19 October, 2017

My SAITM Story

By Sahani Koralage

Sahani Koralage

Laying their life story bare in public in order to urge a government to take a policy decision is not something any student, studying anywhere in the world should ever have to face. In the face of wholesale lies that’s been spread around, We; the long suffering students of SAITM had no choice but to do this. This post has absolutely no intention of seeking public sympathy and I humbly request all who are prejudiced otherwise, to kindly not read any further.

#MySAITMStory
 #මගේSAITMකතාව

I was born as the first child in a middle class family. Luckily enough, to a father who’d do anything in his power to give his daughter the best life possible and to a mother who’s enlightened thousands of students including me in their way forwards in the academic world.

Both my parents being government workers, their collective salary rarely exceeds 60,000/= lkr per month.

I went to a private Montessori (1996-1997) (fee levying) before starting school in 1998. With utmost difficulty my father managed to enroll me in a then prestigious government girl’s collage. For thirteen years since then, I enjoyed ‘free’ education at Viharamaha Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Kiribathgoda. 
Was it entirely free of charge? No. My father had to spend for various stuff each year.

My parents strongly believed against tuition during the period of my primary education so, as a consequence, I was blessed with the best imaginable childhood filled with storybooks, fruits off the trees I used to climb, skinned knees and a bunch of friends to go crazy with. Up until I finished grade 5 scholarship exam (2002) my parents never made me sit and study anything unless I did it on my own. Having scored 135 where the pass mark was 134, I remember my father doing his first serious talk with me the night of the results day ,amidst the hype of receiving phone calls( 90% of them starting with “අයියෝ අපරාදෙ ටිකක් මහන්සි උනා නම් කොළඹ ඉස්කෝලෙකට යන්න තිබුණා” ) 
[Which I find strangely similar (and just as disgusting) to “අපරාදෙ තව පාරක් කලා නම් medicine යන්න තිබුණා” that I get from many even today ]
But my father told me , “This mark is 100% yours and you have done well. Don’t compare it with anyone elses’ cause your circumstances and theirs are not the same. Just remember a scholarship exam is by no means decisive of your capability. ”

With that planted strongly in the back of my mind I started my secondary studies in the same school in English medium. We were the first batch to face O/Ls under the new syllabus and the second batch of the school to face it in English medium. Teachers were fairly new and for some subjects we didn’t have a teacher for a whole year. I faced my GCE O/Ls in 2008 December and got my results ( 9As) on April 4th 2009 (Yes. After four months, cause our system is ‘that’ efficient.)

By that time I was set up on doing Biology for A/Ls just because I was fascinated by science, specially human anatomy since I was 12 and I loved making my own notes, referring books that were meant for people much older than me. My father wanted me to do languages (Apparently because I kept on scribbling ever since he can remember and managed to secure all island merits in literature and composition) but didn’t force me in to anything. Only thing he said was, “don’t do bio just because you fancy a steth around your neck” which was fine by me since I never had a doctor fantasy ever in my life. My father made me look at it like just another job which is falsely glorified in the Sri Lankan context. I’d rather fancy being a scientist, I told him.

My school started classes for A/Ls in 2009 August (four months after O/L results) I was set to do my A/Ls in English medium as well.(despite the lack of resources in my school) because I was so used to referencing and making my own notes , that it drove me crazy trying to adapt to Sinhala specially when it came to Biology. (by this time, I’ve tried a month of Sinhala medium classes with no luck.) Again we were the first batch to face A/Ls under the new syllabus so our teacher’s guides and curricula came sickeningly late. ( just how efficient the free education system was) To be exact, the chemistry curriculum only came out six months before the exam.

For my A/Ls I never attended a mass tuition class. For two reasons 
1. There were no proper tuition classes in English medium in my area. 
2. I was making my own notes based on the teachers’ guides and curricula.

Nevertheless for biology I had the help of this amazing lady Mrs. Kalupahana and for physics, that of very kind and dedicated sir from St. Thomas’ collage; Mr. Upali. 
I faced my A/Ls in 2011 August and waited for months before the release of results on 26th December, Which was without a doubt, the most epic fail in the history of all results’ releases. Fun fact- I have four different printouts from the doenets.lk website carrying four different sets of results in each. Amongst all the havoc, I applied for biology, applied biology and Indigenous medicine degrees offered by the state with the B,C & S I got that time since there were only two ways I could get where I wanted to go , one being a BSc in biology and a masters in molecular biology leading to a career in medical research the other being an MBBS which can directly lead to a career in medical research. For everything to get processed and for the system to take us in to universities it took forever! I’ve completed my second shy with BBC and CIMA (cert BA ) by the time University of Kelaniya offered me the BAMS degree for free. Even though I’ve already applied for a Russian scholarship for MBBS and for SAITM by that time, I thought I’d give this free degree a try since I loved the field and I could still go in to medical research with that. Got enrolled on 23rd April 2013 and spent three months in pure hell in the name of ragging where there was no freedom of education AT ALL. By this time I’ve received a vacancy for BSc in applied biology at University of Rajarata. I got enrolled there having left the hell hole in UOK and at about the same time I got called in for interviews at SAITM.

My father did his second serious talk with me that night. We’ve looked in to both the applied science degree and SAITM’s MBBS degree and my father was convinced with SAITM having talked to the professors and lecturers there, some of them being his own teachers. They had a fully functioning teaching hospital at the time plus MOHE and UGC recognition. Now there were three options for me at this point. 1. Continue the BSc and hope for the best to have a chance at being a medical researcher which was a very long shot. 2. Take the chance with the Russian schol which would cost less than SAITM but will require learning a foreign language, five plus years in an unknown land with no one to support me and still after all that, the uncertainty with the time factor when it comes to ERPM exams in SL. 3. Do a Sri Lankan MBBS at SAITM. After having looked in to all the pros and cons in All three options we settled for the third. Not because my father could afford the cost of 67 lakhs (as of September 2013) But because like all good fathers he wanted the best for his daughter (He had to sell his only inheritance; a land, in order for the funds to spend for my higher education)

I faced two Interview rounds at SAITM along with 200 odd other applicants and by the time of the third interview which was conducted by the UGC there were only around 150 filtered applicants. The UGC interview finalized the intake for 2013 September which was around 120 students. (Which has reduced to just 98 as of today. So yeah , just because we pay, there’s no guarantee we’ll get an MBBS in return.) 
We started semester 01 on 16th September 2013 and since then I’ve faced a countless amount of OSCEs, Bars, Credits, Semester ends, mids, year ends so on and so forth. (After the end of first semester only I got the rescrutinity letter which made the C a B, just to point out how inefficient and unreliable the system was to me.) Now I’m a 4th year undergraduate, having completed my 1st and 2nd MBs all on first attempt. 
4th is the year in which we start clinicals and as of today, I have spent 6 months in to the fourth year, completed my first internal medicine appointment along with some other short appointments.

I have seen live, walking, talking patients. I have touched blood, sweat, sputum and human excreta without flinching, held the hands of dying patients , gone through the pain of losing a patient and the euphoria of getting a dying one well and about. For the record, I’ve also used rubber models to practice before touching live patients, if that’s a crime as you #NoPMC fellows claim.

Finally, to the one question that I’m certain will pop up in the comments, “Why did you go to SAITM when the SLMC repeatedly put paper advertisements asking students not to?” Here’s why, According to the Medical ordinance under which the SLMC is supposed to function, it has no authority to put such paper notices against a UGC approved medical faculty without substantial allegations reported and proved to the Minister of health. This same SLMC turned a blind eye towards KDU which functions without a hospital of its own up until today. This same SLMC has given recognition to 222 foreign medical faculties while only 77 of them have been evaluated. I can go on and on about the hypocrisy and double standards here. 
The SLMC, if they’ve acted according to the responsibilities vested in them by the medical ordinance, and not outside them. I wouldn’t be here telling you my life story. Taking crap from clueless people day in and day out. Every time I’m called a failure by an ignorant, I have to remind myself of my father’s serious talk number 1 and them of the fact that the GCE A/Ls is , in essence a scholarship examination where a government with limited budget allowance for tertiary education selects 27,000 out of 100,000 to teach for free. Just because this country’s government FAILED to educate every deserving child who’ve secured the necessary qualifications for higher education it DOES NOT mean that child is a failure. Open up your minds just enough to let that sink in. Please. 🙂

This is my story. To everyone who asks me why SAITM? All I have to say is why not?.

May all beings be well !

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Latest comments

  • 38
    40

    I have not taken a public stand on the SAITM issue as I have not been called upon to do so. I don’t agree with the slogan of the state monopoly of education. However I do agree with the position that the Sri Lanka Medical Council’s criteria should be complied with.

    Reading this young lady’s poignant article there is something I can’t figure out. True, only 27, 000 are admitted due to budgetary constraints, BUT those 27, 000 are not arbitrarily selected. They are the top performers. University entrance in Sri Lanka is highly competitive. That being the case, if one has failed to get in, failed to “make the cut”, I’m not sure the right thing to do is to get into another institution and pay your way through; arriving at an end state that you could not reach on a far more level playing field.

    If one has failed to be selected to the faculty of your choice, you have to bite the bullet and accept that you just weren’t good enough or you just didn’t do well enough. And then you should surely accept the course that you were selected for and make your way to your original destination later–if you are good enough.

    If not, even if you go abroad, you will be looked down upon when you return– unless of course you’ve graduated from a reputed foreign university.

    I must confess that I’ve never had the experience of flunking a single exam, and my postgrad work has always been on scholarships, but I write as a product of the Lankan university system (Peradeniya) and a recently retired senior lecturer at the University of Colombo.

    What my father told me when I was a boy is that you first get into a Lankan university, and then if you’re good enough, you get a scholarship and go abroad for your postgraduate studies. I believe those were the right values to impart.

    • 32
      22

      Dr Dayan Jayatilake, you once again can’t see the wood from the trees, just like your stupidity in following MR. Do you know that Sri Lankan universities don’t choose the best but give preference to students from disadvantaged districts. The majority have had much worse results than Sahini, yet you are ready to entrust your health to these hooligans who are more parading on the streets than attending lectures. No, wonder you would be signing for MR for the rest of your life.

      • 19
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        Mr deen
        I don’t know who is stupid here, you or DJ. If you are against taking students from disadvantaged districts you should fight the gov. to stop that. It has nothing to do with SAITM or the SLMC. DJ is talking about the current situation.

        • 4
          2

          Dear Eusense,

          I don’t think that “Marrikar Deen” is faulting State Medical students for having had lower A. Level aggregates than those at SAITM.

          One can come up with pretty good arguments for allowing entry on lower marks to students from Moneragala. The most cogent of them may be that they are much more likely to serve in Kuda Oya than those who’ve been to SAITM.

          No, Deen seems to be critical of them for not attending lectures. It is true that while political views must be acquired while in the University, what now happens is that the majority of undergrads just don’t have the spunk to tell their “Union Leaders” when these latter should stop bullying the docile.

          • 2
            2

            sinhala man,
            Where is your common sense and comprehension of statements?
            what do you understand when Deen says ” Do you know that Sri Lankan universities don’t choose the best but give preference to students from disadvantaged districts. The majority have had much worse results than Sahini…” He is making this statement though the % of district basis intake is so little. He is trying to portray state medical students as bums compared to this girl. This district basis admissions started in 1974. For 43 years no one complained until this SAITM debacle started!

            Why do you think Deen or you have to be concerned about state medical students not attending lectures? It is a free country and It is their prerogative to stand up for their issues anyway they want. If they fail their exams it is they who lose. Who are these “Union leaders” you talk about? I like to know who they are and how you came to that conclusion.

      • 7
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        Stupidity is not knowing “wood from the trees” as stupid people use, against the right usage “wood for the trees”.

        Some peoples’ stupidity is more difficult to remove, than of others.
        That is why they still follow Yahpalanaya!

    • 21
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      Spinn doctor DJ, when would you be free not to mention yours as the standard ?

      How do we know what qualifications your father possessed to generalize it that way ? I think you are totally wrong here. You are unforuntaely, so selfish guy not to see it in a broader manner. Those who know about you can knwo who you really are….. shame on the klind of men,, but wanting to add your thoughts this way.

      Today the nature for average students in getting selected to their choice of subject is highly competitive than had been few decades ago. In your days, at peradeniya, surely, even ones with few ordinary passes could get selected to subject of their interest. So please need to develop being away from your TUNNEL VISION to allow you add constructve thoughts on the issue being discussed today.
      As a former lectuerer dont you think Mr, the placements offered to state medical faculties even by today is much less. Even if the state faculties would double the number, still there are students with 3 A passes to be able to be the best students to allow their choice of courses.- in this case it is medicine.

      I know how my niece the way she faced it lately, even if she got 2As and 1B but being unable to get selected to the state uni.. she felt so miserable. She is no such candidate would want to go abroad for her degree courses either. The kind of students will loose their ambtiions and future plans just because the poor state uni fail to provide even good students a place to study their degree course.

    • 15
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      Dr. Dayan do you know Dr.Padeniya, the GMOA president who is so violent and vociferous now and showing “great concern” for medical standards, passed the efficiency bar exam by pressurizing the Health Ministry to lower the pass marks? While the required mark was 50, Padeniya could only secure 35 marks, it is only by lowering the pass marks to 34, Padeniya could succeed. His mission (perhaps yours too) is to bring back MR regime – perhaps Gota this time, we saw how Carlo Fonseka bent his back side to Gota during a recent event.

      • 2
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        Einstein was no genius in his youth. Some people develop talents later in life. Padeniya may be one of them. By the way, do we have yahapalanaya or nanny state.

    • 13
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      One wonders why Sri Lanka is far behind the rest of the world with this attitude towards progress. So the exceptional students who don’t get a government controlled scholarship to medical college i n Sri Lanka should study abroad and stay out. WoW

    • 11
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      Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka is so very correct!

      Sahani Koralage, Indigenous Medicine would have been of great service to the land. And you were offered multiple fields of study. Somehow, what you say doesn’t add up, and the blame in on the ragging. Surely some bit of ragging can be endured for the sake of the free education, and for the urbanites and elite to see what the masses who get less than RS5,000 a month live by. If you could have used your intellect to tie in these national these concepts together, you would have been like the average American student at public university.

      But worse than SAITM even, is the vast abuse of the countries honorable education systems which strives to be democratically fair towards all sectors of society. Richer urbanite families temporarily place their children in rural or disadvantaged schools for A-levels, so they be counted as disadvantaged or out-station students. As soon as they finish their degrees at state expense, they are the first to take up “saved” money and money from the sale of Lankan property- from Middle-East case money, and come to the West in glory to further their education. Many a Lankan story in the US. Aren’t they ashamed.

      • 2
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        country’s* honorable education systems

      • 12
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        I couldn’t help but feel sorry for you for that thinking of yours ms.RT. “surely some bit of ragging coul cbe endured for the sake of free education”?? Do you have the slightest bit of idea what you’re talking about. Contact the then director of GWAI, UOK; prof. Janitha A.Liyanage to know about the kind of ragging I had to put up with. Don’t pass opinion on things you have no clue about. This is not the childish ‘sing a song’rag I’m talking about. This is physical violence ultimately ending up in death threats that made me leave the ‘free degree’.Shame on you for even suggesting tolerating physical violance.

        • 6
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          I apologize. Yes, it is indeed terrible what you have been through. Law-enforcement and certain regulation to ragging is what is needed. It is a necessary right of initiation for the national spirit. In the meantime, SAITM graduates and governmental uni. graduates should sign pledges and bonds to work country-wide, and especially in the rural remote areas for a few decades- the places where Ranil wanted to send the Indian doctors to.

      • 6
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        Dear RTF,

        Choices had to be made using the knowledge that she had at hand

        Who are we to criticise?

        I’ve been making quite a few comments on these articles focussing on the pathos inherent in them.

    • 5
      3

      You do not seem to know that there is no written down standard by bankrupt and farcical SLMC with high sounding Deans etc. This farce the GMOA is trying to cover up with strikes and accusations as SLMC has now become slave of TU GMOA. Though SAITM complied with Inspection team report, SLMC has never issued compliance certificates to UGC approved locals, but held Act16 ERPM 2 year delaying exam. for foreigns. SLMC automatically has been registering locals even substandard Rajarata and Eastern without any standards. That is why the court verdict of violation of Medical ordinance, directing them to give internship training to legalized SAITM. Covering up and striking is the name of the game. SLMC died. There is no longer honest above board integrity in SLMC to evaluate anything. No written documents which they are now hurriedly trying to pass in Parliament, though SAITM has been requesting these for years. Bankrupt SLMC must now go into liquidation.

    • 1
      1

      Agree.

      Those who mislead by saying that the developed countries allow private medical education to their citizens are wrong. It is extremely competitive and only the very best and dedicated in these countries get in.

      In Sri Lanka it looks like if you have the money and the influence to study Medicine it is deserved even with minimum qualifications. This is wrong at many levels and going backwards in great social progress and upwards mobility of the downtrodden masses which free education offered.

      The doctors in SL have to clean up their act but the powerful, selfish and corrupt with vested interests criticizing them and the GMOA to say private medical education is needed for the country is wrong and dangerous and will have far reaching repercussions.

      If the country needs more doctors (not absolutely sure if this is true) or any other profession, State universities or in partnership with private sector should offer places to next in line on the merit list not just to some brats who cry to their rich parents or because rich parents want to satisfy their ego via their children (excuse my generalization and exaggeration but it will fit some).

      I emphasize there will be many deserving poor, powerless children with great potential so why a select a few who have the money and the power.

    • 5
      1

      Dr Dayan Jayatilleka,

      I’m glad you commented on this “poignant” story. Reading it is an experience, don’t you think? She starts by saying she doesn’t want sympathy, only wants an end to the invidious position that so many are placed in.

      I don’t know all the issues about SAITM. I won’t attempt to understand it all, but I’m sure that there is a good deal of exploitation by those running the institution, and an even greater deal of hypocrisy from those condemning the very concept – while allowing other students to drain the resources of this country by going in to foreign universities.

      It was good to read the views of a man of your calibre. I don’t agree with some of your observations here, but your tone is one of compassion. Good. Much better than your political views!!

    • 8
      1

      Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

      I just couldn’t bite the bullet and accept that I wasn’t good enough seeing some people with less results than mine having done A/Ls from areas where the cut off is less go to med school. Don’t tell me they had lesser facilities than me because I know for a fact that two of those changed the school only to write exams , All their classes and tuition were completed in Colombo.

      I refuse to accept such a flawed system as justice.

  • 12
    18

    Ms Sahini, Yu are being a pawn of the wealthy grups who benefit from the new Z-score system as well as the private universities that are mushrooming in the country,

    Members of a certain hijab wearing Wahabist group now fill the law, medical and arts degree seats at all out state universities. They are also the only oes who can pay for places in privat medical colleges.

    So our country is sliding fast to hell, wih the help of naive like your good self. Please be aware not to become a tool for others.

  • 5
    14

    There are many private medical colleges abroad. Question is whether Sri Lanka also should allow this. There are many things legal in other countries but not in Sri Lanka; prostitution, gay marriage, gambling etc. Our country has its own custom and values. Somebody in 80s allowed importation of three wheeler. Now we have over 5 lakhs. If we allow SAITAN, we will end up with medical colleges under each and every lamp post; all the maskade and malukade mudalalis will give up their job to open a medical college. You will try to buy back your father’s land by over charging patients.

    In my view, Sri Lanka is not yet ready for private medical colleges. It may be possible when our economy grow at 80% to reach per capita income over USD 40,000. Or maybe when Rajapaksas get back power to give free licences and protection to private medical mafias, gamblers and brothels etc.

    • 15
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      Gamaya, you say ” There are many things legal in other countries but not in Sri Lanka; prostitution, gay marriage, gambling etc.”. You must be a real gamaya not to know that all your vices are practiced with state patronage

      • 4
        5

        yes, add SAITM as well…

  • 12
    1

    UGC has a right for approving universities including medical and engineering faculties. SLMC has right to check the quality of individuals (pass out students). If there is common exam (licentiate examination) for both state and private university students and minimum qualification for private university students, this problem can be solved easily. If government take the control of the SAITM, it will help to increase 200 medical students for free. But, people who have money and have minimum qualification go abroad and get medical degrees. Government has to take the policy decision soon. I think UNP, SLPF, TNA and SLMC should support private higher education Act and its regulation. SAITM is first case which can help to establish the private medical education in Sri Lanka. Private medical colleges have right to use public hospital after paying money to health ministry. Everyone wish SAITM will up grade it quality at most highest standard. Otherwise, regulator will cancel its licence.

    • 3
      0

      There should be a standard common examination to be passed by anyone who wish to practice medicine in Sri Lanka – state, private and foreign graduates. Private medical colleges in other countries charge the tuition fee for the final year internship as well and the student can choose to do the internship in an affiliated hospital or any approved hospital. Some universities even allow to fulfill that criteria in the form of electives done in other countries as well. So yes saitm students can be allowed to use the government hospitals and their payments can go towards the improvement of the hospital, facilities and treatments of patients etc.

  • 15
    6

    Dear Sahini

    The Sweet Brave Child,

    Your decision to write an article on why did you opted to SAITM itself says all of it, miss led by circumstances as well as by some ignorance of certain facts at the choosing your carrier. Throughout your article you were very critical of Government systems, such as delay in O/L results, change of Curriculum, delay in information on that and delayed re-correction results information …… it goes on and on critical of Government systems. Then how come you trusted the The Government Statuary Body University Grants Commission on for SAITM alone. You can’t have the Ice Cream and eat it.,BEING CLOSER TO YOUR FAMILY…….I MEAN WHILE PURSUING CARRIER EDUCATION!
    You were critical of UGC as well for the delays in allocation of various faculties of studies – which you have virtually rejected for SAITM. The milk is spilled……..it is very easy to put the blame on others, but you must see how to come out of this mess individually or collectively, rather than tabulating the scores of others’ mistakes, particularly of that of Sri Lanka Medical Council, which is the final authority of Medical Profession, it may be research it may be practice, any child would understand this fact.

    Don’t be miss led by the likes of Assaipillai and Hilmy Ahamed comment s for your article, it appears they also seeking the quickest recognition SAITM by SLMC on the expense of your ill-construed legal “expertise”.

    You and your parents are victims of ill-fated clash of systems UGC ignoring the SLMC before establishing a private medical school, SLMC did its best warn the possible victims.

    For any profession patience emancipates best results, wish you all the best!

  • 14
    7

    I challenge the secretary of the GMOA to reveal his A/L results. He has far less qualification than Sahini

    • 1
      1

      Einstein was no genius in his youth. Some people develop talents later in life. GMOA secretary may be one of them.

  • 15
    1

    Sahani. On the brighter side, you always wanted go into medical research , and not a practicing physucian. The degree you have is good enough for that. Even if you dont have a second class in final exams, you could follow an M phil and continue to PhD if you are serious. SLMC recognition and internship are requirements only for practicing doctors. not pure researchers.

    • 5
      2

      Funniest policy of SLMC is expecting SAITM to obey SLMC, while SLMC is violating the judicial court verdict which can land them in jail. This is a bunch of SLMC comedians setting standards for 2017. Insanely crazy situation except for its tragedy, trying to ruin the lives of youth in SL, who have a right to study here.

  • 8
    1

    Sahani Koralage: Thank you. I once again refer to the paragraph of your presentation starting with ” Finally to the one question that I am certain will prop up in the comments…………..According to the Medical Ordinaace under which SLMC is supposed to function, it has no authority to put such notices………..” If you and the rest of the parents believed that this SLMC violated the so called “Medical Ordinance”, a question should have been raised with SAITM as to its recognition to award a “Degree” that which is not going to be accepted by SLMC. If that important question was raised; SAITM would have been compelled to take up that issue with SLMC and they (SLMC) would also have been compelled to explain matters to the public. Why SAITM kept silent and IGNORED that press notice when in fact it was a stricture against it? I believe SAITM ignored it to their advantage and continued with enrolling the unsuspecting students. That was an opportunity all missed to regularize this issue. That is what I was commenting on. But for those who want to, (like Asipillai ) litter the comments columns with venom can go on and on; but will not achieve any meaningful solution to a problem that has engulfed the country. To Sahani again: What all of you together could have avoided and solved has been allowed to grow to a monster level by your own neglect and silence of compliance with irregular network of profiteers.

    • 1
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      I think it is no fair to put the entire blame on the students. Students are young ones. If proper guidence is no guranteed by the state and most respectable leturers of the pvt college not forgetting UGC, how would the student and their parents know the kind of questions that have arison by today. You yourself once said, your relations too sent the students to the college, what did you do as a step of helping them, if you put the blame only on the student today ?

      Going back to my youth, at the time, we applied for Uni admissions, we had not proper lknoweldge either, but we just relied on the information given by UGC.
      Likewise, I do believe, if a statement published on local news papers by UGC, even if some fractions of the society were against, inncient peoples focus would be on to the one made by UGC no doubt about that.
      Please see it considering the torments those parents and students go through today.
      I am very much into the quality of the degrees – if SLMC is the only body to allow the recognition of the degrees, that should have been guranteed by UGC – without that them to go for selection fo students to the college is a joke really.
      Now the students can stand against the UGC, if they get together. I think lanken courts if they are independent will have to take the side of the innocient youth.
      Besides, these professors should be idiots not to have warned the students and families accordingly. They should have focused on their high pays, being close to MR admnistration.
      Europeans would not get this at all – this issue alone has damaged LANKEN UGC and lanken professionalism too. If the kind of bodies SUCH as UGC acts this irresponsibly, what about the talks of other bodies ???????????????

    • 1
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      Brother Douglas, do you honestly think that Sri Lankan judiciary would have intervened. They are a bunch of political stooges and may the good lord forgive them.

  • 0
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  • 2
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    So called Prof: Carlo Fonseka is not a medical doctors but only a PHd holder. I don’t understand how he could head a Medical Association as its Chairman. Others views are required

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      Dr. Carlo Fonseka is MBBS, but became a physiology lecturer and out of touch with medicine, drawing attention to himself by fire walking. Stooge group of marxist charismatic Senaka Bibile murdered abroad by drug mafia. Prof. Carlo got a phD, earmarked internationally as communist, but came to fame when he became CA in the destruction of the NCMC under UNP, and became Dean, Kelaniya. He is moving to do a similar act on SAITM, but often, devils don’t get a 2nd chance. He loathes Dr. Neville, thinking only about money, but cant see the good he has done under trying conditions of the diabolical GMOA. As SLMC head of MR, he did nothing to get it into law and order, but bankrupted it as slave to GMOA. Now with a court verdict of violation of Medical Ordinance, he is not helping med students, but power hungry politically to dictate to the nation. Nobody has voted him to govt, is demented, disobeys law, insane. Must vanish.

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      Renu

      Sorry you are wrong!

      So much I HATE Prof. Caro Fonseka’s action as regards to SAITM, he is a medical doctor who passed out with first class honours.

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      Oh my gosh… Seems like the education qualifications of all these so called ‘pros’ should be should be scrutinized and corrected too… This would be a real massive clean up though. If they are not qualified, they can be removed and replaced, right??? Then they lose their power too and maybe many things might go away too… Things like violence on Unis for example…

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      renu
      You are spreading fake info;
      He graduated from the University of Ceylon with a MBBS first class and obtained his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 1966. In 1999 he was awarded a Master of Arts from University of Kelaniya

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      Stop writing fake information!

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    Is there any comparison between SAITM and KDU. Why aren’t the GMOA look at the qualification of those students. What are the facilities available at KDU. Is it adequate or less than SAITM.

    The other day I met a student, he has only got 2 S and 1 B and he is selected for Engineering. There are paying and non paying students and I am sure the qualificaion to enter the medical faculty and engineering is less than the Medical College. I wonder what the basic qualification to enter the medical faculty at KDU.

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      A very relevant point. I think that Sahani also had pointed this out.

      The militarisation of everything in the country. I acknowledge that I’m an unabashed peacenick! Many a time they asked me to teach in the Military Academy in Diyatalawa, I refused. perks of all sorts offered.

      Right now they seem to be refusing to quit the land that they’ve seized in the North. If we want to preserve this country as one nation, we must speak out on this issue.

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    I had ABC for my A Levels and I realised I fell short. No noteworthy/respected medical school was going to take me whether it be abroad or in Sri Lanka, except of course SAITM (they did) yet I saw it for what it was and my future wasn’t worth the risk.

    My point being I share in your disgust towards the unnecessary glorification of medicine as a profession. Bus drivers and Doctors alike are all as equally admirable (as long as they’re good honest people) and “merit worthy” in their contribution to the service of the public. It’s such a shame to see the lowly lot shouting bloody murder on the streets ballyhooing they “earned” their spot in free education to assert their god complex, due in whole to the idolisation of a system that truly does fail so many adept and bright young youths.

    That said, from its tainted inception of monetizing fraudulent hope and exploiting the mentality of the Sri Lankan culture that hails Medicine to be the holy grail, the red flags were far too profound for me and this institution’s faculty was never in the right for what they did and are continuing to do. PMCs should exist but with a proper foundation and under regulations and with more focus on achieving those first and foremost before they charge an inordinate fee.

    Please realise your money would be better spent in an institute that allows you the opportunity to earn a recognised degree to achieve your goals with patience and precision. Postgraduate medicine is an option in so many countries abroad! You were warned and unfortunately, you caved, and merit is due for SAITM having successfully continued to lure hopeful helpless students, with no real license/authority to ever actually follow through on their promises.

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      You missed the point boy: UCG interviewed her.

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        boy? “did you just assume my gender”? jokes aside please elaborate how the UGC interview is of relevance to ANYTHING I said and what “point” you’re trying to make, thanks

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    Sahani, I fully accept your right to learn what you really wants to against bite the bullet as Dr. Dayan wrongly proposed. The only thing is proper standards have to be maintained to evaluate the others which is a duty of the incumbent government and it should be a national policy otherwise.

    Unfortunately, Sri Lanka was full of academics like Dr Dayan, who professed and got hold of wrong end of the stick.

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    I only have one question to ask , Do you know nithini abeygunawardana she is my classmate and she got SFF as her A/L result but she is studying MBBS in your university. how that happened ?

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      She may have sat A/L many times like you and would have definitely improved her result score before being admitted to SAITM. Some A/L score which state chaps repeatedly try, is not necessarily the passport to state except under district quotas with its proven cheating system highlighted in media several times. The cheats get into state uni and then march the streets because they cant study. They boycott lectures but get signed up as fearful Deans cant control them. They are pushed out of med. school and not knowing how to practice, they strike to kill than heal patients. Avoid them state ones.

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    The state university students who are opposing the establishment of Private Medical college are those who obtained much lower results than those in SAITM. Most of the state medical students are admitted from rural districts with low results on the district quota system.

    Students from ‘good’ schools are punished for no fault of theirs. Such students have to obtain a very high results to enter. These students admitted under the guise of the district quota system with 3 simple passes and low total aggregate is now advising the students with 2As and higher aggregate but unable to enter state university being from good school so penalized by the district quota that they are not intelligent to follow medical course and they pose serious risk to the population once they become doctors! That is the joke of the year.

    Many students in state medical faculty cannot speak properly. in English. They are very crude, lack proper manners, and behave very cheaply like street vendors.

    If they are interested in the safety of the patients and quality then they should advise to abolish the dubious district basis system of admission and reintroduce the all island merit system which existed before 1974 admission to universities.

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    Dear Sahani Koralage, when you read all these arguments you see that they are a reflection of our society. My advice to you would be to qualify and after completing whatever government service is required, leave the country. You will be better appreciated overseas. The UK General Medical Council lists all doctors who can practice in the Uk. If you search it for common Sri Lankan surnames like Perera, Fernando, de Silva, Jayasinghe etc you will be amazed at the number of Sri Lankan doctors. Britain’s gain is Sri Lanka’s loss. All because the clowns who run the nation are corrupt fools.

    http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/register/LRMP.asp

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      Unfortunately SAITM is not recognised by the GMC of UK. I wonder how smart these SAITM students are to sink so much money into a degree that is not recognised anywhere in the world? Serious lack of common sense.

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        Even Colombo MBBS lost automatic recognition by GMC, but have to sit exams, though they cover up pretending. Sinhala education not good for global recognition, but many overcome the language barrier. Not every name on GMC is employed there. Many are elsewhere.
        SAITM is legally here to stay and is improving rapidly and will have internship in spite of the SLMC rebellion against judgment of court. While rebelling, it is really hilarious for them to expect any conformity to their so called standards not visible. Even lunatics have some common sense. SAITM should agree only to internship and not clinical training offered deceptively by Deans who are not in health service anyway.

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      I do teach IELTS and get most of my pupils through, but I’m NOT happy to see so many of our people leaving us.

      There is first the drain from the rural areas in to Colombo; then from Colombo to any white country. Australia is the favourite right now. And then, there used to be the drain in to the United States. But with Trump there as POTUS I don’t know how many will want to stomach all the insults. These qualified people must stay here, and serve our people. Obviously, I wouldn’t want to force anyone to go in to the remotest parts of Sri Lanka; I wish they’d do so voluntarily. We go on and on about our great heritage and culture, and then run away!

      Meanwhile, poorer people, especially women, have to go to the Middle East and get raped and keep our economy ticking. Have we no sense of shame?

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    [Edited out] We are sorry, the comment language is English – CT

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    [Edited out] Comments should not exceed 300 words.Please read our Comments Policy for further details.

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    Even if the government doubles the current intake capacity of tax payer funded universities, still approximately 50% of the qualified entrants won’t find a placement. Current criteria is to admit 60% of the entrants based on district basis and if somebody thinks that those who gained entrance have scored the highest marks then it is only a misconception. The only viable option to provide education to all qualified entrants is to get private sector involved. Education is a right of an individual and nobody can deny that to another person. Primary reason why people oppose to this in Sri Lanka is just jealously. For the past number of years there were private institutions affiliated to foreign universities granting degrees in accountancy, engineering, architecture. law etc. and the field of medicine should be of no exception. In the current political environment, private education is going to stay in Sri Lanka. So whether we likes it or not, we all have to get used to it.

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    [Edited out] Comments should not exceed 300 words.Please read our Comments Policy for further details.

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    WHY DO WE SAY SAITM IS FRAUDULENT? –
    SAITM is both an academic fraud & a financial fraud. If you want to know the real FACTS, here you go..

    For an institution to be established as a medical faculty in Sri Lanka it should fulfill 2 basic requirements.
    1. Degree Awarding Status
    2. Sri Lanka Medical Council Recognition / SLMC Compliance Certificate

    DEGREE AWARDING STATUS (DAS)
    In Sri Lanka all universities are under the Ministry of Higher Education. So it is this ministry which has the power to grant Degree Awarding Status (DAS) to any institution (Not only medical faculties). For this purpose University Grants Commission (UGC) was established by University Act.

    The usual procedure is that the institution that wishes to obtain DAS should make a formal request to UGC to inspect their institution. Then UGC would appoint a technical committee which consist of experts from the relevant fields & have them compile a report which would suggest the UGC board whether the particular institution has the minimum requirements to award a degree in the relevant field.
    An institution should NOT recruit students before they obtain DAS from UGC. But SAITM recruited their first batch in 2009 but didn’t even bothered to apply for DAS until 2011. Fortunately, (for SAITM) then Higher Education Minister SB Dissanayaka could be BOUGHT easily.

    So as per his instructions UGC appointed a technical committee of experts headed by Prof D. Lakshman to inspect SAITM & give a report. They did. But the report’s conclusion was that there are gross inadequacies in SAITM & before anything else SAITM should obtain compliance certificate from SLMC (since SLMC is the professional body for medical degrees). Obviously this is not what SB or SAITM expected. Though UGC was under SB he couldn’t make changes to the final report.

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    So SB made 2 changes to the university act.
    01. He created a new post called “Specified Authority” & transferred all the powers of UGC to this new post. So, from that point onwards the power to grant DAS was not under UGC but under “Specified Authority”. Then he appointed his Secretary, Sunil Jayantha Nawarathna as the Specified Authority.
    In simple language, the complex procedure of granting DAS became a single person’s job. He could decide it all by himself.
    02. University Act says that if an institution is going to award a “professional degree” like medicine (exact word MEDICINE is given as an example in the University Act), engineering, architecture etc then UGC “”SHALL”” obtain a compliance certificate from the relevant professional body before granting DAS.

    When the word SHALL is mentioned in law it becomes a must. So what did SB do? He brought an amendment to University Act changing the word SHALL to MAY. Then it is no longer a must. It becomes optional.

    In simple language UGC could grant DAS all by itself without consulting SLMC. Since UGC’s powers were given to “Specified Authority” who was SB’s Secretary, basically ONE MAN was given the power to decide whether an institution could be recognized as a medical faculty or not.

    But this second change gave rise to an enormous resistance from student community & medical community. So SB had to change MAY back to SHALL within the same year.

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    Yet SB came up with an “intelligent solution”. He sent a second technical committee to inspect SAITM. SB’s son Narada Dissanayaka headed this committee. (What qualifications he has to evaluate a “medical college” & give a report, no one knows) As expected second report said that SAITM has 13 inadequacies but can be granted DAS. (Noone has seen this second report yet except SB & his secretary.)

    This is fundamentally wrong. DAS is given only AFTER an institution proves to have the MINIMUM (Not ideal or maximum) requirements to award that degree. But what else can we expect from SB’s son?

    So SB published a gazette anyway in 2011 granting DAS to SAITM despite all the irregularities. This was a conditional gazette which means that the gazette mentioned the 13 inadequacies of SAITM & DAS was to be awarded if SAITM corrected these within the specified time period. (SAITM hardly even bothered to correct these & some of these inadequacies are still present)

    Later SB’s Secretary (Specified Authority) sent a simple letter to Dr Neville Fernando stating that SAITM has completed all 13 inadequacies. How he came to that conclusion all by himself? Nobody knows. (money talks of course)

    DAS is applicable only from the point it is being given. But by 2011 SAITM already had 4 batches. So those students were not going to benefit from this gazette. Also this gazette didn’t have a date of execution. May be SB was so much in a hurry to publish the gazette & make his “sponsors” happy, he forgot to mention this date.

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    So SB corrected his mistakes in 2013 by a second gazette. This time he did an extra ordinary thing. He mentions in this second gazette that SAITM had no inadequacies since 2009. (In his first gazette in 2011 he mentions 13 inadequacies SAITM had. But in 2013 he says SAITM was ok since 2009. So SB’s 2 gazettes themselves are contradictory. May be SB was paid better in 2013)

    So he BACKDATED his 2013 gazette to 2009 so that ALL the students in SAITM including the first 4 batches would get DAS. Ultimately SAITM became the first institution in Sri Lanka’s higher education history to receive BACKDATED Degree Awarding Status.
    Keep ethics aside. Is it just & legal to change the law all over the place just so a single fraudulent institution can prevail ?

    YOU DECIDE !

    PS. Will make a separate post about how SAITM bypassed SLMC RECOGNITION which is the second requirement to award a medical degree.

    #abolish_SAITM

    Copied from Sheril Nimeshka Fernando

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      My3, I believed you, campaigned for you, voted for you!

      Why did you bring the likes of SB Dissanayake back in to parliament?

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    You had your father’s land to sell and pay. Do you also know that there are many other fathers wanting the best for their children, but have nothing to sell? But free education has been serving those people including those who also have lands to sell.

    If everyone from dental, veterinary, molecular biology who had no land to sell and pay SAITM, started wrutung their stories… just imagine..

    Think wisely people!

    Does it really had to depend on your wealth! Imagine loosing all your money to a Tsunami or whatever while you are at SAITM? Are you going to come back home and leave all those hopes in vein?

    Nationalize SAITM for more university intake!

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      In this world we’re not born equal. Very many are born poor and some absolutely poor; they go through harsh life. Only very rich Nordic countries can give their citizens equal opportunity. Sri Lanka simply hasn’t got the capacity to offer a free university education for every A/L qualifier. With perseverance and luck we have seen some reach their goals. The point I wanted to make is; today, many of us are born to parents rich enough and willing to pay for children’s education; and neither you nor any hypocrite can stop them going abroad to study if qualified but not selected here. I believe, SAITM like institutes are doing a great favor for such students as well as the country by offering them an opportunity to study at home.

      If there are many a private medical collages in Malaysia, Nepal, India, UK and etc. why is it bad for Sri Lanka?

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        Banda, A Koralage and others,
        Nobody in Sri Lanka is against private medical colleges. In fact we need more of these so that we can better take care of our citizens. But each and every private medical school should work closely with the SLMC with regards to quality of admitted students, medical curriculum, laboratory and practical exposure and quality and extent of clinical exposure standards, exams and assessment methodology. If these criteria are fulfilled there should be no problem for these students to register and obtain a license to practice medicine.
        With regard to student admission it will be important to intake students from the same merit list that is used for gov. medical schools. This ensures the best students of the country is taken into the field of medicine.
        Many writers here blame the SLMC and the GMOA for the plight of those SAITM students. That is totally wrong. SLMC has its establish criteria for registration and issuing licenses. Every member of the GMOA has fulfilled these criteria to obtain a license to practice medicine. As with any professional organization its members will resent any effort from any source to by pass these required criteria and degrade their profession.
        I will blame and hold people behind SAITM, specially Nevil Fernando him being a physician for neglecting this basic requirement by the SLMC and there by ruining the money and the future of these students. I feel these parents should seek legal action against him.

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      I’m her father, For your information, I started from the rock bottom. Until I had my first job I lived in a clay hut with my parents and brother. For A/Ls I made money just to go to school by selling beetle in the village fair. Tuition classes were something I couldn’t even think of, let alone afford. and when I had my A/L results(bio stream) the cutoff from Colombo was 227 while my aggregate was 219 (79/80 intake) From Monaragala , it was 160. So I had to stay home watching people with far less qualifications becoming doctors. NOT A SOUL came forward for me those days neither did my poor parents have the strength to afford any kind of higher education for me.I found a small job at Lakehouse and I payed for my higher education with my hard earned money. Today, I’m the senior Ophthalmic Technologist. I built myself up from that clay hut to where I am today so I could prevent my daughter suffering the same injustice as I did. I’m sure someday she’ll be in a position to do more for her children. This is how a country moves forwards from the third world. Definitely not by waiting open-mouthed till everything’s put in your mouth for free.

      Nationalizing SAITM is not a long term solution to this problem. There should be public private partnerships in-order to cater the increasing demand for opportunities in tertiary education.

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        Dear Ananda Koralage,

        Funny how I missed this story, although I read the Kandanaarachchi story many hours ago. It’s also strange how I chanced on your comment, which many may have missed.

        I think that I must make a more “purposeful” comment either at the end, or as a response to the very first comment. Your daughter’s story really touched me. There really is no solution (long/short term) to many problems.

        Well, I was fortunate enough to enter Peradeniya University in 1982 when I was a few days shy of 34 years of age. I had lost my way because my teacher-father died when I was 14 years old, and essentially, I’ve had nobody to guide me since then. I got in on external GAQ results. I read English and I won the Leigh Smith Prize for “topping the batch”. I was a Temporary Assistant Lecturer for a year, but once more I lost my way, because nobody seemed to quite understand what use to make of me.

        Also, I had two daughters of my own then, so there was a need to earn some money quickly for them. I’m from Bandarawela but owing to my sojourn in Peradeniya they ended up being boarders at Hillwood College in Kandy. The elder became Head Girl in the school and was selected to enter Peradeniya; she refused to go in there saying that she by then knew all the English Department staff. I honestly feel that she had the capacity to get a rare First Class – I had topped my batch with a Second Upper. She entered Colombo University instead (it was quite a process making the change, with Prof. Haple having to exert himself quite a bit – to send away a student whom he would have loved to keep at Pera!)

        Colombo was a disaster for various reasons. She had been “underage” when she entered, but had to spend twice the normal time to complete her General Degree, with English being just one of her subjects. She is now sub-editor of a newspaper: should have achieved much more. The other tragedies of her life will take too long to recount.

        My other daughter, five years younger, who used to hero-worship the elder decided that she wasn’t entering any University (although she qualified). She began work with HSBC Bank while still in her teens, worked there for twelve years, the last four as Branch Manager. She got herself and MBA awarded by some Welsh University – and then stopped working so as to look after her two children.

        No, I don’t believe in fate, but chance plays havoc with our lives. I’m impressed with your daughter’s spirit. I think that she will achieve much – and contribute much to this world. More later, perhaps.

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    It is indeed a heart rendering story. A degree is a degree, is a degree. Having said that, in these days of choice, a degree from one institution to another is subject to relativity. In that; for instance a degree from Oxbridge is different say from Princeton or University of Colombo.( I am a product of Moratuwa and UK ,not Oxbridge!). That being the case, there is an element of elitism as far as the Sri Lankan universities are concerned. This is in the eye of the beholder
    Having read the story , Sharani deserves to be educated without hindrance at Satim. According to Sharani, her parents have sacrificed for her future happiness. Is this, a sin, I ask. No, they have the right to choose

    I must confess that I have not done any research on Satim; but it not my place or duty but the duty of GOSL. My policy is that, when you have a dog , you do not do the barking. At the end of the day due diligence should must prevail.
    The State controlled University Dons seems to dig their heels in the matter of recognising the said private
    entity . I am not surprised; these are vested interested people who want to control the quantity and the quality of our graduates, so that only those in the higher strata in life will be the domineering factor. As long a degree is recognised as “fit for purpose” there shouldn’t be any argument. Let Satim get on with their work of providing the needed capacity in the Island

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    Correction to the above
    Not Satim but SAITM
    Today its due , not the fault of my fingers but my brain!

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      Dear Ratnam Nadarajah,

      And the girl’s name is Sahani. Never mind! I hope you read the comment by the girl’s father, which has got placed just above yours.

      You’re a good man. You write articles on engineering topics, don’t you?

      I read one on the disastrous Uma Oya Project – and I’m from the affected area!

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        Hello Sinhala Man
        Thanks for pointing out the error. Hope Sahani is not too upset.
        Yes, I am also from upcountry. Hope the authorities have sorted out the Uma Oya project.

        It is sad that this saga has gone all out of proportion. Enough is not enough, I say. Where were all these approving and governing bodies for Medical degrees leading to MBBS. Better late than never. It seems to me, after reading another student’s article in CT, the whole machinery has failed miserably and it is apparent that the victims are the poor students and their distort parents. Is it going to be another commission; Presidential or otherwise, to bankroll more cronies. I sincerely hope not
        Arthur Ash the only Black American to win the Grand Slam championships including the Wimbledon and a HIV /Aids victim through blood transfusion, famously said “if wealth is the secret of happiness then the rich should be dancing on the streets.
        But only poor kids do that”

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          Hi, Arthur Ashe fan!

          Yes, I remember him. I got my own tennis colours at Pera. You said that you were at Mora. Which part of the “up country” are you from?

          Uma Oya will continue to be an absolute disaster. That 300 metre machine is still some way off. It’ll pass right under the Aislaby tea factory they say. I was born also somewhere here:

          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-thomian-pharisees-are-unrepentant-why-this-matters-to-all-sri-lankans/

          You will see there a 2 year old photograph of me, and another that is 68 (sic) years old! I doubt your having the time to read through all that stuff. If you do, you will realise that this land is full of corruption and irregularities.

          I’m sure that Sahani will not be upset. I’m most impressed with her attitudes. Have you seen her father’s comment? It looks as though she’s now commenting as SK – see below her exchange with “Eusense”. I wish there were more kids like Sahani.

          Also, I’ve seen hints of her disapproval of the militarisation of this country: another of my hobby horses!

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            Hello Sinhala Man (SM)
            Yes, I made time to read the CT article you have sited. You look cute in the photo of yester years
            I am from Talawakelle , for me, the centre of the universe. I did my final years of my schooling at St.Thomas’s Matale and was at Katubedde, Moratuwa Campus

            Now the SLMC has a taken a high court writ. Indeed this whole SAITM affair has gone out of hand. These medicos’ establishment seem to have thier own rules and clanish in their response.

            For my sins I had been an External Examiner and Moderator for few Universiteis in the UK for a number of years. Academics by nature are very insular. I have no problem with that. But what I object is the silly methiodology they use to defend themselves at the slightest misgivings. This is not very sporty for our cricket loving souls. Competetion is healthy, what are they worried about; insecurity perhaps.
            “If you learn only the methods, you’ll be tied to your methods, but if you learn principles you can devise your own methods” Ralp Waldo Emerson
            PS.
            SM, if you would like to contact me, please be in touch with me via my email
            nadarajah1@hotmail.com & or via http://www.kasinfoundation.org

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    Simon Silva: Thanks. I gave all the information to check on this SAITM admission when my relation discussed and decided to enroll his child for this Medical Studies; but I did not and never stand on their way to block them in making the final decision. I can take the horse to the water but cannot and will not make it to drink. Today he regrets and has accepted his responsibility. Next, I do not blame the students alone. In today’s world the STUDENTS are much more knowledgeable and well informed than during your time or my time and days. Equally the PARENTS are and they have to act in CONSULTATION with the children. Then the REGULATORY AUTHORITIES, in this case the UGC, Ministry of Health; SLMC should have acted in the interest of the public at large. Next the the very ENTREPRENEUR ; SAITM , should have established a properly constituted establishment to conduct its affairs in a manner that complies with all regulatory requirements of the STATE. I brought out all these facts in my comments from the start to this end; but some chose to blame me for directing only at the students. No. I blame all the parties as described above for making a mess of this whole affair of SAITM. I have nothing more to say.

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    Now 2 students have written pages on their plight.
    None of them answered my simple question.
    WHO GUARANTEED MEDICAL REGISTRATION AND LICENSE BEFORE THEY GOT THEMSELVES ADMITTED TO SAITM? SLMC or SAITM?
    No body is answering this question!

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      Eusense,
      NOBODY can guarantee medical registration and license to practice as a student enters a medical faculty. Be it state or foreign. SLMC recognition is not something that is given to institutes / Universities. It’s given to individual students who have completed the required qualifications and have applied for provisional registration with the SLMC. The SLMC is duty_bound to consider all such students and decide with reasonable clarifications where necessary, whether the student is fit or not for provisional registration. I urge you again to read the ordinance and get updated about the procedure before commenting.

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        SK,
        I hate to say this to you. You still show ignorance. It appears that you were so much bent on doing medicine you never spoke to a medic who knows the real procedure of becoming a practicing physician. You telling me “NOBODY can guarantee medical registration and license to practice as a student enters a medical faculty.” clearly shows your poor understanding of all this. Unless a medical student in an ACCREDITED medical school does not successfully complete the course of study (failing and does not pass even a single exams) they all get registration. This never or rarely happens in the gov. medical schools as 99.99% of the admitted students are excellent in their academics. Do you know a single medical student who graduated successfully from a gov. medical school and failed to obtain registration?

        It shows that you are confused to say “SLMC recognition is not something that is given to institutes / Universities”. In fact the SLMC by confirming accreditation to medical institutions it indicates to them that their course of study is acceptable for registration. This is how it happens in every country.
        You are wrong to assume “It’s given to individual students who have completed the required qualifications…”, because if the ” required qualifications” are not completed in an ACCREDITED medical institution you will be rejected.
        For the SLMC, it is impossible and it will never embark on assessing individual students on a one to one basis who may come from hundreds of different “medical institutions” which they may have no idea what they are. That is why medical registration bodies like the SLMC and in every other country has an accreditation procedure for medical institutions.
        Reading the medical ordinance and depending on it is not going to help you. You should have done your home work before your decision to join SAITM. Keeping the ordinance a side you should have asked serious questions about SLMC registration from SAITM before you embarked on this unpleasant endeavor. In my mind court order to register students is not going to materialize. I wouldn’t want a bunch of lawyers and judges deciding who should be allowed to practice medicine. By the way, did you hand over your application for registration? Update the outcome for your readers.

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          Eusense ,

          Why should we keep the ordinance aside? It’s the LAW.

          According to that only the SLMC functions.

          Registration should not be given to anyone just because they studied in a particular university/ institute unless the individual is fit for the job that’s justice.
          FYI, SLMC came over to evaluate SAITM more than once. As per the law, such investigations are only done in to duly accredited institutions / faculties.
          Thus SLMC not approving SAITM becomes a baseless statement.

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            Sahani,

            I’m overawed by your your lofty ideals. Would there were more like you!

          • 3
            1

            SK,
            I have explained the important aspects of medical registration in my earlier post. I am in this profession and I tried my best to explain all this to you. However, you appear to be stubborn on accepting the reality and try to hang on to the ordinance as a savior. SLMC or any other medical body which register physicians in any country will only give accreditation to institutions but not to individuals.Once a student successfully graduate from an accredited institution they get automatic registration.
            SLMC will visit any institution which train medical students if they request accreditation. That is the norm. You say SLMC visited SAITM several times but that was not because SAITM had accreditation. It may have been due to the fact that at each visit the SLMC found deficiencies that would not allow them to grant accreditation. You are more concerned about Medical ordinance than finding out simple straight forward answers to basic and important questions. What was the reason given by the SLMC for not approving SAITM course of study? I am trying to help you understand this procedure more than anything. Please answer these simple questions and don’t try to talk over me with your interpretations.
            1. Before you enrolled did you ever inquire from anybody whether you will be able to register and practice medicine in Sri Lanka once you graduate from SAITM?
            2. If “YES” from whom did you inquire? If “NO” why didn’t you inquire?
            3. To secure SLMC registration and licence to practice medicine, are you willing to sit for a special examination (similar to what foreign graduates sit) given by the SLMC?

            • 4
              0

              Eusense,

              1.Yes

              2.from the former registrar of the SLMC , Dr.S.T.G.R.Terrence De Silva. And the now president Prof. Carlo Fonseka (I hope you remember the GMOA opposing prof’s appointment as the president of SLMC due to the fact that he was positive towards SAITM during the Rajapakse regime)

              3.I am willing to sit any ‘unbiased’ exam set by the SLMC , I’d much rather if they allow all of us to sit the common mcq paper. That way , state grads and us could really be compared against a common standard.

              We do not want an educational policy which changes with the government. How pathetic is that?

              • 3
                0

                SK
                Good, you seem to have done a bit of home work before SAITM and I feel there is a ray of hope for you. Hope you have some kind of evidence to show that the then Registrar of SLMC gave you a reasonable assurance of getting registration. Added to that if you have any evidence of SAITM giving you an assurance on registration it would be helpful too. I assume you have all the other basic pre-med requirements.
                This is my advice to you. Write a personal and respectful letter to the current Registrar (Carlo) stating how you now understand the registration process and the only reason you enrolled (even with financial hardships) in SAITM was that you were given assurances from both the then Registrar of SLMC and SAITM administrators of being conferred registration on successful completion of the course of study. Request him to reconsider his stance and consider you as a special case.

                Based on his response, in the second letter you may have to write that you are willing to sit for the 16A if you have to.
                Best of luck.

  • 2
    5

    SAITM graduates would lower the SL medical standards which have been gained by the dedicated talented professional doctors over fast few decades. If this fraudulent institute gets SLMC approval, the countries like UK will think twice before hiring SL doctors registered under SLMC.
    God Bless SL!!!

    • 2
      3

      The U.K. hiring Sri Lankan doctors?

      I’m myself am a villager in many senses, and live among those who speak only Sinhala. The fact is that the vast majority of Sri Lankan doctors can’t use the English understood in any other part of the world.

      Haven’t you heard of “kuppi panthi” (bottle lamp classes) in our Universities? It’s pathetic, our so called English Medium teaching in State institutions, be they schools or universities. This is a dangerous situation – no laughing matter.

      Yet, there’s much selfishness and self-centred agitation in many places. “In the land of the blind, the one eye’d man is king”. That is the reason for much of this agitation to deny paid higher education.

      Medical standards are a different matter, and I’m not at all qualified to comment. But why do all these guys try to run away from this country? The Tamils, I can understand, the way we’ve been treating them. As for the Muslims, the richer ones caught up when Buddy was Minister of Education and allowed them English Medium, which was denied to those labelled as “Sinhalese” or as “Tamil”. The Muslims must get out of ghettos, and identify as human beings living in Lanka (“Sri” dropped deliberately – see W.S. Seniors’ “Call of Lanka”).

      An old man ranting? Perhaps!

      But please do something to save the 22 million (far too many – practice family planning!) living on this beautiful island.

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