……Then they are not Doctors; They are Terrorists


Ceylon Today Editorial

Once again what we have been warning the Government about, repeatedly for the past two years, that the Opposition’s manipulation of the GMOA, IUSF, State sector trade unions, peasants and other lackeys will manifest in violence sooner or later, is sadly coming to pass.

On 23 June 2017, 11 DAYS AGO, the GMOA’s Editor Dr. Nalinda Herath said in relation to the GMOA’s continued belligerence on the SAITM issue that “The last resort for IUSF students is to take up arms. Student activists have become more violent than before. We issued a warning to the government…”

Legal opinion is that according to the Prevention of Terrorism Act, Dr. Nalinda’s statement is sufficient to remand him until the conclusion of trial for inciting students to take up arms.

Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne also said in immediate response that the GMOA’s doctors expect university students to take up arms and topple governments, adding that “If the doctors are calling on students to take up arms and create another massacre then they are not doctors.”

Reports of patients and members of the public reacting angrily, via agitated demonstrations, in the Chilaw General Hospital, on the same day, was scoffed at by the GMOA as a media orchestrated display.

The Chief Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of Matale Ven. Deegavapiye Chandrananda Thera has described the GMOA strikes as ‘barbaric’ especially when the whole country is battling a dengue crisis. He has said that the doctors are attempting to control this country by holding patients hostage in hospitals.”

In a sequel, the government has ruled out further discussions with government doctors over private higher education, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne has said, adding that the GMOA and obviously the IUSF actions in tandem are clearly manifestations of a behind-the-scenes conspiracy to topple the government. He said that the “GMOA which is working with the Joint Opposition” was an agent of this conspiracy.

When we take that theory into consideration in association with Dr. Nalinda Herath inciting the IUSF to take up arms against the Government, we are then talking about the final manifestation of what we have been predicting these past two years, to wit, that a foreign hand is behind the entire attempt to topple this government, with the use of wide scale violence written into the script.

Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa is on record as having said that the GMOA had called off the strike because, had they continued any longer, “the general public would have taken matters into their own hands and taken action against these doctors.”

That reflects the official and personal thinking within Government about where the anti-SAITM controversy is heading. Obviously, Dr. Herath’s statement could not have been one made without the sanction of the GMOA which has not denied it to date.

The Cabinet has been told last Tuesday that the President would take very positive action against unconscionable strikes resorted to by the GMOA because of the enormous risk to the lives of multiple thousands of OPD and warded patients in State hospitals.

GMOA members from the Western, Southern, North Western, North Central and the Northern Provinces are said to be unhappy with the current GMOA leadership and have opened talks with the Health Minister to form a breakaway trade union. That is, however, in the realm of speculation, but shows that the Government is exploring the option of breaking up the GMOA as a move to weaken the Joint Opposition’s weapons.

There however, is one factor that we need to acknowledge. It is that the Government has reneged on its pledges to fight bribery and corruption effectively, to conclude murder cases with successful trials and to expose the big political names involved in all of this crime under the former regime. All of this merely enables the GMOA to justify its argument that the Government’s word cannot be taken for granted, despite the fact that even if that word could be trusted, it would in no way change the use of the GMOA and IUSF by its political handlers to topple the government.

The GMOA’s belligerence on SAITM began only after Rajapaksa’s nemesis though it was established in 2008 under Rajapaksa.

Maithripala Sirisena, trounced him in repeated elections.

Government’s intentions, we must predict once again, will not prevent the GMOA and IUSF from continuing the Opposition’s machiavellian plan to intensify efforts to topple the Government with a never ending stream of protest demonstrations and strikes and escalate it into armed violence against the Police and Armed Services which need to be deployed against the illegitimate use of violence against the Government.

SAITM, Trinco Oil Tank issue, H’tota Port issue, disabled soldiers’ pensions issue and now the Uma Oya issue are all part of this plan to justify an armed attempt to force government into capitulation.