The controversial case involving Dr. Mohomad Shafi Shiabdeen who served at the Kurunegala Hospital has taken a new twist with the implication of Kurunegala Chief Magistrate Sampath Hewawasam in a case of professional misconduct.
It has been revealed that the Kurunegala Chief Magistrate is married to Dr. Hiroshinie Jayasinghe, who is a doctor at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital, which is at the center of Dr. Shafi’s case. In fact Magistrate Hewawasam has married Dr. Jayasinghe on July 10, 2013.
The Leader reliably learns that the Kurunegala Magistrate is in close contact with Kurunegala Hospital Director, Dr. Sarath Weerabandara, who has worked to frame Dr. Shafi in the alleged sterilization of Sinhala women.
Call for action
This revelation of the nexus between the Kurunegala Magistrate and Dr. Weerabandara has taken social media, especially Twitter, by storm with questions being raised as to whether the Attorney General (AG) will take up this issue of conflict of interest and professional misconduct on the part of the Kurunegala Magistrate and whether the Chief Justice (CJ) would transfer the case to Colombo due to this controversy.
The matter in fact needs to be taken up by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) and the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) since the husband-wife duo seems to have ignored their professional responsibilities, a legal expert told The Leader.
Dr. Shafi’s case was taken up before the Kurunegala Magistrate on Thursday (11) and despite claims by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) that there was no evidence to prove the allegations leveled against Dr. Shafi and that the detention order (DO) issued on him by the Defence Ministry was removed as a result the day before (Wednesday the 10th), Magistrate Hewawasam further remanded Dr. Shafi till July 25th.
Meanwhile, it has also been revealed that Kurunegala Magistrate Hewawasam had surreptitiously altered court records of June 27 in Dr. Shafi's case.
According to allegations that have been exposed on social media, the magistrate had allegedly removed evidence adverse to the Kurunegala Hospital Director, dental Dr. Sarath Weerabandara.
Interestingly, the Magistrate on Thursday (11) also permitted his friend, Dr. Weerawbandara to testify in court against Dr. Shafi.
Dr. Weerabandara was neither a complainant, respondent nor a witness listed by the aggrieved party, yet Magistrate friend Hewawasam had allowed the doctor to testify.
Dr. Weerabandara was the architect of fabricating evidence and misleading court on Dr. Shafi’s case to save his friend, Kurunegala DIG Kithsiri Jayalath who initiated the sterilization story by planting a story in the Divaina newspaper against Dr. Shafi.
Despite media claims of thousands of complaints piling against Dr. Shafi, the investigators have narrowed it down to 11 and that too require medical confirmation.
However, a total of 615 complaints were received by the CID and 468 of them after media reports that Dr. Shafi carried out illegal sterilizations (LRT). Finally, only 11 of them have been categorized as “sterilization,” but only three can be considered as such. Others have allegedly been fabricated by Dr. Weerabandara.
Following are the 11 cases that have been categorized as sterilizations:
Case 1: Nadeeka Karunatissa: C-section done by Dr. Shafi on Feb 18. Bed Head Ticket (BHT) entry by Dr. Hansini Munasinghe says LRT done, but patient says did not consent. Another doctor, Sagarika Priyadharshini had falsified entries.
Case 2: Shamali Geethamala Karunatilaka: Gives consent with husband’s approval for LRT after 3rd baby. Complications after last delivery. Hospital director falsely lists this as an illegal sterilization. Deliberate misleading of court.
Case 3: Nirosha Lakmali: After delivering her 3rd baby through a C-section, Dr. Shafi asked if she wanted to be sterilised. Said no. Wants to know if she can have another child. Hospital director lists this conversation as an illegal LRT to mislead court.
Case 4: K. W. Vajiralatha: Dr. Shafi offered LRT surgery 10 years ago, but she refused. Now at 51, she wants to know if she has been sterilised. Hospital director lists this too as an LRT, but does not provide hospital records.
Case 5: Dilrukshi Shiromi Fonseka: Refused offer of an LRT after 2nd C-section delivery. Suffered complications and later treated at a private hospital. This is also reported as an illegal sterilisation.
Case 6: Priyadharshani Ratnayake: Says a doctor told her that an LRT had been performed after a still birth on July 3, 2011. Case merits further investigations.
Case 7: Priyanka Dilrukshi Ekanayake: Suffered prolapse of the womb after the 3 rd C-section. She does not complain of any sterilisation. Only wants to know if the surgery had been done properly. Not relevant to the charge against Dr. Shafi.
Case 8: R. M. Kumari: Complaints of incontinence after delivering her 4th child through natural child birth. Not relevant to the subject matter and a blatant attempt to mislead court and inflate allegations against Dr. Shafi.
Case 9: D. M. Muthumanike: Claims LRT done on April 8, 2008 after excessive bleeding during 2nd C-section delivery. Hospital records, director’s report and patient’s statements contradict each other. Need AG’s advice to proceed.
Case 10: Chamika Nadeeshani Somasiri: Refused an LRT after second delivery through C-section. Needs to know if she has been subjected to LRT. Qualifies for a HSG test.
Case 11: Prashanthi de Silva: Had complicated C-section delivery. Child with hole-in-the-heart. Womb removed to save mother, but Weera Bandara included this to mislead court and investigators. Hospital summary replete with duplication, fabrications.