Wigneswaran accused of inciting racism

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Former Chief Minister and MP C.V. Wigneswaran has been accused of trying to provoke ethnic disharmony by protesting against the appointment of a medical practitioner from the South as the Acting Provincial Director Health Services (PDHS), health sources from the North alleged.

Authorities, when contacted yesterday (8), lashed out that the MP had even written to President Ranil Wickremesinghe querying as to why a Medical Practitioner from the South had been appointed to the post when the relevant human resource for the position was available in the North. But owing to a dilemma within the Province, the Health Ministry had to make a decision and appoint the former Regional Director Health Services Colombo, Dr. D.H. Liyanage. 

The fact is that the Health Ministry was placed in a bad wicket as the outgoing PDHS was unwilling to accept a Senior Medical Administrative Grade (SMAG) outside the Southern Province while the Regional Director Health Services in the North qualified to hold the position was unwilling to accept an ‘Acting Position,’ to temporarily fill in the PDHS posit.

Sources said that while the Northern Deputy Provincial Director Health Services and the Director of Teaching Hospital Jaffna are qualified to take up the positions, the Deputy Provincial Director had turned the post down citing personal reasons as the Director of Teaching Hospital Jaffna had been in an ‘end post’.

They said the Mannar and Mullaithivu Regional Director Health Services who were currently filling serving in Acting positions where qualified Consultants with Board Registration. However they too have not been promoted to SMAG.

Sources said that the Northern PDHS (Acting), Dr. D.H. Liyanage, who assumed duties on Monday (05), was also a board qualified consultant. However, contrary to claims made by Wigneswaran and other self-interested politicians the Health Ministry had taken the decision to appoint Dr. Liyanage who was former Regional Director Health Services Colombo as the two Regional Directors from Mullaitivu and Mannar had been reluctant to work in an acting capacity.        

Sources lambasted the Former Chief Minister for attempting to incite racism and discrimination. There were a large number of doctors and nurses from the South serving in the North while there is no reason why an administrative grade post should not be held by a medical practitioner from the South, sources added.

By Dilanthi Jayamanne