It’s done, at last
Daily News Editorial
The long overdue action against corrupt medical practitioners in the Prisons Department has now been taken. Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has ordered the transfer of all doctors attached to the Prison Hospital. It was also revealed that one of the Prison doctors had already been transferred after having been found to have colluded in the admission of politicians to the Merchant Ward. But this worthy, it is has been revealed, was still staying put, which is an indication how the going had been good for this particular medico in particular and the doctors in the Prisons Hospital in general.
The public, for too, long have been taken for suckers by the doctors in the Prison Hospital who have maintained double standards, one for politicians and the well heeled, and another for the ordinary folk. Just transferring will not suffice. A full probe should be conducted on how certain VIP politicians of the former regime got themselves admitted to the Merchant Ward no sooner they entered prison.
Cartoon from Daily Mirror
There was the stand out case of Basil Rajapaksa, who, after scooting out of the country on election night, arriving to a rousing welcome at the BIA. Those who witnessed the younger brother of the former President waving lustily and gesticulating wildly to his supporters outside the airport would not, for a moment have thought, that he would need any medical care – not by a long shot. But lo and behold, no sooner was he arrested at the scene and deposited in the prison Rajapaksa gets himself admitted to the Merchant Ward. What was his ailment and who sanctioned his transfer from the Prison Hospital to the Merchant Ward is still shrouded in secrecy. Rajapaksa in an interview with a TV channel, when asked, why he sought admission to hospital no sooner he was thrown behind bars gave the tongue in cheek reply that those who enter prison are liable to have, whatever ailment they are afflicted with, compounded.
Not just Basil R. We have had a whole host of politicians making a beeline to the Merchant Ward, hardly after their cell doors have clanged shut behind them. On what basis is this done?
The public have had their intelligence insulted for too long. Not just this. Recently we have had imprisoned politicians getting themselves medically condemned in order to avoid appearing before a courts of law. The Prison Hospital, like the Prisons Department itself, needs an overhaul. Doctors with proven integrity should be recruited to man the scandal ridden Prison hospitals. It is only then that the public can expect evenhanded treatment.
Geetha got it wrong
Actress turned politician Geetha Kumarasinghe has taken a dig at the Yahapalanaya government, for the rising crime rate in the country. Addressing Joint Opposition women representatives, the Galle District MP says that people were being killed in broad daylight by underworld figures, a thing not seen even in America. Her Joint Opposition colleague Udaya Gammanpila, meanwhile, states that underworld activities that were brought under control by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who handled the underworld in a politically unbiased manner, had resurfaced. He said, under GR, most of the underworld figures fled the country but have returned, curtsey a powerful government Minister.
Both Geetha and Gammanpila are obviously peddling their political views without making a genuine assessment of the situation. The underworld was not the creation of the present government but a carry forward from the past. The Vambottas and the Julam Pitiye Amares were not the creation of the Yahapalanaya government just like the Soththi Upalis and Kalu Luckies were not the creation of the Chandrika government. All governments lent their patronage to underworld figures, which sadly has culminated in the type of situation that we witnessed the other day in Kalutara.
Geetha, who hints at a growth of crime under the present government, should cast her mind back a few years when the criminals in fact were dressed in political garb. Has she forgotten how the Superintendent of the Noori Estate was brutally done to death by a gang led by a Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman no less? Has she forgotten the episode, where, another PS Chairman was found guilty for the murder of a British national and the rape of his fiance in a hotel down south? Only, pressure from the British government brought in a prosecution. It was yet another PS Chairman who threw a party on reaching the milestone of raping his 100th victim.
Gammanpila who offers a bouquet to Gota for eliminating the underworld in the city cannot be unaware that the targets were carefully chosen, so that, only those supportive of an Opposition political party were in the crosshairs of the executioners.