A senior medical officer of the Sri Lanka Navy has been sacked from service while a petition filed by him over alleged harassment within the service was being taken up by the Court of Appeal.
The commissioning of officer Dr. Ishanthe Gunatilake as Surgeon Lieutenant Commander of the Navy was withdrawn despite an undertaking by Deputy Solicitor General Shavindra Fernando that it would not be withdrawn until the final hearing and determination of the application filed by him.
However, when the case was taken up on September 8 the Court of Appeal was informed that a communication had been made to the Navy the previous evening that the commission of Dr. Gunatilake had been withdrawn.
Dr. Gunatillake is the only medical officer in the three Services to be honoured with the Ranavickrama award particularly for his individual bravery in the face of an LTTE attack in 1999 in Oddusudan.
Dr. Gunatilake had filed a petition in the Court of Appeal over alleged harassment within the Navy including the delay of his promotions.
Earlier he was commissioned Surgeon Lieutenant, but the position was subsequently changed to ‘Acting Surgeon Lieutenant’ for which he filed action in the Court of Appeal and in the Supreme Court and finally he was confirmed in the position of Surgeon Lieutenant.
Dr. Gunatilake has now appealed to President Rajapaksa to reinstate him in the position of Surgeon Lieutenant Commander saying there was no reason to withdraw his commission from the Navy.