Tuesday July 23, 2019
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Sri Lanka top cop on the mat over sterilization scare

By Our Police Correspondent

Jun 18, 2019 16:20 PM GMT+0530 | 17 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT – The senior-most police officer in the North-Western province is under investigation for attempting to cause racial hatred by planting reports of mass sterilization taking place at the Kurunegala teaching hospital, a police official said.

Deputy Inspector-General Kithsiri Jayalath is facing an internal inquiry into his conduct over what has become a deeply divisive issue over the alleged crushing of fallopian tubes of Sinhala Buddhist mothers by a Muslin surgeon at the teaching hospital.

DIG Jayalath whose wife is also a doctor at the same hospital had told the Divaina newspaper that Dr. Mohamed Shafi had crushed the fallopian tubes of 4,000 women thereby rendering them unable to bear any more children.

The Divaina newspaper had not initially named DIG Jayalath as their source but after the Criminal Investigations Department launched an investigation into the supposed “expose” of the same newspaper, the editor and reporter divulged their source.

Both CID and the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) investigations have so far revealed that there was no basis for DIG Jayalath’s assertion. In fact, Jayalath tried to cover his tracks by inviting alleged victims to make complaints after arresting Dr. Shafi.

Shafi was arrested on a charge of amassing unexplained wealth, and subsequently DIG Jayalath invited women to complain against Shafi.

Nearly 800 women had lodged complaints that they underwent medical procedures at the Kurunegala hospital and, since then, have developed various ailments, most of them unrelated to gynaecological procedures. Only 71 women have agreed to undergo tests to see if their tubes had been crushed by Shafi, a top police source said.

He said most of the 71 women who had agreed to be tested had no records of who had actually performed surgeries on them.

A senior police officer directing the investigations said the women who agreed to be tested have now been told to initially test the fertility of their husbands. The numbers to be tested have since gone down drastically.

The CID has questioned all medical support staff and other doctors who had carried out surgeries with Dr. Shafi, but none of them has supported the claim that he sterilized women while carrying out C-section procedures.

Politically motivated

The CID is investigating if many of the women had been induced to lodge complaints against Dr. Shafi, a unsuccessful candidate from the United National Party (UNP) at the August 2015 parliamentary elections. Shafi could not secure a seat, but is the next in line in the Kurunegala district should there be a UNP vacancy in the district.

The director of the Kurunegala hospital, Dr. A. M. S. Weera Bandara is an activist of the Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP) and a close associate of MP Wimal Weerawansa. Police have zeroed in on the director as a key figure behind the public scare.

Shafi’s financial success is also said to be the subject of envy among many of his peers. His purchase of a block of land in the Kurunegala town for 135 million rupees had fuelled speculation about his wealth.

However, investigators found that the purchase had been made by four people, including Shafi. Half of the purchase price had been raised as a loan from a commercial bank.

Police said the CID investigation was almost over and details of the case would be unveiled at the Kurunegala Magistrate’s court on June 27.

Police are likely to ask the magistrate to initiate action against their own officer who could face charges under the ICCPR Act for causing racial hatred and dissention in the country and fuelling racial tensions. The director of the hospital too could face charges, according to sources close to the investigation. (COLOMBO, June 17, 2019)


 

17 Comments

  1. Shiraz June 19, 08:06 AM

    This guy who commented is kidding right...someone is arrested and then the police goes and looks for complaints against him? What a joke Sri Lanka has become

  2. Nana June 19, 07:41 AM

    Very serious accusation. If found innocent, people should apologise from the accused and those who accused for political and personal reasons should be hanged.

  3. Vis8 June 19, 06:03 AM

    Ha ha... looks like the writer of this article is a litttttttttle biased. Looks like he is scared of the real truth. Haaaaaaaaaah haaaaaaaaaaah haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh

  4. charles June 19, 03:54 AM

    This article shows poor journalism and poor standards of EN. Editors should have done a back ground check before publishing articles of this nature. Can police force 1000+ people to fake medical condition?

  5. Joshua June 19, 02:15 AM

    What an appalling situation, a innocent man who is of great service to your community Dr Shafi is being set up by ignorant self serving, jealous bigots. Sri Lanka is regressing into a medieval, racist uncivilised country.

  6. Chinthani June 19, 01:04 AM

    This truth need to be shared with the citizenry in both the Sinhals Tamil languages. Whether 10 or 1000 complaints come against this Dr, the complaints already seem baseless. I disagree with the previous commentor - why can't the media present the truth about the trial through the media - it was the same which published a so called expose which brought in the allegations and created a public out cry against this Dr.

  7. Tuan Zainoor June 18, 11:35 AM

    Finally this politically motivated drama is coming to an end. Eventualy all the criminals have to be brought to books without delay.

  8. Malcolm x June 18, 10:42 AM

    According to what you say then the CID the SIU investigations also must be racially motivated?what nonsense are you trying to say man do you think you can insult the intelligence of the people with crap.

  9. Small Lion June 18, 10:23 AM

    I don't know why srilankan public so foolish to believe whatever media says.

  10. Daniel June 18, 10:04 AM

    In civilized countries Innocient until proven guilty but with this Sinhala mafia ....its the other way

  11. Rationalist June 18, 09:59 AM

    Nanda, please don't add fuel to the terrible fire of racial hatred enveloping our country. This article seems to be very balanced, and based on evidence which is expected to be presented in courts soon. Why don't you wait for that before jumping to such atrocious conclusions?

  12. Dravid June 18, 09:40 AM

    Nanda to you...why do you say this report is bias? possibly a supporter of SLPP not that you are a sinhala supporting person. This report is true as anyone in their minds know clearly this story was created and making a doctor look evil.Anyone with sound medical knowledge knows this is not possible.

    We are typical sinhala people who think we are it and we are the only but forget we are all Sri Lankans finally and not by race or religion that we are born in to or follow

  13. Unborn June 18, 09:35 AM

    Medical experts please tell us loud and clear if its so simple for a doctor to crush the falopian tube to prevent me from being born Or is it too complex to answer, if thats the case I dont want to be born as its a dumb world

  14. Buckfizz June 18, 09:25 AM

    Innocent until proven guilty. The rule of law should prevail.All culprits should be punished rigorously. If the accusations against the doctor is false, then the all those involved, including the women must be dealt with severely such that it has a deterrence effect.

  15. Guest June 18, 09:32 AM

    This article implies that nearly 1000 mothers who have complaint and a dozen medical professionals who have made complaints are liars. Shame

  16. Chatura June 18, 09:19 AM

    Mr. Nanda, are you aware that the fallopian tubes are not exposed during a C-section? The surgeon would have to reach inside the patient and move the tubes out and then crush or cut them. While other Doctors and nurses are watching. I'm a Sinhalese too, but I don't believe in absurd lies.

  17. nanda June 18, 05:29 AM

    This article looks bias and try to give the impression that the complaints over 1000 against this doctor is baseless even before a proper investigation conducted. This shows how Sinhala race is subjected to harassment from various extremist groups including this paper.

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