By M.M. Janapriya –
There was a recent article that appeared in the Colombo Telegraph about the appointment of a lady Governor to the eastern province in which the writers have attacked the appointment of Dr. Seetha Arambepola as the Governor western province on the grounds that she was doing private medical practice as an ENT surgeon and hence the appointment contravened the constitution. Reading further I found that there had been a previous attempt at tarnishing Dr. Seetha’s good name through a Colombo Telegraph article dated 19th January 2020 titled “Gota’s Viyathmaga Governor, Seetha Arambepola Violates Constitution To Make Bucks”
The tenor of the language they have used is not the best I have seen either. It is rather condescending to say the least. The authors seem to take cover behind the curtain of law to do this as they are quoting a fellow medical professional who purportedly spoke to Colombo Telegraph on condition of anonymity which goes as follows. “I am flummoxed that a person of Dr. Seetha Arambepola’s stature continues to break the law. She is blunt. It appears that she does not give a toss as she turns a deaf ear, sore throat and a snuffy nose as an ENT surgeon. She definitely will be hauled to courts if she does not stop it. She must decide what she really wants to do. She can’t continue to have the cake and also eat the cake”
I seriously have my doubts as to whether this indeed was said by a fellow medic of hers or indeed ‘a drive off the back foot’ of the author him or herself. Also he/she seems very confident on something that is going to happen i.e. hauling or hurling Dr Seetha to Court, based on the so called `law’ he doesn’t seem to have a clue about. May I suggest that the authors double click the link given below and read the article in full. This will convert the `well’ they are in, in to an ocean of knowledge. As you know knowledge is power. Also if they can find the Sri Lanka equivalent of this article, please read that as well and publish it so that the definition of Office or place of profit and the controversy woven around it can be resolved once and for all and the fact that this allegation ever took place amongst learned public of Sri Lanka can be consigned to history.
Let me now present my article as a response to these unfair and unfounded attacks on my professional colleague. First of all I must reiterate that I am not a person who blindly sings songs of praise of anyone no matter how powerful that person is and as such will not hold a brief for any of their doings unconditionally. All the same the unfair criticism of this appointment deserves the strongest objection possible. I got to know Dr. Arambepola about 20 years ago as a very young honest, energetic conscientious and a very empathetic doctor when she served her internship at the NHSL Colombo in my busy surgical unit. Those of you out there who have had the good fortune of working with me know fully well that this kind of generous words of praise were not common place in my unit. Seetha is my colleague my friend and is almost a daughter to me.
Dr. Arambepola is a Consultant Otolaryngologist in the private sector. She is an independent practitioner and has no connection with the Department of Health Services of Sri Lanka whatsoever. Therefore she holds no `office’ in the field of her medical practice or indeed any office as defined in the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The relevant chapter of the Constitution of Sri Lanka is XVIIA, section 154B and subsection 7 which says “Upon such assumption of office a Governor shall cease to hold any other office created or recognized by the constitution, and if he is a Member of Parliament shall vacate his seat in Parliament. The Governor shall not hold any other office or a place of profit” This clause and the definitions clearly show that Dr.Seetha is in no way bound down by any section of the constitution as per her consultation practice.
The exponents of wild cat strike like articles clearly exposes the juvenile nature of journalism perpetrated by the authors because they clearly were blissfully unaware of, or indeed consciously decided not to find out the meaning of ‘office or a place of profit’. A senior, proficient and a responsible journalist would have found out the meaning of this phrase before he or she ventured out to attack an innocent human being on this count. They must remember that it is easy to damage someone’s reputation in a jiffy but no amount of post destructive apologies would repair the damage done, leaving no trace of it whatsoever. The swords wielded wildly leave painful scars so please be circumspective in the future. Also it is prudent to remember that most wielders of weapons of destruction `fall on their own swords’.
I could not find the definition of `office or place of profit’ as per legal services of Sri Lanka. I guess this jargon dates as far back as the pre-independent era when British ruled Sri Lanka and her big brother India as a part of their empire. This link http://www.legalserviceindia.com/articles/gp_office.htm will take you to the definition and description of this phrase which goes as follows,
“In ordinary parlance, an office or place of profit means an office or profit or position, which brings to the person holding it some pecuniary gain or advantage or benefit. It will be an office or place of profit if it carries some remuneration, pecuniary advantage benefit etc……………………………………………………..The underlying object of this section is to ensure that those who occupy a fiduciary position in the company do not misuse directly or indirectly………………..”
From the above Indian legal definition it is clear that private hospitals where Dr. Arambepola practices are by no means offices or places of profit as these are not places to which she had been ‘APPOINTED” by anyone nor indeed does her practice bring her any gain in an underhand or a dishonest way. Therefore there is no rational reason to find her private practice as contravening the constitution. On the contrary there are a good few reasons why Dr. Seetha Arambepola should indeed continue with her practice.
1. The most important is, that she needs to continue to see patients and operate in order to keep her knowledge, experience and skills at the highest level needed for good patient care. If she does not continue with her practice, at the end of a 5 year lapse, she will have to be sent away to the PGIM or to an institute abroad for re-training as an ENT surgeon and this is what happens in the developed countries like UK and US where apolitical human lives also matter.
2. She cannot dump the patients whom she has been serving over the years suddenly which if done tantamount to gross medical negligence in most developed countries
3. An additional income will supplement her salary so that she will not need to worry about how to keep her home fires burning well. Look at all the virtually penniless MPP when they first entered parliament who have subsequently become super-rich. How? Dr.Seetha doesn’t want to do that. She is a very clean young lady.
Also the argument that she does too much medical practice to be free enough and comfortable enough to perform her official duties does not hold water either. I know for sure that she does not work after 6pm as she is a very devoted and a dedicated housewife and a mother. She restricts her practice to outside office hours viz. before 9am and after 5pm. This leaves her with enough time to govern the Western Province of Sri Lanka efficiently which job she is performing brilliantly at the moment.
After all she is not the typical fossilized political male with a big abdomen full of cirrhotic fluid sweating like a pig on the slightest exertion courtesy ‘the good life’ they lead by virtue of their position to which they have been propelled by the votes of unsuspecting or less kindly, franchise aloof, for want of a better term for foolish, people.
Dr.Arambepola is a very fit healthy young doctor capable of sheer hard work. I wish her all the very best in her job as the Governor and in her private life too.
*Dr. M.M.Janapriya FRCS FRCSEd., Retired Senior Consultant Surgeon, NHSL, Colombo
Native Vedda / February 28, 2020
It is not a question of whether Dr. Seetha Arambepola young, fit or capable of managing two jobs both at the same time, the question is about her priorities and focus, competing wishes and duties, choice between service to the people forms the basis of her being appointed to governorship or occupied in a part time greed driven job.
She can’t have the cake and eat it if she wants to govern the province.
One job at a time please. She can always resign from Governorship and become a full time preacher of Sihala/buddhism and remain an ENT surgeon.
Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam / February 28, 2020
Dr Janapriya, Dr. Seetha Arambepola was not appointed to the post of governor of eastern province because of her capabilities, but as she was a Rajapakse lackey and an outright Sinhala Buddhist racist and a vociferous denier of war crimes committed by Sri Lanka armed forces on Tamils. Can you show proof when she had demonstrated administrative capability prior to her taking up the post. Recently she showed her racial bias in the conflict between Tamil and Sinhala traders in Trincomalee. For your information, Mahinda government built a market complex in Trincomalee and gave all the stalls to Sinhala traders, despite Trincomalee town having an over whelming Tamil majority. When Tamils protested, Trinco MC built another market complex and gave the stalls to Tamils. Since then there has been trouble created by Sinhala traders. Recently when such a problem arose, instead being fair, she ordered the Tamil shops to close and let Sinhalese have a monopoly. This is why Tamils are complaining that they will never get justice under Sinhala governments. It is strange that only Sinhalese appointed as governors to Tamil majority provinces create trouble.
Shrikharan / March 8, 2020
Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam
Dr. Seetha Arambepola is NOT the Governor of the Eastern Province. She is the Governor of the Western Province.
Raj-UK / February 28, 2020
Dr. M.M. Janapriya
If I am not mistaken, this energetic doctor sees patients a couple of hours in the morning, then switches off completely to do her high profile job as governor, then puts on her medical cap again for a couple of in her clinic ‘on the way home’. She must be wonder woman if she can work such long hrs continuously & I am sure, you as a doctor, will agree that its physically & mentally exhausting to maintain the level of efficiency throughout her long day. In fact, you maybe aware that most private organisations do not allow employees to moonlight with part time jobs for this reason.
The good doctor was probably educated at tax payers’ expense, so she should give back to society the benefit of her education as a physician. If she is so civic minded, maybe she can even treat a few patients free of charge. If she is better at governing, then she can become a career politician & concentrate on that. She can’t be doing a good job in both unless she is some kind of super woman.
Nosey Parker / February 28, 2020
Obviously a majority of those making comments here would have preferred to have an actor , an over the hill politician or someone’s political lackey as governor . They hate the idea that a qualified professional person – a lady at that , has been appointed governor of the Western Province ( not Eastern as one of the pundits who regularly comment here had claimed whilst making a totally unfounded scurrilous attack on her ) .
Maldeniya / February 28, 2020
Dr. MMJ’s article reminds the saying “Deekirata balalluth saakki”. People in Galle knows how he did PP those days. What he and his contemporaries did those days now has become an inoperable big cancer. They should be totally blamed for the pathetic, unethical situation of GMOA these days. Hope the unscrupulous money he earned by doing PP while neglecting the poor patients in Govt. hospital serving him well. Don’t worry Dr. MMJ, Seetha A. will do better in doing PP than the doctors of yesteryear’s generation .
AshyD / February 29, 2020
The Governor shall not hold any other office or a place of profit”
The writer Dr. M.M Janapriya, though an eminent doctor as he says, fails to read between the lines and is just trying to whitewash the illegal acts of the said Governor.
The above sentence in the constitution and the words “place of profit”is very plain and simple. She is gaining a PROFIT by continuing her private practice, it is that simple.
Apart from that there is something called ETIQUETTE that we learnt in my schools (incidentally two leading ones in Kandy), by being appointed to such an esteemed position as a Governor, she should desist from practicing her profession.
Anyway, who cares for Etiquette today in our country because that went from our vocabulary, thanks to SWRD who brought the Sinhala Only Act.
shankar / February 29, 2020
“1. The most important is, that she needs to continue to see patients and operate in order to keep her knowledge, experience and skills at the highest level needed for good patient care. “
can you do two jobs at the same time ,my friend?er,i forgot,you can piss and shit at the same time.Finally what will happen is she will piss on her patients and shit on people of the east.
Native Vedda / February 29, 2020
“Finally what will happen is she will piss on her patients and shit on people of the east.”
Dr. Seetha Arambepola seems to have already pissed on Eastern state employees by reminding them often that this is a Sinhala/Buddhist country.
shankar / March 1, 2020
native,i’am sure they won’t mind it because if her piss is tested in the lab it will show that it is sinhala bhuddhist piss which is like holy water.In fact they might clamour for more of her piss because who does not want to bathe in holy water and wash their sins away.I hope she drinks more than 8 glasses a day to help the people.
NHSL Watch / March 1, 2020
Dr MM Janapriya is one of the most violent, unethical bully in the medical fraternity. He is an abuser of his juniors and a ridiculously violent person who has no respect for the law. he is known to beat up interns, post graduates and has physically damaged theatre property, the vehicles of his colleagues in car parks, and assaulted security guards in several private hospitals. The tone of this article and his inflated ego about how it is such a privilege to get a nod form his is testimony to this mentally deranged individual’s psychological status.
If he feels that Dr Arambepola is like a daughter to him he should refrain from writing songs of praise because it is a biased testimony.
Dr Janapriya was one of the uncouth, violent people who brought the once professional GMOA towards its sorry state now.
Who takes this man;s words seriously.
There is documented evidence that Dr Seetha Arambeopola is practicing in private hospitals during the work hours of the Governor . She is in violation with the constitution of this country.
If as Dr Janapirya says , she wants to keep her hand skills she should have continued to be a bootlicker but not accepted this position.
Observer / March 1, 2020
HERE IS A REQUEST TO COLOMBO TELEGRAPH:
I, as a former sitting member of several Boards of Study request CT to investigate this:
1. Dr Seetha Arambepola was suspended from her post graduate training programme for pretending to be a Specialist whilst she was still a trainee. She was practicing in a Colombo private hospital as a pretend specialist. She was caught and reported to the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine.
2. Dr Seetha Arambepola was temporarily suspended from her training because of illegal practice and faking qualifications.
3. Her long standing supporter , the authorities in the Post Graduate Institute swept this issue under the carpet. They freed her and gave the go ahead to continue with her specialist training.
COLOMBO TELEGRAPH, please investigate in to this con artist Dr Seetha Arambepola who was a corrupt individual from the very beginning.
Investigate in to if there ever was a report on her illegal act.
Investigate in to how she violated the rights of the patients by pretending to give specialized care when she was not a specialist.
Investigate who was the Director and the administration of the Post Graduate training institute and what steps they took, if there was any penalty.
Investigate who is the specialist who mediated her release from this stark violation.
Investigate in to what was given and taken and to whom , by whom to get her name “:cleared” .
What does the deluded doctor writing this article has to say for himself about his star student now?
This guy Janapriya is like a mafia fellow. No one in their right mind respects this thug’s views. A recommendation by him is like a recommendation from “Miris Kudu Prasanna” – disreputable, violent man with no self respect.
Thondamany / March 6, 2020
Aiyo…. Gnana Sankaralingam it appears to have lost heavily investing in Talavair.
Is’nt there anyone to afford him a blood transfusion to enable him to get rid of his bad blood……..??