Several medical students have filed an application to intervene in the Special Leave to Appeal matter filed by the Sri Lanka Medical Council stating that the the Judgement of the Court of Appeal affects them as well as the general public. The Application has been made under Article 134(3) of the Constitution.
Dr. Neville Fernando – SITM boss
In the said Petition, the medical students allege that SAITM has conducted itself in a contrived manner to obtain the necessary approvals from the Government and in fact mislead the Government on several occasions.
The Petitioners have alleged that at the time SAITM was set up, it has indicated that it would function as an offshore campus of Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy (NNSMA) and advertised as such, although the Russian Government as well as the Sri Lankan Embassy in Russia has confirmed that there was no such offshore campus registered with the Russian Authorities. In fact, although SAITM has claimed that the NNSMA’s Sri Lanka Campus has approval of SLMC, while only the NNSMA, Russia had such approval.
The Petitioners have further alleged that the present Minister of Higher Education and Minister of Health as well as their predecessors have acted in a manner that has been beneficial to SAITM and the conduct of the present Minister of Health is bias since his daughter-in-law is a current student at SAITM.
The Petitioners allege that Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had rescinded the Minimum Education Standards for Medicine in 2010 without replacing them and several successive Ministers including the present Minister has failed to issue the new regulations to date. This has resulted with the SLMC which registers Medical Practitioners in Sri Lanka, unable to assess whether SAITM complies with any educational standard.
Further, it is alleged that then Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake has amended the Regulations relating to recognition of Degree Awarding Institutes to bypass the SLMC’s approval.
In view of the documents marked to the Petition, the Petitioners have stated that it clearly demonstrate that, the collusive and complicit actions and inactions of the Minister of Higher Education, Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education, University Grants Commission, and the Minister of Health has resulted with SAITM being given legal recognition albeit in a deceitful, illogical and arbitrary manner resulting with grave prejudice being caused to the general public.
The Petitioners have also stated that the Minister of Higher Education, Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education, University Grants Commission, and the Minister of Health have not acted and/or failed to act in a judicious manner, and has acted in a manner that has given preferential treatment to the SAITM, and gone out of its ordinary sphere of activity to grant legitimacy to a process which is demonstrably tainted with illegality and unreasonable and/or wrongful actions.