“Politicians who complain about the press are like sailors complaining about the sea” ENOCH POWELL Former Secretary of State for Health in England
Posted on October 28th, 2016
By M D P DISSANAYAKE
President Maithreepala Sirisena is continuing to have short memories. When he was the Minister for Health, the President Mahinda Rajapakse had reprimanded him on several occasions for criticising the media for exposing shortcomings in the health sector. In 2013 when Daily Mirror exposed the Ministry of Health for issuing blood virtually free from the National Blood Transfusion Unit to private hospitals, and charged patients Rs 50,000 for a pint. Maithree was furious with the Daily Mirror for exposing the facts.
It took several years for Maithree to compile a draft legislation of National Medicinal Drugs Policy, which he presented to President MR on the Health Day on March 11, 2014, after severe criticisms by the press for the delay.
Maithreepala took a quite a long time to resolve a minor dispute at his own electorate of Polonnaruwa, when a room at the Polonnaruwa Base Hospital was taken over by the Special Grade Nursing Officer, the room allocated normally for the Doctors to take rest whilst on duty. Maithreepala was extremely annoyed with the media for making the issue to blow out of proportions.
But when he contested as the Common Candidate for the Presidential race, he released a book titled “MAITHREE” with his both hands held together in a style of worshipping, to hoodwink the electorate. The image of the book attracted massive media attention. He was instantly portrayed as a Bodhi Sathva by Late Maduluwawe Sobitha, Athuraleiya Ratana, Ranil Wickremasinghe and Chandrika.
Now as the President of Sri Lanka, this absent minded President is once again attacking media for criticising him.
Fear of possibility of losing power and the subsequent events likely to follow are haunting this isolated man.
It is great that the main road of Mulleriyawa leading to the Angoda Mental Hospital had been newly built and renamed as Mulleriyawa New Town by President Mahinda Rajapakse, so that the lives of Luminaries requiring urgent medical attention can be saved.