Even though Prof. Carlo Fonseka is now against the SAITM and private medical education and he actively participated in many anti-SAITM and private medical education protests recently, under the Rajapaksa regime he wasn’t against them according to a leaked letter written by him to the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
In a letter dated July 10, 2014 Prof. Fonseka wrote to Mahinda Rajapaksa: As I briefly told you during our telephone conversation recently, Dr. Neville Fernando’s enterprise called the South Asian Institution for Technology and Medicine (SAITM) at Malabe appears to be pursuing a course of activities which is almost certain to precipitate sooner or later a major crisis in the country. Dealing with this crisis will stretch government’s disaster management skills to breaking-point. For one thing, the crisis will seriously compromise Your Excellency’s vision of making Sri Lanka an education hub in South Asia”. (see the letters below). Then he correctly predicted the present crisis, and went onto suggest to appoint a Special Presidential Committee, with the powers of a Presidential Task Force, to monitor SAITM activities.
He only considered the quality of the medical education provided by the SAITM. He said; If Your Excellency asks me to tell you in one sentence what I consider to be the real problem at SAITM demanding urgent solution, my answer is this. There is reliable information that SAITM with a total teaching staff of 67, and a free-levying Teaching Hospital of 250 beds with a bed-occupying rate of about 15% had enrolled ( at excessively high fees) 938 students by end of 2012. (In our state Medical Faculties, Whatever there other short-comings may be, there are a large number of patients in our hospitals for students to learn how to diagnose illness and treat patients. That is why Sri Lanka has a well-deserved reputation for producing quality doctors.)