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Strike at LRH called off (Update)

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The 24-hour token strike by the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH) has been called off.

GMOA Media Spokesman Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe said that the Health Ministry Secretary had informed the LRH Director in writing to expedite the ongoing disciplinary action against the ill-tempered consultant at the hospital and arrange suitable transfers to the doctors who had worked with the particular consultant.

“As we were ensured the solutions, we decided to call off the token strike from noon,” he said.

However, Dr Wijesinghe warned that if actions are not taken as promised, they would not hesitate to resort to a major trade union action in future.

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(Previous News : July 19, 2023 11.02am)

24-hour strike at Lady Ridgeway Hospital

The staff of the Outpatient Department (OPD) of the Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH) for Children, Colombo has launched a 24-hour strike from 8.00 a.m. today, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) said.

GMOA Spokesperson Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe said the strike was launched in protest of ‘arbitrary’ conduct of a specialist doctor at the hospital.

Dr. Wijesinghe said the conduct of this doctor has been a long-standing issue and the hospital’s director has failed to resolve the matter.

“This compelled the GMOA to bring the matter to the attention of Director-General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena who asked for a week to look into the matter. Although three weeks have passed, he has failed to fulfill his promise,” he said.

“Accordingly, a 24-hour token strike was initiated by the OPD. However, emergency treatments will continue,” the GMOA Spokesperson said.

When asked about the strike, LHR Director Dr. G. Wijesuriya said he was not informed of the strike.

“I am aware of a token strike but I was not informed. The conduct of the said specialist doctor has remained an issue due to her rude attitude. However, none of the doctors on strike work under this specialist doctor. There are no other doctors except the interns under her for about a month. I do not know how they have been harassed for a month since there are no other doctors working with her.”

“Steps have been taken to stop admitting patients to the ward, where the said specialist doctor is attached to. There is nothing else I can do beyond that. I have no authority to remove or transfer a doctor appointed by the Public Service Commission,” Dr. Wijesuriya said.

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Anton’s TU life celebrated in Kusal’s ‘Humanist Without Borders’

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A book celebrating fifty years of Mr. Anton Marcus as a Trade Unionist will be held in Colombo next week.

Mr. Marcus is currently the Joint Secretary of the Free Trade Zones and Public Employees’ Union.

The book entitled ‘Humanist Without Borders’ alongside its Sinhala version, will be launched on June 17, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo from 3.30pm.

The books are penned by political columnist and analyst – Kusal Perera.

Emeritus Professor Jayadeva Uyangoda and the former president and general secretary of New Zealand’s ‘First Union’, Mr. Robert Reed, will deliver guest lectures.
Speaking to ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ in this regard, Mr. Kusal Perera said:

“My effort in profiling Anton in this book that traverses the fifty years of his trade union life is in the context of Sri Lankan politics. It’s because he himself is a political creature. Therefore my reading said, despite all rights, decency, dignity enshrined in the Constitution, in International law and for all that Anton fought for, it was no easy task in a world of the filthy rich whatever honourable labels one would tag them with.”

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Modi expected to visit SL?

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A high level delegation headed by the State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya is scheduled to visit Russia to arrange for the repatriation of Sri Lankan ex-military personnel deployed in Russia for military purposes and the related discussions will be held on June 26 and 27, said Minister of Foreign Affairs, President’s Counsel Ali Sabry.
The Minister also noted that a team of officials has been tasked with reviewing the Cabinet paper submitted to decide on Sri Lanka’s potential membership in the BRICS organization. Their report is anticipated later this month.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, President’s Counsel Ali Sabry, highlighted this during his participation in today’s (June 14) Press conference at the Presidential Media Centre, focusing on the theme ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’.

The minister elaborated further, stating that they are also anticipating a visit from the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs – S. Jaishankar followed by a visit by the Indian PM himself.

“President Ranil Wickremesinghe visited India to take part in the swearing-in ceremony of Sri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.  Consequently, we anticipate a visit from the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs to Sri Lanka later this month, with the Prime Minister of India expected to follow suit shortly,” Minister Sabry has said.

He further noted : 
Recently, I attended the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Conference in Russia, representing Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has submitted a Cabinet paper to explore the possibility of Sri Lanka joining the BRICS organization. A team comprising officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Treasury, Ministry of Finance, and Central Bank has been tasked with studying this proposal. The Cabinet is expected to receive their report later this month.

Furthermore, discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov focused on resolving the issue of Sri Lankan ex-military personnel serving in the Russian army. To address this, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, and a delegation including secretary to the Defence Ministry will visit Russia. These discussions are scheduled for June 26th and 27th. Concurrently, efforts have commenced to facilitate the safe return of Sri Lankans currently stranded in Myanmar.

(Excerpts : President’s Media Division) 

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Keheliya & 7 others further remanded

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Former Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella and 07 others have been further remanded until June 28 by the Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court over the import of substandard human Immunoglobulin vials.

This order was issued when the case was taken up before the Maligakanda Magistrate today (June 14).

Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s Department today informed the Supreme Court that it will not appear on behalf of former Health Minister Kehiliya Rambukwella and arrested NMRA officials over the case of purchasing medicines from two allegedly unregistered companies.

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