GMOA, a willing tool of JO?
The GMOA, it appears, is hell bent on crippling all government hospitals by its trade union action against SAITM. It is obviously testing the waters for a full blown strike. First, it struck work at the Uva, Southern, North Central and Eastern Province hospitals. Yesterday, it launched the fourth phase in the Wayamba Province.
The signs are all there. Medical students of the state run universities are distributing leaflets in their thousands while candle light vigils too are being held. Which begs the question as to who is funding the whole project? The GMOA, for the first time, had resorted to hoisting black flags at government hospitals, demeaning themselves to the level of just another run of the mill trade union.
The doctors’ agitation against SAITM is bound to dovetail with the signing of the ECTA agreement, slated for April and it is clear that the twin issues are being planned to cause the maximum effect to bring the government to its knees.
Which also begs the question, if the doctors’ campaign is solely based on altruistic reasons to provide a better health service to the public by opposing the SAITM, which the GMOA claims has fallen short of standards, or is there another motive behind the whole exercise to cause destability in the country and assist in the political project of the government’s opponents. We say this based on a newspaper interview given by JO firebrand Vasudeva Nanayakkara that it had targeted toppling the government this year. Asked how they were going to get about this business the maverick politician said that they naturally could not disclose their plans but that the growing dissatisfaction of the people with the government was clearly apparent and they would naturally seize upon the opportunity to bring their plans to fruition.
Obviously, the JO is waiting for the public dissatisfaction to reach a crescendo to seize on the opportunity to topple the government (although how they would get about this business is not clear) and is banking on the creation of the ideal scenario for this dissatisfaction to reach boiling point.
What better way to create such a background by paralyzing the country’s health service and cause the public to direct its wrath against the government and also by drumming up the ECTA goni billa to fever pitch to say that the county’s youth will lose their jobs to the Indians who will flood the country’s labour market, with the signing of the agreement. There is no other rationale for the doctors’ strike. We say this because there was no agitation by the good doctors when SAITM came into being under Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2008. Certainly not the type of protests we see today where the entire academic community has joined in the party to cause the maximum difficulty for the government. No standards were insisted by the GMOA when the Kotelawela Defence Academy was established, at the instance of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and, as Dr. Rajitha Senaratne observed, the inference was inescapable that the good doctors dare not mess around with Gota.
Be that as it may, the SAITM issue had been decided by the Court of Appeal and the doctors who are learned professionals ought to abide by the court ruling. If not, they would be opening the floodgates for lesser minions to disobey legal judgements and take to the streets, throwing open the doors for chaos and anarchy. Or, is this what the GMOA really want?
More of the same
National Freedom Front spokesman Mohammed Muzammil has once against accused the government of a witch-hunt against members of the military intelligence, following the arrest of five Intelligence operatives, including a major, over the abduction and torture of journalist Keith Noyahr. We have been arguing ad nauseam in these columns that fighting in the Eelam war did not give any member of the security forces a license to commit acts of crime. Military personnel are also not immune from prosecution when found out about their involvement in criminal activity.
Muzammil says that the witch-hunt against the military Intelligence officers was carried out to appease the enemies of the state. Is the former MP suggesting that these ‘enemies of the state’ had planted the evidence that led to the arrest of the military Intelligence officers responsible for abducting Noyahr? Is the NFF spokesman denying that there was no Special Unit set up, composed of military operatives, to target journalists, as unraveled by the CID?
Let Muzammil be reminded that a soldiers committed suicide, by hanging himself, after writing a letter, begging to exonerate another military colleague taken in, in connection with the Lasantha murder? Does this not tell a tale about military collusion in the crime?