6 February, 2023


Flirting With Contempt Of Court: Tragic Jokers of Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital 

Dr. Susitha Senaratne, quasi Director of Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital (SJGH) and Dr. Athula Kahandaliyanage, Chairman SJGH have been consistently scheming and manipulating the process of implementing the Court verdict CA WRIT 184/2018 in an underhanded and illegal fashion with the blessings of Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns. 

Dr Susitha Senaratne, Rajitha Senaratna and Dr Athula Kahandaliyanage

Dr. Susitha Senaratne, ordinary medical officer of Lady Ridgeway Hospital is nothing but a political acolyte and a stooge of Rajitha Senaratne. He was illegally appointed to SJGH in the aftermath of the formation of the Yahapalana government in violation of the common law and the all the administrative procedures including the release from the Public Service Commission. 

Colombo Telegraph has exposed in the past the stark violations of this appointment along with the financial corruption committed by Senaratne as the quasi Director. He was also appointed as an ‘administrative consultant” to Lanka Hospitals where Lanka Hospitals paid him Rs.1 million to study an online MBA from the University of Adelaide. This claim was verified by Senaratne to Colombo Telegraph. 

In the aftermath of a nurses strike which was compounded by support from other categories of staff, where the hospital came to a standstill for ten days, two employees challenged the legitimacy of the illegal appointment of Senaratne. 

The court of appeal in its verdict No: CA WRIT 184/2018 specifically states that the quasi Director Susitha Senaratne cannot attend Board Meetings henceforth. Further the verdict clearly states that the position should be advertised within one month of 18.06.2018 and that a DULY QUALIFIED Director should be appointed following application.  

Contempt Of Court: Plan A – Attempts To Scrap PGIM Qualifications

Ever since this verdict was issued Susitha Senaratne and Athula Kahandaliyanage have been acting in the most deceitful and underhanded fashion lobbying with specialists and trying to create an illusion of support for the quasi Director. Prior to a specialists meeting held on 22.06.2018 Senaratne spent hours calling and lobbying with the specialists to agree to get a common letter issued in his support to tout for political support to sneak back in to the position.

It is reported that at this meeting several specialists were touted by Senaratne to convince the forum that recognized qualifications offered by the Post-Graduate Institute of Medicine are not needed to be Director SJGH, thus attempting to pave way for Senaratne’s online MBA to be included in the required qualifications. However with the large dissent shown by the majority of the specialists who claimed that the law of the land and not individual customization of Schemes Of Recruitment should prevail, this move was aborted. There was no consensus to support Senaratne’s illegal attempts by the rest of the independent specialists. It was also pointed out that where a court order prevails the individual personal views of specialists do not matter in the eyes of law and would be viewed as contempt of court. 

The Lawful Stance Of the Management Services Department

The Director General Management Services Department in his letter dated 21.06.2018 has clearly informed the Chairman SJGH to abide by the Medical Services Minutes of the Sri Lanka Health Services stipulated by the Extra  Ordinary Gazette of 1883/17 when considering the required qualifications for Director SJGH. We produce the letter below.

Contempt Of Court: Plan B- Kahandaliyanage- Senaratne Sneaking Behind The Board 

When their first attempt at the contempt of court failed, Kahandaliyanage and Senaratne ventured Plan B where Kahandaliyanage attempted to manipulate the order given by the Director General Management Services Department by sneaking behind the Board in writing a letter dated 26.06.2018 requesting the Management Services Department to sanction the inclusion of unrecognized qualifications for registered medical practitioners in to the Scheme of recruitment for Director SJGH. 

He has included falsehoods in that letter where he has stated that specialists have been recruited to SJGH under similar circumstances. He also indicates that in view of the financial viability that SJGH wants to achieve this illegal move is needed. However Colombo Telegraph has exposed the deterioration of the financial status of the hospital under the current management where it is running at a loss of 4 million per day.

Contempt Of Court: Plan C – A Bandwagon Of Stooges Go To Rajitha Senaratne

Dr. Prabhath Werawatte

Senaratne-Kahandaliyanage engineered a desperate Plan C where he got 21 servile ‘managers’ who have been given irregular allowance inducement up to Rs 30,000 to their salary by illegal means to sign a letter pleading with the Minister of Health to retain the current quasi Director. These persons include the Chief Matron and three other matrons who themselves are irregular appointees to their positions. The insiders of SJGH claim that the most shocking signatory to this letter is Acting Deputy Director of SJGH Dr. Prabhath Werawatte, a qualified professional in Medical Administration assigned to SJGH by the Ministry of Health. 

Werawatte, who is a professionally qualified Medical Administrator must be the only Deputy Director of a teaching hospital who is more qualified than its Director who is a mere medical officer and a political stooge. It is interesting to note that even he who has professional and legal insight in to this stark and shameless administrative irregularity against his own specialty has place this signature to this letter full of emotional appeals, illegal and irrational justification of retaining a completely unqualified political stooge in a responsible position. We produce below the illegal document in full: 

Contempt Of Court: Plan D – Entangling The Specialists In The Mess

In a backdrop that all plans of deceit are crumbling Kahandaliyanage and Senaratne have engineered one last desperate attempt of Plan D to drag the specialists of SJGH to the feet of Rajitha Senaratne to coerce them to make a similar appeal as the ‘managers’ to retain Senaratne illegally by amending the lawfully approved qualifications. We produce an image of the email circulated by Kahandaliyanage stating that “The Hon. Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine has AGREED (emphasis- Ed) to meet the Consultants of Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital at 3.00 PM on Wednesday”. 

Kahandaliyanage’s Role As A Liar

When inquired by Colombo Telegraph Kahandaliyanage categorically denied trying to manipulate the course of action ordered by the judiciary. “Regarding the Directors appointment what the court has ordered was carried out by me as ordered by the Board. I will refrain from commenting on it. If there is contempt let the court handle it,” he said.

We produce the extract of his email to Colombo Telegraph below.

“This is in response to your mail below which I saw just awhile ago. Thanks for the enquiry made. Appreciate it. What I am giving below is the truth. What you are informed does not seem to be correct. If you need evidence some one can come and verify please.There is no attempt by me to to change the recruitment scheme for the Director post of SJGH. Infact I had asked for a suitable recruitment scheme for this post from DG Management Services by my letter dated 08/02/2018 and a reminder dated 23/5/2018 for which I received the Management Services approved Recruitment Scheme by post, only yesterday, 03/07/2018, delayed due to the postal strike.

“A marking scheme was faxed to me on 22nd July without the recruitment scheme. The original letter of this too was received by me by post only on 03/07/2018. In the absence of a recruitment scheme when I received the Marking Scheme I had to consult DG Management Services about a Recruitment Scheme to suit SJGH as SJGH is not listed in the Medical Services Minute in Gazette No1883/17.  You may find that out if you scrutinise this gazzette. All major Hospitals are gazetted except SJGH.

“However I have NOT arranged a meeting with DG MSD on 04/07/2018. That’s not correct. I do not know whether someone else has requested for a meeting but not me.

“On receipt of the Scheme of recruitment and Marking Scheme from Management Services (MSD) on 03/07/2018 I prepared a Board Paper recommending it to get the approval of the Board at the Board meeting scheduled for 04/07/2018, for both recruitment scheme and the marking scheme sent by MSD.

“Once approved by the Board of SJGH the advertisement would be published using the Board approved scheme in the Sunday papers on 8th July 2018 calling for applications for the post. Even the draft of the advertisement based on the already Board approved Scheme was made ready for Board approval on 04/07/2018.

“I have called my Secretary, Head of HR and Deputy Manager Robertson to get me the files containing the interview documents to get the sample Advertisement and the marking scheme used when Dr Lanerol and Dr Gamage were selected.

“I wanted to present it to the Board on 04/07/2018 for its approval. But when I received the MSD approved documents I decided to submit them.

“I do not understand what you mean by taking Robertson for the meeting. There is no such meeting arranged on 04 /07/2018. Therefore it’s not applicable.

“I have no intention of doing any manipulation to keep Dr Senaratna as Director. I appreciate the good work done by him whilst covering up the work over the last 3 years but that does not qualify him to be given the permanent post at formal selection. The best qualified person selected by the selection Panel has to get the post.

“As Chairman of SJGH I will ensure that the selection process will be done according to the law as prescribed by the courts. There cannot be a contempt of court at any cost. I shall not be a party to keep him illegally. In fact I have discussed this matter with some Board members and have agreed in principle to be transparent in the whole process.”

Specialists Speak: “We Know That It Is Contempt Of Court” 

When contacted by Colombo Telegraph several consultant at SJGH responded. “I am not aware that we requested for a meeting with the Minister for him to “agree to meet the consultants,” one specialist remarked. Another responded: “We never requested a meeting? This is just another attempt by the Chairman and the Director in entangling the Consultants in their mess”. “We do our duty in our wards. The Chairman and the Board should have done their lawful duty. They have failed miserably. Why are they dragging us in to this? They should abide by the law and let us do our job,” a consultant said. It is reliably reported that Kahandaliyanage has summoned another Board Meeting this week to misrepresent facts and lobby for the change of the recruitment criteria already advertised in the newspapers as per the court verdict. It is also reliably reported that the party involved in litigation will be filing for contempt of court following this Board Meeting which is held for the sole purpose of further manipulations. Observers in the Ministry of Health and SJGH are of the view that this fiasco of by Kahandaliyanage and Senaratne to scuttle the process ordered by the judiciary will be a hallmark of the decaying and insincere rule of Yahapalanaya. (By Chinthika De Silva) 

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Latest comments

  • 21

    I have a feeling Dr Susitha Senaratne, Dr Bellanaa and Dr Athula Kahandaliyanage do involve Rajitha Senaratna in their corrupt activities.

    Rajitha is a corrupt person. While being Fisheries Minister he amassed money and bought several ships.

    I’ve heard Sujatha Senarathna, Rajitha’s wife is also very corrupt.

    Note Sashi Weerawanse telephone call, she said Sujatha Akka will ring me soon.

    Shame on you the corrupt Senarathne family shame on you.

    • 4

      I think lanken specialsts behave as if they are untouchable. Theyjust abuse the situatoin in the countrty. They have no enough speicalists. but the bunch avilable are made to be like gods. These men and women got their education thanks to the tax payers funds. Nevethelesss them to behave so arrogant has not been able to control over the decades. Typical developing country behavours. and the genetics of bloody sinhalaya.

  • 11

    We been victims of ‘vertical’ scams. Clumsy. Thought impregnable but cracks showed.
    We are in the era of ‘lateral’ scams. These are sophisticated. Foot-prints are covered.
    In the present case it is the prosecution that has to plead ‘contempt of court’. Who controls the ‘prosecutors’?

  • 12

    One thing for sure that the bonnet of the fella in the middle is to big for him, which is what the general public and media have been telling him all the time. Like the bonnet, their egos too are too big for the good of the nation and the welfare of our health service.

  • 22

    Of late the medical profession in Sri Lanka has become a public menace. Most of our doctors, specialists and consultants have inflated egos because of the lop-sided values we cherish. Our post-colonial mentality and the class-ridden nature of our society put these medicos on a pedestal and now they have become conceited and are a law unto themselves. They have no regard for the ordinary people who provided for their free education with their hard earned money. They neglect their duties and rush to private hospitals to gobble up money. They are not healers. They are mercenaries. The GMOA office bearers who appear on TV quite regularly lack basic civility in addressing public issues. They look spooky. They don’t look like doctors at all, let alone human beings. They stare down at the cameras like common street thugs. I’m referring specifically to three individuals. They know who they are. In more developed countries they’d have been kicked out by now.
    Taking advantage of our corrupt political system these Machiavellian doctors are now pushing their own narrow interests even further threatening the smooth functioning of the health care system as a whole. The standards in government hospitals and clinics are at an all time low jeopardizing the lives of patients. One of the reasons is doctors’ unprofessional behaviour: their greed for money, their disregard for the patients, and their disrespect for the subordinates. The other major factor for this decline is the poor quality of the education and training our doctors are getting nowadays. Again the corrupt medical profession should hold itself mainly responsible for this debacle.
    The worst part is while thus neglecting their duties and ruining our hospitals, the doctor-mafia is now turning to public policy making. People expect governments to formulate policies according to the mandate they voted for. No special interests groups should be allowed to subvert this democratic process and push their own agendas.

    • 22

      This is exactly what the doctors’ unions are doing these days to the detriment of public interest. Not only in matters concerning their profession, they are now dictating to the government how it should formulate policy on a wide variety of issues. They are dabbling in politics at the behest of criminals who have been voted out of power by the people. These doctors are abusing their privileged positions to bring more hardship to the already suffering people by engaging in political strikes shutting down hospitals all too frequently. Do they think they can get away with this despicable conduct under Gotler?

      • 5

        Actually Ajay, it is not the proper doctors that are ruining our health service and to whom you attribute your sharp words. It is the adminstrators and managers that are decorating their names with a Doctor title but do not seem to have even the basic professional qualification to hold those titles. Look at the names and roles of the signatories above that are involved in the scam outlined in the article . Even the minister responsible flaunting his Doctor title, as I understand it, is just a dentist or a vet … I stand to be corrected. I acknowledge that admonistrators need not be doctors themselves, but when it comes to critical decisions that might adversely affect their scams, it is these fake doctors that override advice of real experts, pretending to be more knowledgable of the medical issues concerned. They ensure that their positions in the management are secure and that funds set aside for the welfare of patients and hospitals flow into their private coffers as back payments from contractors and suppliers. That is the only purpose for them. Their stooges are appointed to key nodal positions to ensure they get what they want. It is the same model as that was set for the Great Central Bank Robbery. Real doctors may be reacting to these misdeeds by heir bosses and politcians, in order to draw public attention as they may have no other effective formal and independent complaints investigation procedure.

        • 2

          You may be right. But this nature is common in lanken society. Some country leaders in Europe would no teven add their titles if not questioned. Lankens being awarded even a basic degree become bit swollen. Society has allowed them to behave so. Media men woudl refer even wrongly awarded titles to some men such Mervin the vermin.
          None of these men incl. Health minister should put their titles above the stories. Health minister may be a good man to have achieved a lot in the govt, but he himself is a joker once had been with all the lower leaders in this country.

    • 4

      Ajay, you should write an opinion piece to CT. I have been following your comments. You have a little magic inside you. Cheers.

    • 1

      You have been victimised by a doctor and so angry with them.
      Ok I will ask one question.
      Don’t you want to make your child a doctor?

  • 6

    Oh! What tangled web we weave when we first begin to lie! Whatever be the much said independence of the public service these fellows have to toe the line with the minister. Act like the Minister. Talk like the minister. In other words imitate the minister. God bless Sri Lanka!

  • 4

    The Senaratna’s and Kahandaliyanagamage plus Mgt Services Department and Health Ministry bosses should read the farewell speech of Austin Fernando former Secretary to the President where he speaks of ‘fake hangers -on and the devastation done by them. It is time such hangers-on commit suicide rather than killing SJGH hospital! The article is a treatise on Public Adminstration which should change the course of governance that should change the status of SJGH. Asses Senaratnas and Dr. K must read it and act! CT please send it to them if they haven’t read it!

  • 6

    Shameless Dosthara Mudalali’s,playing around with human lives, for the love of money.
    Have you forgotten your
    ‘ Hippocra..(yts) Oath –
    ‘ To treat the I’ll to the best of my ability-
    To uphold ethical standards..etc’?
    Is your Conscience anesthetized?
    What you are doing makes us sick.

    • 7

      They have taken the Hypocritical Oath.

  • 0

    Busy Man. I am fed many different grass right now, ,no time to read & do analysis of articles to comment .

    I am amused as I hear about new intelligence agents working day & night to spread rumours around the whole world of a innocent man who s clueless why ?

    Some people have all the valuable to waste
    Well man ,the the old saying goes the guilty are afraid.

    And believes everyone’s out there is to get them .

  • 0

    If all this facts are correct (which is not of a surprise) it is just a tip of an iceberg. The whole Lankan system has turned dysfunctional,corrupt to the core and influenced by politicians and their stooges. As a Physician I feel that majority of the Lankan Doctors, health administration, GMOA and SLMC are a disgrace to our profession. The doctors are more and more involved in non medical and money making activities and the so called unions are behaving like the Mafia Bosses dictating terms and holding public for ransom.During my recent trip I again heard a patient admitted to Durden,s hospital with heart attack was posted for an elective procedure/surgery next day, was found dead overnight, while admitted and under observation.This malady is seen mostly in certain Asian countries and even then gradual improvement is seen taking place overtime , except where in Sri Lanka it is now turning into a nightmare.

  • 0

    A little bird whispered in my ear that all the proof presented in this article does not constitute sufficient evidence to bring the culprits to book. Just as in the case of charges against Gota. But that is Sri Lankan Law!

  • 0

    Podi Petiya ,

    Why shoulld anyone read Austin F’s farewell speech.

    [edited out]

  • 0

    As an aside: This is yet another example of corruption/nepotism/impunity.
    Compare the interest shown by commenters on this and on the Ranjan/Sashi telephone conversation!
    Or the fury against Vijeyakala and the lukewarm reception to the Gotler suggestion.

  • 0

    Well when the law and order is broken down the corrupt politicians can do anything and getaway.Sad irony is that.They will never implement law in the country as they cannot manipulate the system as they want.Medical profession is a victim of this widespread system break down.Good doctors nurses allied health care workers provide dedicated service.But it is also a breeding ground for corrupt stooges like this Senaratne fellow.he is ruining this beautiful place which should be a profit making premier institution of the country.The consultants are also concerned about fattening their wallets rather that improving the place and it is going down the hill year by year.when entire system is broken down health profession alone cannot sustain its integrity.It will also decay with time providing breeding grounds for opportunists like this quasi director.

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