The ERPM Mafia run by some of the local doctors charge a minimum of Rs. 1200 per student for a two hour session and one such class in Wellawatte has 400 students. That’s a cool Rs. 480,000 in tax-free loot. This is just one of many classes in Colombo and there are many in the outstations too. Thousands of medical graduates who have been in the worst possible hellholes in China, Bangladesh, Russia, and the former Russian republics are forced in to this torture. The lecturing doctors admit to the students that only a small percentage of them would pass, as there is an agreed quota only to be passed so that they could maintain their status quo. Dr. Palitha Maheepala in a press statement in July last year claimed “Sri Lanka is facing a severe shortage of doctors and needs another 2,500 doctors at least. Currently there is one doctor for 1,350 people and the doctor shortage has been intensified due to the expansion of the health sector”, Dr. Mahipala said. Now they want the SAITM students to join this queue. These mercenary merchants of blood have been amply exposed by the brilliance of some of the students of SAITM.
It is the heart-breaking stories written by SAITM students #mySAITMStory that exposes the tragedy of some of the best brains in our country. A social media campaign to tarnish the image of SAITM by claiming that these stories are written by an advertising agency has hit the anti-SAITM lobby badly, as the stories are genuine expressions of hope and aspirations of our future leaders. Most of them have chosen to stay, study and serve the country as true patriots when they could have chosen reputed universities across the world and opportunities of green pastures upon completion as medical professionals in developed nations. The mySAITMStories are going viral in social media because it is for the first time that these students are challenging the misinformation campaign of the Government Medical Officer Association (GMOA), Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) and the University Students Unions. SAITM is a well-invested commercial project financed by Dr Neville Fernando, and cannot be matched by any private investment that would provide the youth with such educational opportunities. This project is worth every cent that was spent to help realize the hopes, aspirations and dreams of our future generation of Sri Lankan doctors.
Today, the general public has been provided with counter information of the mudslinging campaign of the anti-government forces who are hell bent in destabilizing the country. The Joint Opposition (JO) is threatening to bring together all the trade unions to protest against SAITM. This exposes the Rajapaksa hypocrisy and the political agenda of all those involved.
The Joint Opposition
Mahinda Rajapaksa helped create the SAITM medical school and even gave 10 scholarships to those who could not make it to the state medical facilities. Proof that he fully approved the facility, but now in opposition. This is seen by his so called Joint Opposition as a golden opportunity to destabilize the country so that the FCID investigations, Thajudeen, Lasantha, Ekneligoda murders, etc. and numerous other corruption charges would be shelved. These accusations are hanging like the “the Sword of Democles” on the Rajapaksa family and there is a need to get back to power or threaten to come back to power just to keep themselves away from the gallows. When it is appropriate, President Sirisena may not hesitate to bring the hangman back. It’s time that the Government called the Rajapaksa bluff and listened to these innocent children of SAITM and provide a platform for constructive debate and dialogue on this vital development need of private education. Every year, 80,000 children who qualify their A/Ls are deprived of admission to state universities
Sri Lanka was once reputed to produce some of the best doctors in the world until the system was changed to enter substandard recruits from rural areas. This has destroyed the credibility of doctors as well as made university education a farce. Not all schools in the urban areas can boast of equal standards but the children are placed in the same district ranking, while children from lesser-developed districts get priority in admissions with far less averages.
The outcasts from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and other political opportunists are attempting a regime change through destabilization. The mediocre medical practitioners who are members of the GMOA have come out to oppose private medical education, as it would challenge their comfort zones and private income. They are making good use of gullible university students to meet their ends by getting them on to the streets to protest.