Cabinet Minister and Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) General Secretary Patali Champika Ranawaka has warned that the country may face a repeat of the 1988 – 1989 period.
He has told a Government group meeting that the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) must be abolished.
Ranawaka told the Government at the meeting that if SAITM is not abolished violence may erupt in the country like what was seen during the 1988 – 1989 period, sources said.
Sources said that Ranawaka has also proposed that a separate paying system be introduced for government universities.
He said this will attract students like those who had joined SAITM expecting better education.
However State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe had said that having a separate paid system will result in an overflow of medical students who will eventually not have jobs.
Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne however noted that Sri Lanka needs more doctors as for every 100,000 patients there are only 65 doctors.
Senaratne said that the ratio must increase to at least 200 doctors for every 100,000 patients.
At the discussion the President had also made inquiries about the ongoing case on SAITM.
Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera told the President he was confident the outcome of the case will be positive.
However he also noted that the Government must have a clear stand on the SAITM issue and not be divided.
The Ministers at the group meeting agreed that the Government must speak with one voice on the matter. (Colombo Gazette)