Mr. Sajith Premadasa, the opposition leader, had taken steps under the breath programme to donate medical equipment to the Batticaloa hospital.
On that occasion, TNA Member of Parliament Mr. Shanakya Rasamanikkam delivered the following speech about Mr. Sajith Premadasa in Sinhala and Tamil.
Mr Shanakya Rasamanikkam while thanking the opposition leader for the donation of medical equipment, he recall that the opposition leaders have made a significant contribution to improving the political rights of Tamil speakers people of the eastern province. (including Muslims). We, the people of Batticaloa district, greatly appreciate your participation on our behalf in the recent meeting with the president.
Traditionally, an opposition leader would use such occasions to rouse the people and cause trouble in order to strengthen his political power, but you never did this, and your approach has been very diplomatic and persuasive, and we in Batticaloa district are very grateful to you for that, and you also pledged your full corporation to solve this problem.
You may recall that in parliament I fought to get a ‘Cath lab’ to the Batticaloa hospital, despite having two parliamentarians from the district in the government benches now holding ministerial positions who had not contributed an iota to the improvement of the Batticaloa hospital, but you fulfilled that need, and I am grateful to you on behalf of the people.
When a ‘Cath lab’ was assigned to Batticaloa, the district government MPs were hesitant to move the matter forward. When I and Mr. Sumanthiran met with then-Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, he in his usual style yelled , “Where is Pavithar?” and called then-Minister of Health Pavithara Wanniarachchi. The ‘Cath lab’ assigned to Batticaloa had been transferred to Kalutara. There isn’t a single ‘Cath lab’ in the entire eastern province. Even Uva province lacks a ‘Cath lab’. There are none in Mahiyangana, Badulla, or Moneragala.
Sir, if a patient in Batticaloa or Trincomalee requires any heart-related tests or procedures to done, he or she must travel all the way to Colombo or Jaffna. We are not against the people of Kalutara; they, too, require a Cath lab. However, the irony is that while it takes only one hour to travel from Kalutara to Colombo and one hour to travel from Kalutara to Galle for a ‘Cath lab’ travel from our areas and from Uva province to Colombo and Jaffna will take much longer hours of travel.
I believe the cost of ‘Cath lab’ at the time was around 160 million rupees. There is no other example that demonstrate how communal the Pohottuwa government was at the time. They deprived the allotted ‘Cat lab’ away from the Tamil speaking population of East and Uva. Now that the cost of such equipment is exorbitant, due to SLR depreciation. We request you if can please assist us in this matter; it will be a great service to the people of this area, and I ask that when you become the leader of the country, you make this as your top priority.