Govt will withdraw controversial gazette next week



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By Don Asoka Wijewardena


In response to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s instructions to cancel the gazette notification issued on January 31, 2014 by the Secretary to the Higher Education Ministry Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne, a fresh special notification canceling the January 31 gazette would be out next week.


The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) General Committee member Dr. Navin de Soyza told The Island that the Secretary to the Higher Education Ministry had issued a special gazette notification on January 31, 2014 mentioning that any private medical school or any private higher Educational Institute could issue medical degrees without the approval of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC).


He pointed out that as it was a disastrous gazette notification and, therefore, the GMOA had asked SLMC President Prof. Carlo Fonseka to meet President Rajapaksa and convince him on the adverse effects of the gazette which would jeopardize the medical profession. Then Prof. Fonseka had met President Rajapaksa and requested him to adopt remedial measures. Having understood the implications of the gazette, President Rajapaksa had given instructions to Dr. Navaratne to cancel the special gazette notification immediately and to reissue the previous gazette.


Dr. De Soyza added that had the gazette notification issued on January 31, 2014 been implemented the entire medical profession would have been in trouble because it was illegal to practise medicine or obtain any medical degree without the approval and recognition of the SLMC. Although President Rajapaksa had given instructions to the Higher Education Ministry to cancel the said gazette the latter had been dragging his feet on the matter, the GMOA said.


The Secretary to the Higher Education Ministry, contacted for comment, said he had prepared a news notification and sent it to the SLMC for its perusal. SLMA President Dr. Palitha Abeyakoon had approved it, but SLMC President Prof. Carlo Fonseka’s approval was pending. "I have already sent the draft to the SLMA and to the SLMC to approve the draft. SLMA has already sanctioned it. I am awaiting Prof. Fonseka’s approval. As soon as I get the draft I will issue a fresh gazette notification canceling the January 31 gazette notification," Dr. Navaratne said.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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