Nepotism endangered Life of Sri Lankan Haj Pilgrims.


With the grace of the Almighty I had the privilege to be one of the pilgrims who left from Sri Lanka for Haj this year. Facilities provided by the Saudi Arabian Government to serve the millions of pilgrims were highly appreciable. Many Asian countries too furnished excellent facilities and services to minimise the difficulties encountered by their nationals. However, pledges given by the Minister of Muslim Affairs of granting all facilities to Sri Lankan pilgrims turned out to be another hollow prattle customary to him.

Pilgrims of Sri Lanka had to undergo various difficulties due to sicknesses caused by the foreign climatic conditions, and the Sri Lankan Mission Clinic housed in Makkah took no effort to help and treat these sick pilgrims. On the contrary the Doctor who was in charge of this clinic was rude, discourteous and averse to suffering pilgrims which forced them to seek treatment from clinics operated by Saudi Arabia and other Asian countries although many of them couldn't clearly express their malady to the foreign Doctors.

A case in point was the ill-treatment meted out to Mrs. Marikkar, wife of the Mayor of Galle and the veteran Muslim politician Mr. Mansoor Marikkar. She was having a severe wheezing problem and Mr. Marikkar rushed her in a taxi to the Sri Lankan Mission Clinic.

When they reached the clinic the Doctor in charge (Dr. Akbar), completely ignoring the patient had attempted to close the clinic and walk out saying that it was prayer time. Even the call for prayer was not made at that time and there was more than half an hour for the next prayer. Protests made by the naturally enraged Mr. Marikkar had been ignored by this Doctor (Dr. Akbar) stating that he is MACHAN OF THE MINISTER.

Only after Mr. Marikkar produced his visiting card threatening appropriate action against him in Sri Lanka this ill-mannered Doctor had returned to his senses and treated Mrs. Marikkar. However, as there was no improvement in the condition of the Lady after this treatment she was taken to King Abdul Azeez Hospital in the night where she was immediately nebulized by kind-hearted friendly foreign Doctors and given with necessary but expensive medication all free of charge. The Medical Council of Sri Lanka and the Doctors Association would be failing in their duty if they do not take appropriate action against this kind of Machan Doctors who castigate the nobility and honour of their profession.

I understand that these Machan Doctors are paid an allowance of Rs. 250,000 for this mission work in addition to other perks and facilities. There were lot of other short comings and ill treatment to pilgrims which I refrain from elaborating due to space constraints. Haj Pilgrimage is an annual event and matters related to this event should be handled by a national committee comprising representatives from all political parties, Muslim Scholars and Muslim Religious dignitaries. It should not be made a precious Holy meal of one individual committed to nepotism and favouritism.



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