SAITM issue unsolved: Parents, students reject govt. remedy

… call for implementing Deans’ proposals

 Government statement on SAITM closure on p 2

Students of the state medical faculties and their parents yesterday rejected the solution proposed by a presidential committee to the SAITM (South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine). They said their struggle would continue until the government agreed to implement the solution proposed by the Deans of the state Medical Faculties.

They said a fast unto death will be launched on Nov 6 to pressure the government to implement the solution proposed by the Deans of the state Medical Faculties.

The government announced Sunday the closure of a private medical college at the centre of a long-running controversy over teaching standards.”The government hopes that this decision will end the SAITM controversy,” the government’s Information Department said in a statement.

“It is hoped that all stake holders will abide by this decision.”

Uniform standards for state-run medical colleges will be rolled out within the month by the Health Ministry, the statement said.

Hundreds of students already enrolled in the private college will be transferred to a new facility and eligible to graduate as doctors.

Secretary of the Medical Students National Parents Society, Gamini Ekanayake told The Island last night that the government had again sought to hoodwink the public and the campaigners for protecting free education. He said the government solution was not acceptable to them as it would not help sort out the core issues, at all. He said they would not agree to anything other than the full implementation of the Deans’ proposals.

Ekanayake said their struggle was not against the students of SAITM or their parents. He said all students had a right to education, which had to be guaranteed. But, nothing should be attempted at the expense of the standards of higher education. He said their struggle was aimed at protecting university education and maintaining the standards of higher education.

Asked whether the parents of the medical undergraduates of the state universities would launch a death fast he said they would issue a media statement thereon shortly.

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