|Mervin Silva following a brawl with the employees of |
state-owned national television
Thirty seven liquor outlets in the electorate have now remain closed in fear of Mervin Silva's rogues.
This ex-Minister Mervin Silva is famous for his notoriety. He was reported a close associate of a person called Kudu Lal, a top level drug peddler who had to flee the country amidst government's proclaimed war against underworld. Media reported that the ex-Minister personally escorted Kudu Lal to the plane to prevent him from being abducted.
Silva was at the bottom of the preferential votes list of Colombo district with just around 2000 votes at 2004 general election. But then President Chandrika Bandaranayaka Kumarathunga appointed him to the country's legislature via national list and he was later given the portfolio of non-cabinet Minister of Labor. He is a person who can scent the political winds very well and he shifted allegiance towards Rajapaksa camp at right time.
In 2010 general election, he was given well over 100,000 preferential votes by the voters of Gampaha district. Now, he is slated to a cabinet portfolio despite all his fame for notoriety like intimidating the media persons.
'Mathata Thitha' alias no liquor policy is hyped under Rajapaksa regime. But in 2008 alone the government issued 36 new liquor sales licenses. All propaganda against liquor just caused 2% drop of hard liquor sales in 2008. But beer consumption increased by 15% increasing the overall consumption of alcohol. These are according to the statistics of the Excise Department. But the major liquor trade among the poor masses of Sri Lanka is Moonshine that has less control of state.
In 2008, government earned Rs. 27.44 billion from excise taxes. This is an increase of three billion rupees compared to the previous year. Excise tax is still one of the major source of state revenue.