Closure of SAITM will affect foreign investments – Health Minister

The closure of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) would have serious repercussions on the economy, says Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne.

The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA), which had been hijacked by some leading members of the association, was trying to justify their demand for closing down SAITM, after having kept silent when it was established as a degree-awarding institution under the previous Rajapaksa regime, Senaratne said yesterday.

Out of fear of white vans the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) had approved it and the GMOA agreed to whatever demands made by the Rajapaksas, Senaratne said, adding that after the current government had restored democracy and the rule of law, some leading members of the GMOA were bravely holding politically motivated demonstrations, hoping to topple the Srisena-Wickremesinghe administration.

Senaratne said the closure of SAITM after its first batch of students had completed their course of study, would send a wrong signal to the international community and retard the flow of foreign investments into the country.

The GMOA had run out of steam with its political agenda being exposed and was blaming everyone from the President and Prime Minister downwards for its predicament, the Health Minister said.

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