THE conduct of the nurses of the
Peradeniya Teaching hospital who struck work purely over an
administrative matter is unbecoming of the practitioners of the
noble profession to say the least.
It was reported that certain nurses had resorted to sabotage
by even removing the life support systems of patients in the
intensive care unit and also cutting telephone connections.
This is an indictment on the nursing fraternity reputed for
their legendary healing touch and the famous smile and tender
care that go long way to aid the recovery of the patient.
Instead, what had occurred at the Peradeniya Teaching
Hospital was a blatant act of thuggery where far from assisting
in the healing of patients the nurses transformed themselves
into agents of death. The Government should act fast in bringing
the culprits to book and deterrent punishment meted out to the
perpetrators of this heinous act.
It was only the other day we editorially commented on the
need to improve the lot of the nursing fraternity after
President Mahinda Rajapaksa gave an assurance to resolve all
their outstanding grievances including provision of hostel
facilities for nurses.
The latest act of the nurses amount to a challenge to the
Government which should be met head on. It is a disgrace to the
profession of nursing which carries noble ideals ingrained in
human compassion that some of their fraternity had acted to
endanger the lives of patients in their care.
This is why this latest act by the nurses cannot be condoned
by any right thinking citizen. It appears that the nurses too
are now following in the footsteps of their more illustrious
superiors who have no qualms about downing their stethoscopes at
the drop of a hat holding the innocent patients to ransom and
all indications point to the makings of a mafia among the
nursing fraternity following their mentors in the medical
It is therefore incumbent on the authorities to arrest this
latest trend with a firm hand before the such acts become common
in the future leading to the collapse of the country’s health
The authorities should to not cave into the machinations of
sinister elements who may be working to political agendas to
bring the Government into difficulty at a time when the doctors
too are daggers drawn against the Minister of Health. True,
nurses too have their grievances that needs looking into by the
But their first option should be discussion rather than
wilfully sabotaging the treatment of innocent patients.
Precipitate action that puts the patients’ lives on the line is
hardly the way to earn the appellation of ‘nightingales’ affixed
to the nursing fraternity.
They owe it to the state for providing them with the training
to carry out their profession in a dignified manner. The
Government on its part should act fast and declare nursing as an
essential service and hound out those elements who play around
with the lives of innocent patients.
Tough times for Tigers
THE decision by the Tamil Nadu
Government to take stern action against those who speak in
support of the LTTE will be greeted with wry smiles by Sri
Lankans familiar with the history of the ethnic conflict.
It is a stark irony that the vary State that provided succour
and sustenance and raised the genie that is the LTTE is today
going out of its way to put the kibosh on the outfit.
The Congress Party too has got into the act and demanded the
arrest of another LTTE sympathiser in the Tamil Nadu state for
his comments at a recent public speech demanding the revocation
of the ban on the LTTE.
True the LTTE was banned first in India but it is well known
that Tamil Nadu is still used as an outpost by the LTTE to carry
out its clandestine activities against the Sri Lankan state.
It appears from recent events that the LTTE lobby is losing
its clout. One instance was the break up of the rally organised
by Pro- LTTE stalwarts Vaiko and Nedumaran and also the
intervention of the Indian law enforcement to stop the duo from
sending ‘relief’ supplies to Sri Lanka’s North.
The recent spate of arrests of hardcore LTTE activists in the
State has also turned the heat on the outfit in the Tamil Nadu
The Government should seize the latest developments in Tamil
Nadu to press for more stringent measures to curb arms smuggling
to the North and also to break up the various clandestine LTTE
cells operating in the State.
We should seize the initiative of the efforts by the Tamil
Nadu state to clamp down on LTTE activity to seek assistance for
extra measures to isolate the outfit and break up its