Parents of state medical students to file complaint with Bribery Commission

By Kaumadi Punsaradevi

The Parents’ Union of State Medical Students (PUSMS) would file a petition with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) against the alleged corrupt conduct of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) with regard to enrolling of students to the SAITM (South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine), spokesperson to the PUSMS Wasantha Alwis said yesterday in Colombo.

Accusing the UGC and the MoHE of shirking their responsibilities and allowing ineligible students to be admitted to the SAITM to study medicine, Alwis said the two institutions should take the responsibility for plunging the higher education sector into the current turmoil.

The spokesperson said the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) had recently been advertised for immediate sale by Dr. Neville Fernando. He condemned the government’s decision to allocate nearly Rs. 3,000 million to that institution.

Alwis said the government should be held accountable for blindly attempting to fund Dr. Fernando’s company and assist it in paying its debt amounting to Rs. 2,500 million while duping the public and undergraduates of state medical faculties into thinking that the NFTH belonged to the state.

Member of the PUSMS Asoka Ranwala alleged that among the 961 SAITM undergraduates there were nearly 40 students who had passed only the GCE O/L examination.

The SAITM has denied the allegation as false propaganda to discredit it.

Referring to the proposed absorption of the SAITM undergraduates into the Kothalawala Defence University Medical Faculty, Ranwala said that a group of SAITM undergraduates who feared their elimination from the KDU medical degree course due to lack of qualifications were backing a government decision of set up a SAITM-KDU hybrid medical faculty.

PUSMS spokesperson Alwis warned that some extremist groups with ulterior motives could be waiting to lure state medicos back on to the streets if the government failed to resolve the SAITM crisis soon.

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