21 June, 2024


Sleeping Administrators Of Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital

Pretentious sleep is the surest form of slumber. 

It has been reported to Colombo Telegraph that following the article exposing the illegal appointment of the un-qualified Director of Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital (SJGH) Dr. Susitha Senaratne,  Janaka Sugathadasa, Secretary Ministry of Health and Dr. Jayasundera Bandara, Director General of Health Services (DGHS) have gone into voluntary administrative slumber.

Dr. Susitha Senaratne, close personal associate of Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, with the consistent and illegal support of Dr. Athula Kahandaliyanage, Chairman SJGH has been occupying the office of the Director SJGH without as much a letter of appointment for over two and a half years. Kahandaliyanage illegally suppressed all official communication and memoranda to the Board pertaining to this illegal and un-administrative quasi appointment of a quasi Director to SJGH since March 2015 buying in to the con artistry of Susitha Senaratne in portraying himself as a right hand man of President, Prime Minister and the Minister of Health.

Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Dr. Susitha Senaratne and his wife

This stark violation of  the rule of law by appointing a mere medical officer without any  post graduate or professional qualifications as the Director of a Post Graduate Training Institute and a Tertiary Care Hospital was twice queried by the Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) in the context of violating the Medical Services Minutes as gazette by government gazettes of 1493/3 of 16.04.2007, 1630/10 of 30.11.2009, 1883/17 of 11.10.2014 ,1996/46 of 09.12.2016, the Act of Parliament of 1983/54, the common law of the country and common decency. Law or decency appear immaterial to the key players of this irregularity, namely, Athula Kahandaliyanage, Susitha Senaratne ,Janaka Sugathadasa and Jayasundera Bandara. Kahandaliyanage who twice defended this non-existent appointment, illegal at best, at the 2016 and 2017 COPE meetings continues to uphold the illegal status-quo to which Janaka Sugathadasa and Jayasundara Bandara are willingly complicit.

1. Susitha Senaratne stated to the Colombo Telegraph that he has monthly earnings amounting to Rs 300 000 as Director SJGH. No audit has been carried out to look in to such amounts of remuneration not stipulated in government or SJGH Board salary scales.

2. Susitha Senaratne stated to the Colombo Telegraph that he functioned as the Acting Deputy Director Accident Service of National Hospital of Sri Lanka from 2008-2013. Janaka Sugathdasa avoided confirming this claim to CT palming off the question to the DGHS who in turn avoided answering as well. CT learns that this was a gross lie stated by Senaratne. No disciplinary inquiry has been initiated in to this false statement made by an officer of the government holding a responsible post.

3. Susitha Senaratne stated to the Colombo Telegraph that qualifications are not essential to be the Director General of Health Services in Sri Lanka, the highest post in the Department of Health. No disciplinary inquiry has been initiated in to the issue of false statement undermining the authority and the position of the DGHS of Sri Lanka. Further it is deplorable to note that the DGHS Dr. Jayasundara Bandara, ex-officio member of the SJGH Board who maintains meek silence on the matter has not even had the minimally required strength of character to present himself at the Board Meeting to challenge this statement, at least verbally. Needless to add, Janaka Sugathdasa, who has practically patented his unique brand of “Sugthadasa Slumber” remains well and truly asleep, administratively.

4. Susitha Senarante holds a private channeling General Practice at Malambe. This is a practice explicitly forbidden for those holding senior administrative positions in General Hospitals. When inquired by CT, Senaratne stated that such a rule does not apply to himself and may be applicable to those holding positions such as DGHS. When contacted by CT for confirmation, Sugathadasa feigned the signature Sugathadasa Slumber and the DGHS Jayasundera Bandara also maintained his silence. Needless to add, no disciplinary inquiry has been initiated regarding this matter either.

5. Athula Kahandaliyanage, by his own admission has sanctioned 100 days of overseas leave for Senaratne in violation with the overseas leave application process stipulated by the Ministry of Health and the Establishment Code since March 2015 to date. No disciplinary inquiry has been initiated against Kahandaliyanage or Senaratne.

6. Susitha Senaratne stated to Colombo Telegraph that Lanka Hospitals for which he serves as an “Administrative Consultant” while possessing no required educational or professional qualifications, pays him a salary amounting to Rs 300 000. No audit had been initiated to look in to this matter as to how he can receive such monies being an employee of the Ministry of Health while holding an irregular appointment at one Public Enterprise (SJGH) and receiving yet another salary at another Public Enterprise (Lanka Hospitals).

7. Susitha Senaratne further confirmed to Colombo Telegraph that Lanka Hospitals made a payment  for his MBA from University Adelaide amounting to Rs 780 000. No government audit or inquiry had been initiated in to how public money has been spent on first educating the Administrative Consultant of Lanka Hospitals. Dr.Sarath Paranavithane, Chairman Lanka Hospitals has maintained his silence to CT inquiry. His slumber also appears to be an extension of the signature Sugathadasa Slumber.

8. No disciplinary inquiry has been initiated to look in to the misuse of public property by Senaratne in transporting his dog in patient ambulance or for causing serious damage to the hospital property by driving his BMW 5X in to the wall of the Nurses Training School of SJGH where Senaratne was found in unconscious stupor. The cost of the repair of the structures has been borne by SJGH monies. 

9. While Kahandaliyanage, Sugathdasa and Jayasundera Bandara through their passive and deceitful conduct continue to insult the administrative service and the law of the land, a fifth player has joined the SJGH Board of Directors to replace Anula Harasgama, former representative of the Ministry of Finance. The latest addition to the SJGH Board is none other than R. Semasinghe, additional secretary of the Ministry of Finance who was arrested with connection to the infamous “Sil Redi” fiasco of Lalith Weeratunga and Anusha Palpita fame. Semasinghe briefly went missing following the expose’ of the “Sil Redi” fraud and was later remanded for his connection with the said large scale corruption. Since joining the SJGH Board he remains a vocal proponent of attempts at ‘backdated-regularization ‘ of the irregular and illegal appointment of Senaratne

10. Further, it is reported to Colombo Telegraph that on 30th October 2017, Kahandaliyanage and Senaratne along with a small number of loyal handpicked specialists met with Minister of Health in a desperate attempt to protect the illegal appointment of Senaratne.

Meanwhile several whistle blowers are in the process compiling public interest litigation against the Sleeping Secretary Sugathadasa of the Ministry of Health and the Chairman & Board of Directors of SJGH, all passive and complacently complicit to endangering the lives and safety of the public by allowing an unqualified individual to run a tertiary care hospital and a post graduate training center. (By Chinthika De Silva)

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Latest comments

  • 10

    It is easy for a rule of law to prevail if there is a political will backing it. Otherwise, we have to rely heavily on the judicial mechanism. More corrupt the country is the judicial mechanism too could be eroded by it, of not totally engulfed. What is highlighted here is a minuscule compared to other whole hosts of irregularities committed at present. Good amount of people, disgusted by the outlook of the previous regime, despite some of its achievements voted this lot into power, on the promise of good governance or “Yahapalanaya”, a term now reduced to a joke, thus making everyone who voted for be a victim of a scam. On the surface, it appears to many whom I have spoken to, that the present lot criticized and made allegations of impropriety and corruption only to get power and for them to enjoy perhaps even with larger tranches of sucking of public money, such as the bond scam. More and more losses on the confidence of the democratic frame-work are taking place, which is dangerous. The reality of the matter is that although on paper the people are sovereign in this country, they cannot recall or change their elected representative between elections. To make matters worse, the entire justice system too is gradually coming to a halt. The case of a dual citizen being an MP was finally resolved very recently, say Nov 2017, which is just past two years from Aug 2015 elections. If people at the top, instead of being drunk with power, don’t take the initiative to put a stop to this kind of behaviour and put things right, then the inevitable may happen, and it is too late when they have to face a firing squad.

    • 2

      There can not be political will as long as the voters are divided SLFP, UNP, JVP, Tamil and Sinhala etc., Instead the voters should ask honesty and integrity and if not to step down or quit. Sri lankan people are divided into parties.

  • 9

    It is time for the COPE or any other “whistle blower” , including the Auditor General to lay the foundation to get rid of this “Crook” – the Minister Rajitha, who is next to the two other Ministers who were recently kicked out. He had even been able to “SILENCE” the FCID. It is opportune for the people of this country to make an assessment of these vagabonds when they would appear before them at the forthcoming Provincial Elections. I hope the VOTERS would teach all these “CROOKS” a Life Long Lesson and Clean The Stable.

    • 1

      A thoroughly unprincipled, deceitful man , who has very strong leadership ambitions.

      • 5

        So had Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin and all corrupt leaders. Hitler was corrupt, not for money but for power. Corruption of any form is the curse of a nation. On the other hand, look at men like Churchill, FDR of the U.S., Reagan etc and our own DSS, his son Dudley who had a mere Rs. 160/ in his bank account, Sir John etc. They were INCORRUPTIBLE and had only decency and love for the nation. Rajitha supported “Yahapalanaya” true but he and almost all of them are only interested in their own pocket-book. Till God almighty does something to rid this nation of these rotters, we will have to suffer.

  • 2

    Rajitha Senaratne, a dentist, has an honorary doctorate and has won parliamentary elections six times – this is what counts. MS cannot overrule him on his Health Ministry appointments.
    If the department runs, who cares about qualifications/titles/salaries etc.

    • 1

      I don’t agree or Believe with everything what Rajitha says as Cabinet spokesman.

      However credit to him for standing up against GMOA, JVP and Peratugami thugs on SAITM. Excellent final decision and full credit to him and Sirisena. Finally I as a tax payer can support free medical education for deserving students and have the opportunity to pay and educate my own children. Looks a pretty fair solution.!!

      Not sure as to what more qualifications are required to become an administrator of a hospital other than a MBBS. What you need is common sense and a admin experience to run a hospital. So what is the issue here? Also former director at Cancer hospital used to do private practice and what is the issue here?

      Also waiting for the SAARC fee paying medical school to be established in SL. Also the fee levying top tier business and engineering schools to be established. What a difference it would make to higher education in SL.

      This is similar to asking for post grad degrees to become a principal at Visakha, Ananda or Royal. A basic degree with good admin skills and common sense will do the job of a top tier school principal. What value addition would a post grad do in running a school?

      Looks like personal vandetta.

      • 4

        The position of a Director of a hospital is not a political appointment. By your logic just because a person has the perceived “ability” we must do away with all recruitment criteria, qualifications, guidelines. If this irregularity is sustained any political stooge, crony, relative of politician can be appointed Director of a General Hospital tomorrow. Haven’t the politicizing professional appointments done enough harm to this country? There are gazetted schemes of recruitment to avoid such violations. The principals of Visakha, Royal, Ananda Colleges are also made according to the stipulated qualifications. No one is asking for a PhD for that. Just the required qualifications. Just because a trained teacher has the “ability” to teach would you appoint him/her the principal of a National School without a degree, experience and the necessary qualifications? I don’t think there is any personal vendetta here. Why isn’t the Secretary Health, Auditor General etc looking in to these allegations?

  • 0

    Jagath Fernando’s case for appointing people on perceived ability rather than qualifications is a open and shut case for nepotism and lowering of standards. Recruitment schemes and job evaluation are part of personnel management practices aimed at recruiting the best available to fill a position. If we do away with them it is opening the doors for corruption and nepotism. Little wonder that his mindset is such that he promotes private education. Those who promote private education are those who have under achieving children of lows IQ who cannot compete with their peers. He seems to suggest that Visakha and Ananda are at the pinnacle of school education, but while those schools do produce outstanding students they also produce half baked cases hardly able to stand on their own in th e real world. Private medical education by itself is not so bad as long as private institutions comply with acceptable standards of medical education and most importantly do not depend on public hospitals to provide th e practical adjunct. They should align with a private hospital.

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