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SAITM issue can be solved favourably – Govt


Cabinet Media Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senarathne says a favourable environment has been created to solve issues surrounding the South Asian Institute of technology and Medicine or SAITM.

Speaking at the Cabinet media briefing held today, Minister Senarathne said a proposal has been forwarded by SAITM for the government to acquire its teaching hospital.

The Minister said SAITM has accepted that they will close for 6 months.

He said however they had also sent a proposal to the Prime Minister for the government to acquire the SAITM teaching hospital adding all 1,000 beds at the teaching hospital will then be occupied.

The Minister of Health stated SAITM even proposed to carry out the teaching hospital as a public-private partnership.

Cabinet Minister Rajitha Senaratne noted the existence of SAITM is a political issue, however, the issue in the profession is the quality and standards of the institute.

He said the need of producing quality doctors prevails reiterating a committee comprising four doctors was appointed by the WHO to inspect the standards of the institute.

Minister Senarathne said Sri Lankans make use of freedom and democracy by taking to the streets.

The Cabinet Minister said there are 365 days in a year, out of which individuals strike for 362 days.

He remarked that this was how people make use of their freedom in Sri Lanka adding in third world countries, freedom and democracy is made use of in this manner.

The Minister said there were individuals who wanted to engage in pickets for a long time but were afraid to do so.

He said they suddenly remembered Gotabaya Rajapaksa and refrained from picketing.

The Minister of Health said these groups of people are now on the streets engaging in pickets adding the government does not mind it.

Commenting on the control price imposed on rice, Minister Senarathne said the measure was taken to prevent stockists from increasing their prices to 90 rupees.

Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the Cabinet of Ministers decided to import rice since there was a rice distribution issue in the market and also due to the drought in the island.

He noted the stock of imported rice has now been shipped to Sri Lanka adding there is no issue in the stock of local rice.

The Minster said Rice Mill Owners are leveling charges against the Subject Minister and the Subject Minister is levelling charges against the Rice Mill Owners.

However he stated there is only a distribution issue that Sri Lanka is currently facing.

He said Sathosa reduced the prices of rice from 90 rupees to 75 rupees however, if Sathosa increases the price by more than 5 rupees, the stockists will begin to sell the stock of rice at 90 rupees once again.

The Minister of Health noted a control price was imposed to stop the stockists from doing so further stating this was done for the betterment of the general public.

He said it is best if the government can issue the stocks of rice through Co-operatives.

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