Dec 17, Colombo: The Public Service Commission denied that it has advised to reinstate Dr. Mohamed Shafi Sihabdeen of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital who was sent on compulsory leave on allegations of performing illegal sterilization operations or pay arrears of his salary for the period he was sent on compulsory leave.
The controversial action to Dr. Shafi on compulsory leave was takne on May 23, 2019, with a revelation made by a leading Sri Lankan newspaper that Dr. Shafi has performed illegal sterilizations of thousands of women. Against this backdrop, Dr. Shafi was arrested by the Kurunegala Police on May 25, 2019 on charges of illegally acquiring assets.
Following the investigations conducted, in June 2019 the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) informed court that there was no evidence to prove the allegations made against Dr. Shafi Sihabdeen.
Subsequently, on July 25, 2019, the Kurunegala Magistrate's Court ordered that the doctor be released on bail and further investigations were expedited under the CID.
The Secretary to the Ministry of Health Major General Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe on the 6th of December has in writing informed the Director of the Kurunegala Hospital stating that the Public Services Commission has decided to reinstate Dr. Mohamed Shafi Sihabdeen and also instructed to pay arrears of his salary for the period he was sent on compulsory leave.
Meanwhile, M.A.B. Daya Senarath, Secretary Public Service Commission has issued a statement regarding the reinstatement of Dr. Safi and the payment of arrears of salary that the Health Services Committee of the Public Service Commission has approved on 19.06.2019 the recommendation made by the Secretary to the Ministry of Health that he should be sent on compulsory leave from 24.05.2019.
“Accordingly, neither the Ministry of Health nor any other institution has so far submitted a request to this Commission or its Health Services Committee for advice on the payment of arrears of salary or reinstatement while he is on compulsory leave. No such instruction has been issued by the Public Service Commission or its Health Services Committee.”
However, the Secretary has informed that the Establishments Code clearly states how to deal with an officer who has been on compulsory leave and the relevant authorities have the power to act accordingly.