Women health workers seeking transfers made to sleep with officers – unionist

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

 All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) General Secretary Gamini Kumarasinghe yesterday said that the sexual offences and harassment were rampant in the health Ministry due to lack of discipline.

Female doctors and nurses seeking transfers were required to gratify the carnal desires of health ministry bigwigs, he alleged. Even the female officers in the executive grade were harassed by sex maniacs, he added.

There were homosexuals in the ministry seeking bribes in kind, Kumarasinghe said. The onus is on the Minister to take drastic action against the high officials who were sexually exploiting the junior and senior staff alike.

GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalin Ariyaratne avoided commenting on this issue. He only said that sexual harassment was an offence that had to be severely dealt with.

Professor Senaka Bibile Commemoration Society Organizer Dr. Jayantha Bandara said that if there were cases of the sexual harassment or offences rampant in the Ministry, the Minister must probe them and the officials involved in such activities should be brought to justice. The Health Ministry was faced with a plethora of other problems such as manpower shortage, which too had to be solved. The Health Minister was trying to distract the position from the main issues, Dr. Bandara said.

Gampaha UPFA parliamentarian Dr. Sudharshani Fernandopulle said that the gender-based violence could not be eliminated overnight, but it could be minimized to a great extent. It was extremely important to have some media ethics. Because, murder scenes and serial films on TV and the electronic media had negative effects on the minds of children. Even the print media was responsible for escalating violence, because some print media had highlighted crime.

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