Duminda Silva: Rs 18 – 39 Million And Counting
Duminda Silva – the member of Parliament from Kolonnawa, a Colombo suburb – has incurred costs of at least LKR 18 Million and could have incurred as much as LKR 39 Million at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. Silva was admitted to the private hospital in November 2011 and has remained there ever since. The end of April will mark the 180th day that Silva has been at the hospital.
The Sunday Leader has estimated that Duminda Silva’s expenses at the hospital on a lower scale is at least LKR 18 Million and on the upper end of the scale LKR 39 Million at current exchange rates. These charges refer exclusively and only to room charges. Costs of doctors and other hospital charges including surgeries, medication, dressings and others are excluded from the calculation. Costs of any visitors staying overnight with the MP is extra.
According to information published on the internet, Mount Elizabeth Hospital charges for an Executive/Deluxe room is SGD 945. ( SGD = LKR 105) That makes the daily charge at least LKR 99,225. This is for an ‘Executive/Deluxe’ room which also includes a free lodger but without the meals. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Silva is occupying a ‘suite’ which if proved correct, will mean that Duminda Silva is incurring a costs of at least LKR 39 Million at a daily room rate of LKR 220,500.
The Mount Elizabeth Hospital was unable to comment on individual cases and is understandably cautious about releasing any information in the interest of privacy. Howevertheir room rates are freely advertised on the internet. What is unclear however is exactly what the cost of treatment is at the hospital. The hospital is a favourite stop off point for the well-to-do from Sri Lanka and has cared for many including most recently former First Lady, Hema Premadasa. Leading surgeons routinely charge at least USD 7,500 and sharply upwards for standard procedures in overseas markets such as the United States and Britain.
Naturally due to their desire to ensure privacy the Silva family were unwilling to speak to the media. Some weeks ago when The Sunday Leader contacted Lal Silva, he told us that he “was not speaking to any of the press at the moment”. The Sunday Leader has unconfirmed reports that Duminda Silva is able to speak, has done so to a relative whose voice he immediately recognised and is able to walk and function normally. Silva is also said to be proned to ‘short-term’ memory lapses. Details of Silva’s medical condition has been a closely guarded secret although in the past fortnight a Magistrate was informed by the Police that Silva’s father’s legal counsel indicated that Duminda Silva was in Singapore and required ‘further surgery’.
Hirunika Premachandra, whose father Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra was shot dead in October last year, has called on the Police to contact Interpol in order that Silva be produced in Court in Sri Lanka. Hirunika a student of law who qualified in the United Kingdom, told the Sunday Leader that under Sri Lanka’s Constitution and especially under Article 4 (C) the judicial powers of the people was exercised through the Courts. The magistrate therefore was acting by proxy for and by the people. It was she said. “incumbent for the Magistrate and the Police to act swiftly”.
Hirunika Premachandra – “The Conscience Of The People Must Be Awoken”
Murdered politician Bharatha Lashman Premachandra’s daughter, Hirunika Premachandra brushed aside a death threat and the report of a LKR 2 Million contract upon her life and said that it was time “the conscience of the people of this country was awoken.” Hirunika Premachandra had made a complaint to Police Headquarters on Monday (23rd) that she had been made aware of a contract upon her life.
In the Police complaint Hirunika, a law student, stated that a news article had appeared in the RANDIWA publication which referred to a ‘contract upon her life’. Hirunika has stated to the Police that she had been contacted by the Editor of RANDIWA one Saman Samarakkody and brought up to date on the copy that his publication was carrying. According to Premachandra the copy in RANDIWA referred to a conversation that had taken place in which it was over heard that:
“Sir is all right and he is walking about and talking and that Sir was coming back to Sri Lanka in about 3 weeks”
The conversation continued in that vein when one of the men said that
“Sir’s case would be finished soon because he will be given a Ministerial portfolio in the next round of changes and he will have more power then.” The other person, Hirunika had reported to the Police said,
“But She will not give up. She will continue with the case.” “That will not happen. Sir has given a contract out on her life. It is worth 20 Lakhs.” Hirunika Premachandra told the Sunday Leader that she made a complaint to the Police and asked for protection. At the time of going to press the Police had not provided any protection. Hirunika told the Sunday Leader that she refused to be intimidated by these threats and will continue until she sees that justice is seen to be done. It was important she said to “lobby the conscience of the judiciary and the people. The Magistrate in the case is not acting with his own powers – he is exercising the judicial powers of the people as granted them in the Constituition.” It is time she added, “to make take this case Public. The people must know what is going on.”
Scale of Charges at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore General Room Rates
Types of Room Room Charges Daily
Rate (SGD)) excludes 7% GST
Royal Suite (Entire Suite) 8,316.00
Royal Suite (with Lodger Room & Lounge) 5,775.00
Royal Suite (with Lodger Room) 5,198.00
Royal Suite (without Lodger Room) 4,505.00
VIP Room (with Connecting Lounge)* 3,234.00
Daffodil/Magnolia Suite 2,100.00
Executive Deluxe* 945.00
EXCHANGE RATE – 1 SGD = LKR 105