The Colombo Magistrate’s Court today instructed the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to launch an inquiry regarding the medical team, including former Chief Judicial Medical Officer of Colombo Dr. Ananda Samarasekara, which had carried out the first postmortem examination after the death of former Sri Lankan rugby player Wasim Thajudeen.
The instructions were issued after considering the accusation of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) that Dr Samarasekara and the medical team had acted in an irresponsible manner with regard to examination.
Therefore the Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris ordered a separate investigation into this matter.
Meanwhile the Additional Magistrate also instructed the CID to investigate the police officers who had allegedly covered up the investigations regarding Thajudeen’s death.
The CID informed court that the Colombo University’s computer unit has been tasked with inspecting the CCTV footage from Narahenpita to Kirulapana with regard to the incident.
According to this footage, the CID is investigating a suspicious vehicle and an individual while the Colombo University’s computer unit has been ordered to submit a report regarding its findings within 14 days.
IUSF points accusing finger at Prof. Samarasekara
The Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) allege that Ananda Samarasekara, Professor and Head of Department of Forensic Medicine at the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) and staff member of the Dr. Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) was connected to the disappearance of certain body parts, including the thigh bone, during the post mortem on late rugby player Wasim Thajudeen.
The former Chief Judicial Medical Officer (JMO), Prof. Ananda Samarasekera, conducted the initial post mortem examination following the 2012 death of Wasim Thajudeen.
Although Professor Ananda Samarasekara had claimed to have left all the remains of Thadujeen’s body, upon his retirement on June 3, 2013, at the JMO’s office, the IUSF challenging Samarasekara’s statement said that no proper evidence was received that the JMO had handed over certain body parts. “There is an official procedure to be followed when handing over body parts. No log book entry had been made about this incident, although it is compulsory that a log book entry be made. Even the staff members of the JMO’s office admit that Samarasekara had not handed over certain body parts,” said IUSF Coverner Lahiru Weerasekara.
Addressing a media briefing on December 7, he said that SAITM was accused in the past for keeping corpses for research purposes of SAITM students without legal approval and hence, their allegation regarding the disappearance of the body parts is just.
Meanwhile,Chief JMO Dr. Ajith Tennakoon, while presenting a report to Court had raised a question as to why no legal action had been taken against former JMO Samarasekara in this regard.
The IUSF had also lodged a complaint with the Police on December 2 regarding 14 unregistered doctors who presently serve at the NFTH. “These set of doctors have not renewed their registration at the Sri Lanka Medical Council.
“Moreover, the lives of patients who receive treatment from these NFTH doctors are under great threat. Questions have been raised as to why the Police delay in arresting these set of “fake doctors” even though we have presented the police with sufficient evidence.
“Therefore, we request the Police to take immediate action regarding this incident,” Weerasekara said.