CBK & Sajith commend Dr. Shafi’s efforts to solve SL’s medical crisis


Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa have commended Dr. Shafi Shihabdeen for his generous donation towards solving Sri Lanka’s current medical shortage.

Dr. Shihabdeen was arrested on 25 May 2019 and sent on compulsory leave over allegations of having performed over 4,000 illegal sterilisation surgical tubal ligation operations during his time as the Senior House Officer (SHO) at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital.

The narrative at the time, however, read that the ‘Muslim doctor’ had performed these illegal sterilisations on ‘Sinhala Buddhist mothers’, specifically, in the face of racial uproar in Sri Lanka, as the incident unfolded a mere month after the tragic Easter Sunday Attacks of 2019.

He was later granted bail by the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court on grounds of there being a lack of evidence and proof to support the allegations, and was also awarded a sum of over Rs. 2.67 million by the Ministry of Health, as his overdue wages.

Dr. Shihabdeen went on to donate the entire sum of money for the purchase of several essential medicines, amidst the peak of Sri Lanka’s current medical shortage, for which he has been admired and commended.

Former President Bandaranaike congratulated Dr. Shihabdeen for his response towards the hate spewed at him, stating that “All right thinking Sinhala citizens pay hommage to you”.

“A shameful Chapter of Sinhala extremism clothed in lies, jealousy and hatred has ruined the life of a good professional”, she added.

Meanwhile, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Leader Sajith Premadasa too, commended Dr. Shihabdeen for his donation, emphasising how this case was an example “of how behind religious extremism there is no religion at all but petty jealousy and small mindedness”.

Expressing further gratitude, Premadasa assured that the ‘Husma’ initiative, a programme supported by both local and foreign donors to aid the medical crisis, will match Dr. Shihabdeen’s donation.