GMOA to launch countrywide strike today

Published : 8:44 am  May 5, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Kalathma Jayawardhane   
A number of trade unions attached to the health, education and railway services are to go ahead with the planned 24-hour countrywide strike today over the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) issue, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) said yesterday.  


GMOA Secretary Dr. Naveen De Soyza told a media briefing that about 160 trade unions would join hands with them to protest against the SAITM and added of them some 30 trade unions of them would protest today.  
“All state medical officers including ayurvedic doctors, dental and veterinary surgeons will be refraining from engaging in services from 8.00 am today to 8.00 am tomorrow. The workers attached to other trade unions will hold demonstrations and protests around the country,” he said. He said that the GMOA was urging the government to immediately nationalize the SAITM and the government should refrain from entering into trade agreements with foreign countries such as the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) which may deprive Sri Lankans of job opportunities.  
However, he said several hospitals including the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Castle Street Hospital for Women, De Soysa Hospital for Women in Colombo and Sirimavo Bandaranaike Specialized Children’s’ Hospital in Kandy, National Cancer Hospital in Maharagama and all kidney, emergency treatment units would be open for patients despite the strike.  
Meanwhile, Ceylon Teacher’s Union (CTU) Secretary Joseph Stalin told the Daily Mirror that the teachers and principals representing 14 unions attached to all state schools would refrain from engaging in their services today by adopting a sick leave campaign in order to safeguard the free education in the country. 
Railway Guards’ Association Secretary P.M.P. Peiris said the railway guards and drivers would also refrain from engaging in their services today against the SAITM and to oppose on the government’s proposal which could lead to a removal of the 
pension scheme.  
Meanwhile, students attached to state universities would refrain from attending to lectures today in protest of the SAITM and several lecturers attached to state universities would also refrain from engaging in service.


No bus strike today

By Chaturanga Pradeep   DM_20170505_A001-7
The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) and the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) Service yesterday said they would not participate in today’s trade union strike launched by the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA).

LPBOA chairman Gemumu Wijerathne told journalists that there was no need to support the doctors because they never supported any other organizations and most of the time they used to criticize bus drivers and conductors.
 Mr. Wijerathne advised the public to not to trust mafia strikers like GMOA and there was no need to fear of any bus shortages.  
“As a private bus association, we will support the GMOA strike if the GMOA agrees to three conditions proposed by us. The doctors should stop their private practice, should provide ten year continuous service in the government sector and should not appoint doctors with foreign medical degrees to the government service,” Mr. Wijerathne said.  
If GMOA agrees to these three conditions the LPBOA will definitely support 
their strike.  “Even the President Maithripala Sirisena issued a statement about the government’s status about SAITM. The doctors’ union is trying to go beyond the president’s 
decision,” he said.  While addressing media Sri Lanka Transport Board Trade Union Federation Secretary Ranjith Wijesiri said that they also decided not to support today’s GMOA strike.
“Every SLTB employee will be on 
duty,” he said.    Meanwhile, Inter Provincial Private Bus Association (IPPBA) President Sarath Vijitha Kumara said that would support the GMOA strike by hoisting black flags on buses but will not stop their service.