Sept 17, Colombo: The Presidential Committee appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to resolve the issue of South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) handed over its report to the President on the 11th September, 2017, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said.
The 'Presidential Committee to Resolve Issues Related to SAITM' was chaired by the Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development Dr. Harsha de Silva.
The Committee comprised Secretary, Ministry of Higher Education and Highways D.C. Dissanayake, Secretary, Ministry of Health, Nutrition, and Indigenous Medicine Janaka Sugathadasa, Attorney-General Jayantha Jayasuriya (Represented by Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam), and Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC) Prof Mohan de Silva as members.
The Committee for 10 days had held lengthy discussions with the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), Deans of Medical faculties of Universities, medical professionals, university teachers' associations, doctors' associations, representatives of parents, and the representatives of SAITM management.
As a result of these discussions, the SLMC, as well as the other parties including the two Ministries have reached some agreements.
Based on the submissions made to the Committee, the Committee has recommended to temporarily suspend the admission of students for medical degree programs at SAITM.
The Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education and Highways has made the decision under section 70 of the University Act to suspend further admissions based on the recommendation by the Committee and has advised the SAITM management accordingly.
The new admissions will be suspended until 31 December 2017 or until the government gazettes the minimum standards under the Medical Ordinance, whichever comes first.
According to Committee recommendations the ownership and management structure of SAITM will be abolished. In its place a not for profit broad based ownership institution as a public-private partnership that meets minimum standards will be established.
Additional proposals have been submitted by the Committee in its report and the government has decided to discuss these proposals further and take measures according to the conclusions of the discussions. The government expects to find an equitable solution for all parties.
The Government expects with these positive steps, the university students, their parents, faculty members and deans, university administration as well as student unions and all other stakeholders will take measures to re-open the medical faculties for studies.
Read the Full Report of the Presidential Committee to Resolve Issues Related to SAITM here>.