President appoints new committee to implement SAITM proposals

President appoints new committee to implement SAITM proposals

November 6, 2017   12:42 pm

President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a new committee chaired by Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva to implement the recommendations of the committee previously appointed on the SAITM issue and to consider other issues which have been highlighted. 

The new nine-member committee will be inclusive of all relevant parties including the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) and the university student unions, who will serve as observers. 

A statement issued by the Presidential Secretariat today (6) stated that the committee previously appointed by the President, which was also chaired by Harsha de Silva, to resolve the current issues related to the South Asia Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) had made reasonable and acceptable recommendations.

However, various parties have suggested that further discussions should be held in this regard to enter into a further discussion regarding this matter to raise these recommendations to a higher level acceptable to all the students of the medical faculties of universities, lecturers of the universities, parents of the medical students as well as all the other relevant parties.

The President has decided to appoint a new Committee comprising of all the relevant parties, to implement recommendations made by the previous Committee, and to provide solutions if there are any issues which are not addressed by the previous recommendations.

During a meeting held on Friday (3), between the President and the relevant parties including the Vice-Chancellors of the Universities, Deans of the Medical Faculties, representatives of the Government Medical Officers’ Association, further discussions were held regarding the proposed recommendations. 

The proposed new Committee has the responsibility of updating and implementation of the recommendations already made, while considering the facts presented in this meeting as well.  

After giving due consideration to the steps already taken by the government and the proposed recommendations, if any party/parties feel that there are further issues to be dealt with, they are invited for further discussions. 

The President requests the parents of the students of the government medical faculties and all other parties to extend their cooperation without resorting to sathyagraha, fasts or protests, the statement said.

“The President expects all students of the government medical faculties will take the above positive steps into consideration and will engage in their studies, for the sake of their future as well as the future of the country.”

The committee appointed by the President to implement the proposed solutions regarding the SAITM and to consider the other arisen issues:

The committee consists of:

Dr. Harsha de Silva – Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development (President)
Mr Janaka Sugathadasa – Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine
Mr D. C. Dissanayake – Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education and Highways
Prof. Mohan de Silva – Chairman, University Grant Commission
Prof. Colvin Gunaratne – Chairman, Sri Lanka Medical Council
Prof. Lakshman Dissanayake – Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo
Prof. Sampath Amaratunga – Vice Chancellor, University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Prof. Jenifer Perera – Dean, University of Colombo
Prof. Nilanthi de Silva – Dean, University of Kelaniya

Observers (One representative each): 

Government Medical Officers’ Association
Medical Faculty Lecturers’ Association
Medical Students’ Parents Association

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