20 April, 2024


Rajitha Attempts To Bribe And Blackmail Journos In The Guise Of Free Healthcare

While the Ministry of Health is embroiled in many controversies and receiving ‘bad press’, Sujatha Senaratne, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne‘s wife cum Private Secretary, has invited journalists for a special medical camp followed by breakfast.


The three-day health camp starting from November 05 will take place at Sri Lanka Foundation and the ministry requests all journalists to make use of this “excellent opportunity” and undergo a thorough medical check-up free of charge.

However, questions have arisen if the health camp is a veiled attempt at bribing journalists to cover-up negative stories about the Ministry of Health and to promote Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s political career.

It is also not clear as to how they selected journalists as an eligible group for a free medical camp while there are many other, less-privileged professional and social groups in the country. The decision to handpick journalists as a professional group brings the bona fides of the camp into question.

It is also important to question as to why the Health Minister’s wife and Private Secretary, Sujatha Senaratne, signed the letter while there are many other senior officials who can undertake the task on behalf of the ministry. The letter has also been sent on a letterhead of Rajitha Senaratne, directly associating the Minister with the initiative.

Many concerns have also been raised about the nature of the health camp. “This kind of sub standard medical screening carried out in a non-medical setting can only be in the aftermath of a natural disaster or in an exceptional situation such as refugee camps etc. Screening for diseases should be carried out with back up medical facilities of a hospital or a well equipped health facility,” an informed source familiar with the matter told Colombo Telegraph.

“For instance, if a journalist collapsed during an invasive procedure (phlebotomy/ dental procedure/ exercise) is there a facility at the SLF to resuscitate him/her? What is the urgent need to take journalists to a high-risk non medical setting for health procedures?” he asked.

Another alarming outcome of the initiative would be the cabinet spokesperson’s ability to gather personal and sensitive information about the journalists who will be questioning him in the future, an informed ministry source added.

“He will have access to all their vulnerable disease conditions and he can manipulate this information for blackmailing, exerting pressure, bribing, offering health benefits that one can’t refuse,” she also explained.

Further to that there is inaccurate instruction: fasting times and method is wrong. The leaflet says to fast from 10 pm the previous day because the organizers plan to draw the blood at about 8.00 AM at the completion of 10 hours. It may even be at 12 in the afternoon that the 10-12 hours fasting usually 10 hours of fasting is recommended for the blood to be drawn. This is a medically erroneous way. When you take blood as late as 10 AM to 12 afternoon the following day atl east 6 hours of energy expenditure is down, giving lower results for blood glucose and lipid profile.

Also there is no indication to refrain from taking water if you are fasting for glucose or lipid profile. It is old knowledge. This goes to show the medical knowledge of Sujatha Senaratne, private secretary to the Health Minister and his wife.

If you examine the guidelines of any accredited laboratory you can find out the correct method of fasting for Non communicable Disease screening. This is a violation of the basic standards of carrying out a mass screening.

This comes against a backdrop of the Health Minister Senaratne running into a crisis over his attempt to remove three specialist doctors from the board of the Jayawardenepura General Hospital. Hospital’s management board Chairman Athula Kahandaliyanage attempted to appoint three stooges of the minister to the board, removing the specialist doctors.


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Latest comments

  • 0

    You need only a tuppence to buy both the mother and father from a Srilankan.

  • 5

    Why Sri Lankans look at things negatively always? A promotion attempt should not be taken as an attempt to bribe. A makeshift lab is something innovative initiative in SL, who else can be a better target than journalists?
    Not sure why they asked not to take water also during the fasting, and how this camp is capable of finding cardiac related issues, a qualified doctor can explain this.

    • 4

      This minister has evidently achieved lot more during the last 3 years.

      I think his political opponents make every efforts to put him down.

      1). As no other health minister, Senaratne has sacrificed a lot regarding getting price reduction of over 50 medical drugs. Some of them were beyond affordable prices to many.

      2) Tobacco issue was not an easy task. Previous govt under MR worked with tobacco business men not being serious with the harm done by tobacco consumption by a larger portion of the populace. Now smoking has gone down. Numbers are remarkable also thhe eyes of WHO.

      3)The reason Rajitha S to have been able to do those tangible changes in health is connected with his close relationsihp to current president. Current president was the predecessor health minister, but he could bring that much changes since MR was against those changes since MR could not claim enough discounts if done so.

  • 3

    It seems to me that journalists in SL are an unhealthy lot, probably, from attending all those banquets & parties organised by politicians & the ministries. Maybe the Health Minister thinks that to do their job properly, journalists need to have a healthy body & mind. If I remember correctly, journalists were given free laptops some time ago, so why not go the whole hog & give them duty free car permits as well this time. After all, it’s the tax payer who is paying. Anyway, whatever the reason, why only journalists are given this privilege?

    I have nothing against good journalists & I raise my hat for their bravery in exposing scandals & corruption but I am sure journalists would be quite happy if this opportunity is given to thousands of poor people, particularly, in rural areas, who in real need of medical care.

  • 2

    Good idea to have a list of journalists and their medical diseases by research dentists. How about investigating the genetic structure of GMOA Ex Co invading the SLMC to see whether GMOA has some super genes to be able to double peddle both associations power block to catch electoral votes as well. GMOA terror and SLMC power can make a double blind trial to destroy nation and set up their dictatorship. Watch out.

  • 0

    {“Rajitha Attempts To Bribe And Blackmail Journos In The Guise Of Free Healthcare”}
    Truth? We do not know – not yet.
    Possible? Yes

  • 3

    Most of his Cancer drug projects are humongous Frauds toplunder the country. He should have concentrated on making hospitals better for patients, small molecualr drugs. IF you do not understwnd Ask Cuba. they manufacture, custon antibodies to treat Cancers. That is heavy burden to buy from American Manufacturers. Itis a multi-billion dollar industry which they want to establish. They do not like other countries getting into the market.

  • 4

    Get onto your takarang ship and get the hell out of here now before you are dragged in by the authorities to investigate how you, a small time dentist, acquired ships – and from whom!

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