Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Mervyn Silva phenomenon

The reported cases of dengue is said to be about 26000, of which about 175 were deaths.

Dengue fever which has taken an epidemic proportion in Sri Lanka is being swept under the carpet of Mervyn Silva phenomenon by the opposition political parties to inform the people and the international community through their press conferences , the inaction of the President and the Government to bring under control an eccentric Minister, as there is nothing more important than that happening in Sri Lanka.

The disaster that is being caused by dengue fever is no more the concern of the opposition political parties.

Undoubtedly Mervy Silva’s antics have taken a significant dimension that demands intervention of the Government and the President to prevent him from continuing his erratic behaviour in his own interest, and that of the President and the Government.

Mr. Silva seems to be showing an unusual inclination, to come into the limelight by resorting to actions that are unorthodox, and objectionable hoping for public acclamation, caring less if the sort acclamation turns to condemnation. Even if the epithet Court Jester seemed appropriate in view of his pranks, they are far from being intelligent and lovable as those gaucheries of Andare- the legendary Sinhala Court Jester.

The court jester or not, it is time that Mr.Silva is castigated for his foolish activities, and put a stop to them, as it has become a nuisance for the general public, and a means for the political opponents of the President and his government to make capital of the situation, to denounce both the President and the government for harbouring an individual not fit enough to be a Minister.

The critics of the President take his inability to put Mr.Silva in his place, as a weakness of a National leader on whom the people have placed their highest expectations to develop the country, and bring prosperity, peace and happiness to the people . The people expect the President to maintain decorum among his Minsters, and those around him.

Mervyn Silva perhaps deserves sympathy, as his behaviour pattern is not of a normal person. He seems to take what is irrelevant, for relevant, and what is annoying and foolish, for amusement and wisdom. Mr.Silva seems to think that he is capable of doing in his own way what the Government is not capable of doing through legislation. Therefore he does what he thinks is correct. He acts without wise attention without reflecting on the consequence of his act.

That is why on the face of it Mr. Silva’s objectionable act of tying a government officer to a tree seems to be his way of driving into the minds of the public servants the necessity to be alive to problems that require their attention, and their service to the public should be their primary concern. But he unfortunately acted without wise attention, without reflecting on the consequences of his act.

In the Sabbasava Sutta the Buddha instructing the Bikkhus on the abandonment of taints says “………Bikkhus an untaught ordinary person , who has no regard for noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, who has no regard for true men and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, does not understand what things are fit for attention and what things are unfit for attention. Since that is so , he attends to those things unfit for attention and he does not attend to those things fit for attention….”(MN.2. Tr.Bikkhu Bodhi).

There is no reason that Mervyn Silva should be excused each time he does some thing that damages the reputation of the President, and the government amoung the people, and gives the opposition political parties to discredit the President and the Government for the acts committed by him.

He should not be allowed to be the Biblical prodigal son who feasts on the fattened calf. But the situation has to be assessed from the several instances of his infractions, and action should be taken to stop a repetition, by sending him before a board of psychiatrists if necessary to evaluate his mental condition.

That would be a service not only for the people of the country who have placed their trust in the President and the government for wise rule, but for Mr.Mervyn Silva himself, as he is certainly suffering from an ailment he is not aware of, and which requires treatment.

It also would help the Opposition political parties- the UNP and the JVP to cooperate with the government to find an immediate solution to rid the country of the menace of the Dengue fever, instead of deviating to discredit the President and the Government, to hide their own political nakedness.

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