Rehan and Malaka
Malaka Silva and Rehan Wijeratne (among others) have been remanded for the assault of an Army officer. Rehan has told his side of the story to The Sunday Leader, which covers up their role in the assault (saying they were attacked first), but still shows the two political sons cavorting quite openly with underworld types. The Island also has an interesting perspective from G.A. Chandraprema, author of Gota’s War, who calls the Silvas ‘exterminators of the Rajapaksas’.
Here are some interesting bits from both articles:
While there Rehan has confided that he had received a call from former casino owner Nalin Fonseka… Entering Fonseka’s penthouse like apartment he claims he noticed two unsavoury individuals appearing to stand guard at the appartment’s rear entrance near the kitchen. They appeared to be acting as bodyguards. However the two men were not in uniform.
Having greeted Nalin Fonseka, Rehan has confided that he spent a few minutes exchanging idle gossip before excusing himself to go back to apartment 15/03. Another individual and underworld character “Konde Chutti” was also present in Fonseka’s apartment at the time. Konde Chutti previously was known to be underworld kingpin Nawala Nihal’s right-hand man. The late Nawala Nihal is a close relative of Fonseka…
One of the men had allegedly approached Malaka and speaking in Sinhalese said, “Umbala me saray chande dinuwata eelanga saray dinnene ne,” (loosely translated meaning, “this time you guys may have won the election but you will not win the next time”).
Malaka had exchanged some words but when it looked like a heated argument was breaking out he had allegedly refused to respond further but walked out of the lobby into the car park area and climbed into the driving seat of his Range Rover vehicle.
Rehan attempted to climb into the passenger front seat while their friends had tried getting into the back. At which point, one of the men – later identified as a corporal in the Army had approached Malaka in the driving seat and grabbing him by the collar of his shirt and said, “Me saray umba ahapang Nalin inne ape patthay” (This time you may think otherwise but Nalin is on our side).
Malaka had attempted to shove him aside.
At which point some of his friends had yelled a warning, “Malaka! balapang mung weapon ekak adda,” (Malaka watch out! He has pulled out a weapon). The boys have since told friends that they had then heard the sound of a weapon loading.
They claim they got frightened that they were about to get shot at, by which time, according to Malaka and Rehan their friends had grappled with the two men who are now known to be serving army intelligence officers. A scuffle broke out and blows were exchanged. The pistol dropped to the floor and Malaka had yelled to his driver who was also present at the time to grab the weapon which the driver did.
Malaka claims he shouted to his driver to take the weapon to the police. The boys speedily left the scene and the driver had handed over the weapon together with the mobile phone of Major Chandana Pradeep to the Slave Island police.
So, essentially, they didn’t start the fire. This is somewhat different to what Malaka was saying:
“When I was about to go home after watching the results, I noticed two persons. I had met one of them several times during overseas visits. He is called ‘Pody Chooty’ and he was with Navala Nihal. I said hello to him. Then, another person came up and asked them who I was. I asked him, ‘Who the hell you are to talk about me like that?’ (Thamuse Kavuda mata Moo Kiyala Kiyanne?),” he said.
Other than such cross talk, he said, there was no brawl. (Daily Mirror)
Then here’s Chandraprema, someone close to the government, on the crux of the matter.
This brings us to the crux of the matter. The night life culture in Sri Lanka is such that it merits a travel advisory by foreign nations warning foreigners never to visit a Sri Lankan nightclub or even house parties. Even in the 1990s, these night spots were a danger to the lives and limbs of patrons with a foreigner being shot dead outside a casino. Once again the main suspect was the degenerate son of a politician. Not only are these places frequented by gun toting idiots surrounded by bodyguards, they are places where cocaine and party drugs are freely available and the Colombo elite is being slowly destroyed by this culture. To be sure there is recreational drug taking in foreign countries as well. There is also binge drinking and casual sex and all that. But in those countries, nightlife does not pose a danger to the lives and limbs of patrons whereas here it does. In other Asian countries, even the red light districts are perfectly safe for local and foreign patrons. (The Island)
That’s an interesting long-read for perspective, as is Frederica’s piece. Malaka has a long history of abuse and violence as well as implied connection with drug trafficking and any amount of unsavories. These guys are all obviously connected with the underworld, but so are a lot of politicians. What’s interesting here is that these connected sons have (finally) been remanded, which is actually unusual. I still doubt that hitting an Army Major is out of the realm of permitted degeneracy, but they do seem to have crossed some sort of line.
The question remains, however, as to what the Army people were doing with known underworld figures, but if this is what it takes to put some sort of break on second generation thuggery in Colombo, then good. When tourists come I do mention that they don’t have to fear violence in Sri Lanka – from the lowliest watte to the darkest street – unless it’s from the politically connected, be they in Tangalle or Colombo nightclubs. Which is not how it should be, but this is what happens when a segment of society is above the law.