SAITM abolished: Parents call off fast unto death

The government yesterday decided to abolish South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine.

Chairman of the committee appointed by the President to look into the SAITM crisis, National Policies and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva announced in Parliament that the government had decided to abolish the SAITM and stop enrolling students.

Making a special statement with the permission of the chair, while the debate on interim report of the Steering Committee on Constitutional Assembly was in progress, the Deputy Minister said a solution would be formulated for the students who had been registered and studying currently at the SAITM. The committee would devise a solution in accordance with the University Grants Commission Act.

He said the committee had arrived at that decision following talks with the Acting Presidential Secretary Sumith Abeysinghe, Prime Minister’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, the Association of Medical Undergraduates’ Parents, Higher Education Minister and all stakeholders.

It was his fervent hope that the parents who were on a death fast near the National Hospital would suspend their action and the medical undergraduates who were boycotting their lecturers would resume their education now, Deputy Minister De Silva said.

The government would continue to hold talks with all stakeholders of the SAITM issue and would sort out the problem completely by Dec 31, the Deputy Minister said.

Meanwhile, the parents of state university medical students last night called off their death fast following talks with government representatives, including Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva.

A spokesperson for the parents said that they had been able to steer their campaign to a successful end.

The spokesperson told The Island that they expected the government to fulfil its obligations in keeping with their agreement.

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