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Mahanayake Theras urge President, Prime Minister to solve SAITM issue

The Chief Prelates have urged the President and the Prime Minister to resolve the issue surrounding the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) with a solution acceptable to all stakeholders.

The Mahanayake Theras of the three main Buddhist chapters have forwarded a letter to the President and the Prime Minister yesterday urging them to come up with a solution acceptable to all. The letter has been signed by the Chief Prelate of the Malwatte Chapter, Most Venerable Thibbatuwave Siddartha Sri Sumangala Thera, Chief Prelate of the Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera, the Chief Prelate of the Amarapura Maha Nikaya, Most Ven Kotugoda Dhammawasa Thera and Chief Prelate of the Ramanna Maha Nikaya, Most Ven. Napane Pemasiri Thera.

The Mahanayaka Theras in their letter state that the SAITM issue has affected the country in a negative manner. The Mahanayake Theras go on to say that the SAITM issue has not only affected the medical education and the medical field of the country but has affected the day to day affairs of the general public as well. Therefore, the Mahanayake Theras state that a solution acceptable to all stakeholders should be arrived at without further delay.

SAITM became a highly controversial issue with various segments questioning its standards and legality in terms of its operations as the only private medical college in the country.

The Government has taken a number of efforts, including halting student admissions and degree awarding at the SAITM temporarily, introducing minimum standards for medical education and bring the Neville Fernando Hospital affiliated to SAITM under state control.