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Strike to go on, SAITM issue has reached its final stage: GMOA

The members of the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) will continue the island wide strike they launched on June 21,Wednesday night. Issuing a press release, following a media briefing, the GMOA said that the “SAITM issue has reached its final stage”.

“The issue surrounding SAITM has reached its final stage. The Government has to take action immediately without complicating the situation any further and agree to the five step process formulated by Deans of Medical faculties, Faculty of Medicine Teachers’ Associations (FMTAs) and the GMOA on the issue” the statement read.

Addressing a press conference held at the GMOA Head Quarters in Colombo yesterday the Secretary of the association Dr. Nalin De Silva said that one or two Ministers cannot do what they want and rule the country.

“If the Health Minister can take stern and unprecedented action against the strike, the GMOA also can make the trade union action tougher,” De Zoysa threatened.

De Zoysa reiterated that the differences on the issues exists only between the Minister of Health and the GMOA. He said that the President and the Prime Minister had both agreed and hold the same view the GMOA holds.

Dr. Zoysa questioned whether the Health Minister is Minister of Health or Minister of SAITM. Responding to Senarathne’s assertion that the strikers weren’t doctors, De Zoysa that they could retort saying that Senarathne “is not a doctor and only a dentist”.

According to Dr. Zoysa, the Health Minister boasted about controlling dengue but he could not do it and it is same with the strike. “Today’s trade union actions not like early days and cannot be stopped by arresting people” he said. He further said that Senarathne has attempted to suppress their voice through violence but insisted that the Ministers attempts would not succeed.

Speaking at the media briefing Dr. Nalinda Herath said that still the Government has the chance to solve the issue without letting it to become more complicated. He insisted that the GMOA is apolitical.