Against a backdrop of the dangerous tendency of people taking the law into their hands as evidenced by the violence at the Fort Railway station, the abysmal levels to which respect for rules and regulations has sunk is also evident by General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Galagoda Atte Gnanasara, sentenced to 19 years of rigorous imprisonment on four Contempt of Court charges over an incident that took place on January 25, 2016, being admitted to the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital (SJGH). The determination was on a case filed by the Attorney General against Gnanasara following a petition submitted to the Appeals Court by the Former Homagama Magistrate and current Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake.
It has now become expected practice for politicians, high ranking officials and common criminals enjoying political patronage to get themselves admitted to hospital to avoid the inevitable discomfiture of a prison sentence. Gnanasara went a step further, getting himself admitted in advance to the infamous SJGH, currently headed by a quasi-Director, Dr. Susitha Senaratne, himself suspended from its Board by the courts.
In an interview with Derana TV Senaratne brazenly violated the ethical code with respect to patient confidentiality, revealing the type, size and location of a kidney stone and revealing the presence of blood in Gnanasara’s urine. As a registered medical practitioner it is unethical for him to do so. Moreover it is a serious come down in professionalism, given the important administrative post he holds.
Senaratne, who is not academically and professionally qualified to be the Director of a General Hospital, is an acolyte of Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health. He appeared on Derana TV attempting to defend the provisional admission of Gnanasara and divulging the monk’s condition to buttress his justification.
It is now well known that Gnanasara has made a practice of provisional admission to hospitals while awaiting court verdicts as a precaution against imprisonment. The “Gnanasara Method” of mocking the judiciary would not be possible without the complicity of hospital administration and the medical professionals treating him.
Gnanasara has apparently been diagnosed as having a ‘staghorn calculus’ in one of his kidneys, which is a long standing pathology that takes prolonged periods of time to develop and is not usually considered a surgical emergency. However, its surgical removal can be warranted depending on the symptoms such as pain, dilation of the ureters and back pressure on the kidney. Ganansara has only described pain, a subjective symptom that can be attributed to the kidney stone.
It is reliably reported to Colombo Telegraph that the ‘surgery that was to be performed’ on Gnanasara was initially scheduled for the 10th of August. Senaratne has stated that the ‘supposed surgery’ is to be performed on Monday the 13th of August.
It is also reliably reported to Colombo Telegraph that Gnanasara, occupying the most expensive luxury paying room at SJGH, is fitted with cardiac monitors while awaiting surgery to give the impression to those who are encouraged to photograph him and ‘leak’ his ‘serious state’ to the public to create a wave of sympathy to push for a presidential pardon.
It is common medical knowledge that a patient in need of continuous cardiac monitoring in a critical stage would not be fit for planned surgery such as a staghorn calculus removal. Therefore the status report offered by Senaratne and the obvious complicity of the treating surgeon as well as the administration of SJGH amount to an administrative-political pantomime to avoid justice from taking its course.
The troika of Gnanasara – Kahandaliyanage – Senaratne are veritable masters at manipulating situations to mock the judiciary. Senaratne deliberately avoided commenting on the security measures that should be implemented when a convicted criminal is housed at a government institution stating “I think the security must have been implemented” .
Observers within the hospital opined that the expertise Athula Kahandaliyanage and Senaratne exhibit at making a mockery of the judiciary indeed makes SJGH the perfect safe haven for criminals to be protected by other criminals. Colombo Telegraph previously reported the administrative corruption and attempts at contempt of court engineered and executed by the Chairman and quasi Director of SJGH with regard to the illegal appointment of its current ‘director’.