| by Pearl Thevanayagam

(April 24, 2014, Bradford UK, Sri Lanka Guardian) Selling of organs is nothing new to Sri Lanka. Kidneys and eyes were sold to foreigners but the sale was cloaked in NGO jargon as donations. When JVP youth were hunted down and murdered in cold blood by the late President Premadasa’s Black Cats squad in ‘89/’90, their organs were gouged out and sold to the Middle East, Singapore and China by none other than Dr Hudson Silva, the director of EDS ( Eye Donation Society).

Bodies of JVP followers killed by the PRRA lie on the ground with posters tied around their necks in Tihagoda. The sign says, ”This is the punishment for followers of the JVP signed by the PRRA.”
December 1989 (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Liaison)

Premadasa set up the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into NGOs including Christian organisations which were accused of proselytising Hindus and offering lands and houses in return the proceedings of which were held at the BMICH with a seven member panel led by Justice Wanasundera. The stark revelations made at the inquiry never saw daylight in that they were hushed up since Dr Hudson Silva was a close confidante of Premadasa. Former UK High Commissioner Nihal Jayasinghe was the prosecuting counsel who grilled Dr Hudson Silva.

Dr Hudson Silva claimed he donated the eyes of murdered JVPers and in return received cash gifts and durig the sittings it transpired he had deposited them into his son’s account in Los Angeles, California. This writer was taken to task for recording the proceedings by the then editor of Daily News Manik de Silva presumably under instructions from the President. Being the intrepid and journalist to the core, he gave in and this writer continued to record the proceedings.

Sarvodaya too came under fire for transferring funds to its members in the way of providing grants to buy houses. Christian organisations intimidated upcountry Tamils into forfeiting their Hindu faith in return for lands and houses and when they reneged they were evacuated and made homeless. Seventh Day Adventists had lands in Anniewatte, Kandy which were given to upcountry Tamils on the promise they convert to Christian faith.

Getting back to the news at hand that Sri Lanka is engaged in kidney sales it is incumbent on the government to crack down on this heinous crime which would send us the way of India where sheer poverty compels people to sell their kidney for survival. That doctors are complicit in this gory deal is deplorable and should be nipped in the bud to say the Least.

(The writer has been a journalist for 25 years and worked in national newspapers as sub-editor, news reporter and news editor. She was Colombo Correspondent for Times of India and has contributed to Wall Street Journal where she was on work experience from The Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley, California. Currently residing in UK she is also co-founder of EJN (Exiled Journalists Network) UK in 2005 the membership of which is 200 from 40 countries. She can be reached at pearltheva@hotmail.com)