Feb 04, 2017

Was the Kothalawala Medical Faculty approved due to fear? Featured

The South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) is not the only private medical college in the country, but when the Kothalawala Defence University Medical Faculty was established no one objected due to fear of the then Defence Secretary, said Minister of Higher Education and Highways and Leader of the House of Parliament, Lakshman Kiriella.

The Kothalawala Defence University Medical Faculty is also a fee levying institute, he said.

The Minister made these comments at the registration of students for the English course in Anuradhapura, yesterday.

He pointed out that irrespective of whether anyone approves or disapproves of the court decision on SAITM, they must accept it.

Expressing his views further he said;

Those opposing have not sought legal action: 

Today many are protesting and organising marches against SAITM which was in fact commenced during the previous regime. A group of students who passed out from the SAITM medical college filed a case in court and the court has delivered its verdict.

Irrespective of whether we approve or disapprove of this court decision, we have to accept it. No one objected to SAITM at the time it was established. Neither have they sought legal avenues against it. From 2011 at the time SAITM was established to date no legal action has been initiated against SAITM.

During the previous regime no one dared to object to the establishment of SAITM nor its existence due to fear of being abducted by white vans.

 Don’t become pawns:

Even the Kothalawala Defence University Medical College is a fee levying establishment. Now everyone is openly talking about standards.

I ask all medical students not to become pawns of anyone. If private medical practices are acceptable, then why is it that private medical education is not acceptable? This is nothing but a big joke.

Today there is a false belief that only the brightest of students gain admission to universities. This is a misconception. In fact it is the arts stream students who are the best because they are the ones who obtain the highest scores in the country. There is no quota system for them.

However, for the science stream it is only 40% that gain admission, while 60% gain admission according to the quota system. The quota system has been given to the remote areas.

I am not saying that this system is bad. In fact it is a good system where even the children from these remote areas are given the chance to higher education. We have not stopped this system.

What a joke

A student from Colombo who obtains three A’s cannot enter the Medical Faculty. Yet, a student from Hambantota who obtains three S’s can enter the Medical Faculty. Today we must take note of these students who are deprived of the opportunity of getting into the Medical Faculty even though they have received three A’s.

Sri Lankan students spend Rs. 7,000 million annually for foreign degrees. Hence, why is it wrong to avail these students opportunities to study in this country and qualify. In fact, I don’t see anything wrong in establishing private universities.

No cuts

Today, there are many misconceptions being spread for political gain. Refusing to adhere to court orders is contempt of court and an insult to the judiciary. Don’t these people know that?

Many of those who are instigating trouble think they are intellectuals. If they are, then they should be law abiding and have respect for the judiciary. On the contrary those who are instigating trouble are people without decency.

I insist that we will not stop the free education system. It was the UNP that initiated free education in this country. WE will nourish it and make it stronger.