M​ass Murder By Doctors?
Posted on August 15th, 2017

Dr. Sarath Obeysekera

It is high time the National Unity Government awoke from its democratic slumber and commenced governing the country.

The writing is on the wall quite clearly. Mahinda Rajapaksa who was thrown out by the people two years ago has not only clearly said that he will topple this government before the end of the year but has set in motion the modus operandi for him to grab power.

Some medical practitioners with their half-baked education, unable to think for themselves, are Rajapaksa’s willing tools. They have the cheek to tell a sovereign government: Nationalise the private medical college, SAITM, or we will strike indefinitely. That is: We will not attend to the sick in government hospitals and let patients die, in beds, floors or anywhere until our demands are met.

If this is not blackmail of the highest order, what is? This is threatened murder by a group of potential serial killers blindly following the orders of their political master. These state employees are bound by law on being appointed medical practitioners to treat the sick to prevent their deaths to the best of their abilities. Failure to do so is obviously a criminal act. They cannot play about with human lives. If they strike, they know well what they are doing.

What is being threatened is murder by inaction by these government employees of hundreds of thousands of the sick when their bounden duty is to attend to those who seek their assistance. If they fail to take cognisance it is the duty of the government to implement this law in full in the interests of the people

This government was elected by the people for them to live freely in a free society after the people threw out a tin-pot dictator and his family who were oppressing the people. Not for people to die without medical assistance as per orders of the dictator trying to grab power once again.

The government cannot rely on laws meant for democratic societies when the opposition resorts to a form of guerrilla warfare by storming government ministries, attempts made to even to storm the presidential secretariat and other forms of lawlessness. The duty of a government is to govern in accordance to the laws of the country. But if the normal laws are violated each day and attempts made to halt governance, other laws in the statute books such as Emergency Law and Martial Law should be resorted to.

Mahinda Rajapaksa is quite familiar with Emergency Law having governed the country under it for many years. That was mostly during the period of terrorism but if terrorism is unleashed under democratic facades and if normal laws of a country can’t cope with prevailing situations, what is the other option? For governments to resign or act under emergency law as Rajapaksa did?

Government medical officers are a namby-pamby force whose power lies in threatening the sick with death. They have been used in the first line of attack. There are other forces held in reserve as was demonstrated recently by strikes in the power sector. But in any form of warfare the first line of attack – even if they comprise women and children – is not spared. The GMOA in the front line of the offensive has to be taken on with the full ferocity of the law. It is time the government got down to serious business.

The government has attempted all the while to resolve the issue through discussions but come to a dead-end. Resolution of problems is not possible when one party remains intransigent. It will be like holding talks for a political solution with Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein or Velupillai Prabhakaran. Extra diplomatic alternatives have to be resorted to under such circumstances.

By far most of Sri Lanka’s medical personnel are gentlemen and ladies of the highest calibre and are susceptible to sense and sensibility. The government should appeal to these ladies and gentlemen to save the sick and their profession in whatever way they can from their rowdy colleagues. They can prove to the world that they are not entirely a political medical mafia.

The most fundamental requirement is for the government to stand firmly and not vacillate as they have done on this issue.

President Sirisena must stand firm and give leadership. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe must also provide leadership particularly to the UNP on whose shoulders this government rode to power.

In this coalition government there are some members with one foot in the government and enjoying the perks provided while the other is on a banana skin. They must be told to stand firmly by the National Unity government or get out.

Under no circumstance can the government concede to the stupid demand to nationalise SAITM. Giving into that demand is what the grand master of the strategy is planning for then will come demands from other sectors much more powerful leading to the collapse of the government like a pack of cards.

This government has a mandate to govern the country for five years. If normal laws cannot cope with the situation more stringent laws have to be applied. We have gone through long periods of Emergency rule.

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