommodate journalists’ call any time of day or night. He even chose to make Kelaniya an alcohol-free zone although he is not averse to turning a blind eye to kudu mudalalis who are his strong vote pullers. My heart bleeds at the thought.

Dr Mervyn Silva who had the fairy godmother bestow on him this title would be hard pressed to know what this doctorate is all about. He would be groping in the dark to find out what all this fuss is about with regard to Harvard and Princeton or Oxbridge but he would swear by the Almighty and Lord Buddha he could give these hoity-toity doctoral fellows a run for their money.

When Mervyn said he knows who killed Lasantha Wickrematunga he was not in jester mode. The bugger was dead serious. But he desisted from saying that he had a good knowledge of who bumped him off.

Now the President has appointed him the Minister for Public Affairs. The public likes a villain and a villain who endears himself to the public. And our Mervyn fits the bill. He does not fanny about aka GLP or other sycophants. Yet the President is in awe of this unruly brat. And quite rightly so. By God and Almighty Mervyn delivers which is much more we can say for the others in the cabinet.

GLP, Rauf Hakeem and JVP cross-overs have their eyes set on where they could muster most power but Mervyn stands by his master cum King incumbent and he would move heaven and earth to make sure Mahinda reigns till kingdom come. He is the salt of the earth and he is an embodiment of all that is reminiscence of the common man.

Mervyn carries his roguery with aplomb; strip him of his roguish veneer he still remains an enigma endearing to the downtrodden, hooch imbibing but otherwise temperance adhering Sinhala Buddhist common man.

Now Mervyn is the last person you would invite to a diplomatic do. He may call upon the waiter proffering ice cubes to cool his piping hot soup instead of mixing a whiskey on the rocks. He would not know a soup spoon from a dessert spoon and he would scoff table manners to start off with pudding instead of soup. But he would have the diplomats in stitches with his endearing conversation how he tied a trade unionist to a tree and how he demolished the state TV just because it lampooned him.

Although I do not approve of the bunch of jokers in the Mahinda cabinet Mervyn is someone the President should not antagonize. Give him a job and he will deliver with or without his goons. He is but the salt of the earth. Mervyn is the man who the voters will listen to and he is no racist. Has anyone heard him badmouth Tamils? No. Tell a Friend