It is the duty of our profession to help the sick and the injured. In
the medical school we are taught that the sick and the injured come
before the self and ‘non nocere’(Do no harm) is one of the oldest of the
“Terrorism is one of the unhappy features of our times and none of
us, wherever we live can feel immune from its reach. Quite possibly,
terrorism has always been with us but never has been so widespread”.
Terrorists are not poorly educated young males lacking in employment
or future prospects. Those who carried out the London bombings on July 7
were educated UK doctors. The terrorist attack in London and Glasgow
airport in June 2007 seems to have been perpetuated by doctors.
The medical role of doctors in terrorism includes leaders of
organisations most recognised as terrorists such as George Habas (Front
for the Liberation of Palestine), Mahamed al-Hindi (Islamic Jihad),
Ayman al - Zawahiri (al-Qaeda leaders of oppressive regimes such as
Hastings Banda (Malawi) and Che Guevara (Cuba), medical servants of
oppressive regimes such as Josef, Mendela and Radovan Karadzic (Serbia),
Ikiu Hayazhi (Japan) and Harold Shipmman (UK).
All above people were intelligent enough to be educated as doctors.
According to Wessley, in these cases, there is lack of empathy for
others and for their welfare (new England Journal of Medicine, 2007,
It is noteworthy that the number of doctors deliberately harming
their patients or others are only a very small minority of the medical
The medical school admission authorities should carefully select
future doctors. Several UK schools have introduced UK clinical aptitude
tests to try to identify students who may not be fit to join medical
In Sri Lanka, public has a high expectation of our doctors. There is
a certain amount of lack of confidence in our people in our young
doctors following the recent abnormal behaviour of one of our young
doctors in an outstation hospital.
These types of incidents can be prevented by making arrangements by
the hospital administrators by insisting all male doctors to examine the
female patients always in the presence of patient’s guardian, or a
female nurse or female attendant (or female labourer) (Above rule has
always been there during the last 45 years and every problem could have
been avoided, if the chief MO/OPD only followed the above rule.
During our days (40 years ago) we never examined any female patient
in the absence of a female attendant or nurse.
As mentioned earlier only a few doctors deliberately harm their
patients (new England Journal of Medicine, 2007, 357, 635-7).
D. P. ATUKORALE -
At the recent release Grade-5 Scholarship results 2007, St. John’s
Girls’ School, Panadura recorded the highest number of passes in the
educational zone of Panadura.
One hundred and nineteen students out of the 247, who sat for the
examination thereby were successful obtaining the highest percentage for
the Panadura educational zone, which is forty seven per cent.
It is not the first time this school has produced notable results. It
has been a phenomenon over the years. In the year 2000 and 2001, two
students were placed first in the island in the Grade-5 scholarship
These successful results are due to the untiring efforts of the
principal and the staff. The dedication and the commitment of the staff
is largely due to the motivation by the Board of Trustees of the school
and its Chairman Neil Perera.
The Board has been quick to recognise the performance of the teachers
and appreciate the services of the teachers. This school can be
considered as a model school in the Kalutara district.
As an ‘old entrant’ to the public service, having joined the railway
clerical service in May, 1951, I too agree with the views stated by U.G.
Rodrigo of Panadura in the Daily News of December 3 under the Citizens’
I too was issued a ‘Blue Book’ which was known as the ‘Service Record
Book’ issued under Ref. General 277 in all three languages, in September
1970. This was introduced during the time of Sirimavo Bandaranaike, by
Felix Dias Bandaranaike as Minister of Finance and Public
The full name of employee, Department/Ministry, Pensionable post held
by the employee, date of birth, date of appointment to pensionable post,
W & O.P. number, the signature of employee, signature of Head of
Daily Paid Service particular, non-pensionable monthly paid service,
service in pensionable posts, all salary increments, promotions,
transfers etc, family particulars of officers, were some of the personal
details, recorded in the ‘Blue Book’.
This book if re-introduced, will come in very handy for officers at
the time of their retirement after serving in various
Ministries/Departments in various stations, if they are informed by the
officers preparing their pension papers that some of their service
particulars in their personal files are not up-to-date.
Then, they could produce their ‘Blue Books’ duly authenticated by a
staff officer in the respective departments they served.
As we have heard often, some of the personal files are found to be
not up-to-date, due to frequent transfer if an officer or due to
negligence on the part of some officers who maintained the personal
I still have the ‘Blue Book’ issued to me by the department and go
through it recalling the happy memories I spent in the Railway Clerical
Service for over 35 years. I was 21 plus when I joined the Railway
Department on the results of a competitive Central Clerical Examination
and a Viva Voce Test, unlike now. We entered Government service through
the English medium after having passed the Senior School Certificate
I wish to quote here from a news item which appeared in the Daily
News of December 11, 2006, for the information of our readers what the
Public Service was during our time, some years back, and what it is
today. To quote:
The ‘Public Service’ which was once the pride of this nation
attracted to it at that time the cream of the intelligentsia that
schools and universities produced.
They did not enter the portals through family connections or
They faced competitive examinations and interviews and their
performance and merit alone guaranteed their appointments. Having
entered the service they performed their duties with great dedication
and efficiency. Efficiency of Sri Lanka’s public service was recognised
even by prominent world leaders like Singapore’s Lee Kwan Yew.
LIONEL LEANAGE –
Recently there had been advertisements, lectures, seminars etc., on
violence against women. In fact our local TV advertises every day, to
warn men, requesting women to contact a certain organisation for legal
aid. In one TV advertisement our Cricket hero Kumar Sangakkara appears.
As against the violence to women, there appeared an article in a
foreign paper, copied in one of our local newspapers an article titled
men are hidden victims of domestic violence by Benjamin Radford where he
says “When most people think of domestic violence, they think of men
abusing women. While that stereotype is often true, many women are also
guilty of violence against their partners”.
He goes to cite several cases and it is proposed to mention one - In
January, 2006, the wife of Indianpolis Coalts cornerback, Nick Harper
stabbed her husband with a knife during an argument. According to
Police, Naniel Harper got a knife from the kitchen drawer and began
waving it over her husband as he lay in bed.”
The letter goes on to state “Domestic violence by women is very
underreported. Many men are reluctant to admit that they were abused by
a woman, unless the injuries are serious on a third party intervenes,
the man may simply put up with it.
Men fear that if they fight back in self defence, they themselves
will be accused of abuse because of society’s assumption that men are
“Stereotypes can be misleading and domestic violence is a serious
crime that should not be tolerated whether the victim is male or
Those who advocate and come before TV advertisements, should educate
women to follow God’s command as laid down in the Bible - Old Testament
- Genesis 3-16. “..... and thy desires shall be to thy husband, and he
shall rule over thee”. Straying away from this devine command, women
will get the treatment they deserve.
SIRIMA - Boralesgamuwa