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More militarisation of health in Sri Lanka with another reshuffle

Sri Lanka’s president continued with his militarisation of government posts this week, as he announced two senior military officials would take over key ministries.

As Colombo looks to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced Health Ministry Secretary Bhadrani Jayawardhana has been moved to the Ministry of Internal Trade and Major General Sanjeeva Munasinghe will take her place.

Munasinghe is a serving military officer and currently the Officer Commanding the Army Medical Corp.

Meanwhile, Rajapaksa announced that another military officer, Retired Major General Sumedha Perera, who is a former Gajaba Regiment officer, has been appointed as Secretary to the Mahaweli Ministry.

Earlier this month, the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) said Rajapaksa had appointed “an alarming collection of alleged perpetrators of war crimes and bureaucrats previously accused of corruption to his new government”.

“Sri Lanka is now run by a collection of military officers many of whom will have to answer in a court one day for their complicity in the alleged killings of tens of thousands of their citizens in both 1989 and 2009, as well as alleged corruption,” Yasmin Sooka, the Executive Director of the ITJP said.