Hoole on our report

Apropos a news item (‘Hoole and daughter asked to leave EC premises’) in yesterday’s edition of The Island, Election Commission member Prof. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole has sent us the following note:

"My daughter underwent quarantine at JetwingBlue and paid Rs. 175,000 for it. When she was released the army after testing her gave her the attached certificate signed by Shavendra Silva and Jasinghe and never told her to self-quarantine. The certificate said that she "underwent the necessary quarantine process."

"The Editor of The Island, Prabath Sahabandu never checked with me to verify that my daughter had not undergone quarantine. I hope he will issue a correction after portraying me as irresponsible.

"All the way to Jaffna from Puttalam and after I was stopped at every check point where they had my number plate with instructions to check our car. One policeman at Omanthai apologetically told me he did not know what he was to check for. Unlike the norm, they recorded the passing of our car at most check-points.

"The Chairman who never spoke to me on this later apologised and said it was a misunderstanding. However, on my way to lunch, I spoke to him and told him my daughter had paid Rs. 175,000 so he knew that she had been quarantined. But his PA telephoned me saying today's meeting "is going to be cancelled" and the driver and I needed to be quarantined for 2 weeks. Later the chairman said this was not necessary.

"When I returned from lunch, my office was empty, the few I met seemed ready to jump out of the second floor. My office had been sprayed and all doors left open. Except for one man, the rest were gone. It was most embarrassing for me.

"I returned to Jaffna promptly. I wonder if this is a ploy to sabotage election matters by forcing me into quarantine to break the 3-person quorum rule.

I thought it was a minor matter till I saw this morning's Island."

Editor’s Note:

Prof. Hoole is obfuscating the main issue. He does not deny our report. He admits that his daughter underwent quarantine only for two weeks.

Students who return from overseas have to undergo quarantine for 28 days. First, they are kept in quarantine centres for two weeks and, thereafter, they are placed under quarantine at home for two more weeks.

We sought the views of a medical expert involved in battling Covid-19 on the quarantine process. Dr. Deepa Gamage, Epidemiology Unit, Ministry of Health - Consultant Epidemiologist, yesterday said students who returned from abroad had to undergo self-quarantine for two weeks after leaving quarantine centres, where they spent two weeks.

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