Sri Lanka doctors refuse to treat wounded police

ECONOMYNEXT – Doctors at Sri Lanka’s main hospital refused to treat four police officers who sustained injuries when hundreds of university students stormed the health ministry, official sources said on Thursday.

A total of 60 undergraduates and 4 police – a constable and three Special Task Force (STF) members – were admitted to the Colombo National Hospital following Wednesday’s clashes when the Inter-University Students Federation led the storming of the ministry.

Police fired teargas and water canons to disperse the hundreds of students who occupied the ministry building for three hours during which they destroyed furniture, cars and equipment  within the compound.

“A constable from the Bloemendhal police station was taken to hospital at around 5.00 p.m, and even by 9.00 p.m. he had not received any treatment,” a police officer who was with the victim said. “Then, we took him out and admitted him to the police hospital.”

Three STF officers who had been assaulted by the students were similarly refused treatment by government medical officers, and had to be taken out and rushed to another hospital. A medical officer at the hospital said he felt ashamed of the cruel and inhuman treatment to an injured person, but was afraid to speak out openly fearing reprisals from the GMOA trade union.

“We have treated terrorist suspects and saved their lives when they were brought to our hospital by security forces,” the officer said asking not to be named. “It is a shameful act to refuse treatment to police officers.”

The GMOA staged a nation-wide strike on Thursday to express solidarity with the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP), which led Wednesday’s storming of the health ministry to protest private medical education.

A hospital source said, out of the 60 students admitted to the National Hospital Colombo on Wednesday, only three girls remained under treatment, while the others had been discharged. (COLOMBO, June 22, 2017)

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