SAITM issue Harsha Committee going beyond mandate GMOA

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By 2018-01-03

By Kaushi Sendanayaka

The Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) yesterday accused the Committee, headed by
Dr. Harsha de Silva, of going beyond its mandate and 'strategically' working towards legalizing the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM).

The committee was appointed by the Government to find a tangible solution to the SAITM issue. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge, addressing the media in Colombo, asserted that the GMOA is ready to initiate island wide anti-SAITM action against legalizing its once abolished medical faculty.

Dr. Aluthge pointed out the purpose of the Committee, headed by Deputy Minister de Silva was to take steps towards stating facts to Court regarding the decision to abolish SAITM, the low standards of its education and to present a resolution to distressed SAITM students. Despite this, the Committee has breached the mutual understanding pertaining to minimum standards of medical education by reducing the requirement to two 'Cs' and one 'S' from the earlier agreed mark of three 'Bs'.
Aluthge also pointed out that the GMOA was informed that the members of the above Committee are taking steps to legalize the now abolished SAITM by giving recognition to the medical students' degrees.

Meanwhile, Convener of the Inter University Students' Federation (IUSF) Lahiru Weerasekara, addressing a separate media briefing in Colombo, also expressed similar sentiments against legalizing SAITM again. He stated that the Government has clearly broken the promise given to anti-SAITM movements on 8 November 2017 by taking such action.

Weerasekara claims that discussions have already taken place with the Government to transfer SAITM to the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) in Malabe. He queried as to why the Government would not accept the proposal to transfer SAITM in to Wayamba University of Sri Lanka or to the Sabaragamuwa University when Budget proposals have reserved funds for the establishment of a medical faculty at the Moratuwa University.

He further pointed out that they are ready from house to house, educating the public about the Government's actions to destroy free education and free health services. Weerasekara predicted that this would definitely affect the upcoming Local Government Elections.

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