Splits getting deep-rooted in post-Easter Sri Lankan polity over caesarian section issue

Ajith Perakum Jayasinghe

The repercussions of Easter Sunday IS attacks is Sri Lanka are taking a new turn beyond taking lives of over 250 civilians.

Anti-Muslim sentiments are getting deep-rooted in the Sri Lankan society. One very good example is the headline news of Sinhala nationalist daily Divaina (sister paper of The Island) on 23 April. The report said that a Muslim gynecology doctor connected to National Touheed Jamaath (NTJ) had committed medical crimes of sterilizing around 4000 Sinhala women during about 6000 caesarian sections he carried out.

NTJ is the outfit that conducted the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks. The terror organization is banned now and a massive manhunt is underway apprehending all who are linked to it.

The newspaper’s argument was that the doctor had conducted illegal vasectomy. Another nationalist medical don Prof. Channa Jayasumana supported this argument pointing out that the gynecologist could have turned the fallopian tubes of the woman under surgery into the condition he called fibrosis by temporarily applying two artery forceps on the two fallopian tubes during the surgery. He claimed the accuracy of sterilization through this measure is 80%.

However, former senior doctor related to obstetrics and gynecology Ruwan Jayathunga who is also a blogger said that a doctor cannot commit such crime repeatedly without the knowledge of the nurse who assists him. Thus he rejects the probability of committing such massive number of illegal sterilization.

Initially, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara rejected police had any information regarding such investigation. However, a day later a doctor from Kurunegala was arrested on the charges of suspicious earning of massive wealth. Media reports linked his name to the initial report. The Deputy Inspector General of the area told to media that police had information the doctor had connections to NTJ and he had received transfers of millions of rupees to his bank account. The doctor has been arrested for the investigations.

The arrested doctor has been an election candidate of the All-Ceylon People’s Congress led by Minister Rishad Badurdeen. The party contested under ruling United National Front and remains as a party of the ruling coalition. However, the doctor failed to elect. He claimed his life was at risk after the media report.

Popular sentiments are vehemently against Minister Rishad Badurdeen who is a hardliner Muslim nationalist. However, the allegations against him apparently lack substance and obviously politically motivated.

A thorough medical investigation is necessary to prove the allegations against the doctor.

Sri Lankan doctor Piyal Perera who is now employed in a university hospital in UK suggested three ways of conducting the medical investigation. He suggests to study the hospital records on the caesarian sections conducted by the particular doctor. If there is no mentioning about the caesarian section plus sterilization or if there is any doubt, HSG or HyCoSy tests can be carried out to verify any blocking in the fallopian tube.

If a doctor or a nurse has observed such act during their service, they can make the superiors aware of it.

If any patient has suspicion, they can lodge a complaint in police and start an investigation.

However, the allegation has already caused deep rifts in trust regarding the medical profession in Sri Lanka. The mistrust being planted by the extremist organizations, politicians and media in the society is causing an irreparable damage. It is very difficult to find a way out of the hugger-mugger Sri Lankan polity is embracing.

(Photo from dailysabah.com)