Cartoons googled and added by TW
It appears that the GMOA has a fixation on Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. It never misses an opportunity to take a dig at the minister and is continually calling on the President to remove him from the post. Certainly, the animosity of the government doctors with the Health Minister goes back to the SAITM days. He (Dr. Senaratne) stood his ground and refused to bow to the dictates of the Padeniyas, Aluthges and the Zoysas until the doctors were forced to throw in the towel and accept a lot less than what they originally bargained for.
Now, once again, the GMOA wants Dr. Senaratne out. It has come in the form of a request made to the President to take over the Health Ministry. This time it is using the ‘contaminated milk’ incident as grounds for the removal of the Health Minister. Addressing a media conference, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said; “the incumbent Health Minister seems to be turning a blind eye to the issue, which is why the GMOA is requesting the President to take over the ministry.”
The government doctors appear to be in sync with the Joint Opposition in regard to calling on the President to take over various ministries. It was only the other day that Pohottuwa nominal leader Prof. G. L. Peiris requested the President to take over the Provincial Council Ministry under his wing for the purpose of holding the postponed Provincial Council elections.
It is not clear whether the government doctors are aware of the constitutional position in making their request to the President to take over the Health Ministry. But it is inconceivable that the former law professor is unaware of the fact that the 19th Amendment limits the number of portfolios which a President could hold, these being Environment and Mahaweli in addition to Defence which the constitution automatically confers on the President (of course the Law and Order portfolio which the President now holds is an aberration which was occasioned by the events of October 26 last year).
Besides, it is all too clear that the request for the removal of Dr. Senaratne by the GMOA is born out of malice. This is considering the open hostility shown towards the minister by the government doctors for not permitting them to have their own way. This running battle also took its toll in the spate of strikes resorted by the GMOA to get the minister to fall in line to its demands. Failing in its bid to have Dr. Senaratne removed, and, falling flat on its SAITM demands, the GMOA turned rabidly anti-government and ventured into territory that was out of its ken.
It began dictating to the Government on how it should enter into by-lateral trade agreements and with whom. It went a further step and agitated for the Government to cancel international trade pacts already entered into and to reverse other decisions which it claimed would negatively impact on the country’s economy. It was blatantly evident that the GMOA was working to a political agenda and was doing its utmost to bring back the Rajapaksas. If not, how could one account for its deafening silence when the SAITM issue originated as far back as 2008 when Mahinda Rajapaksa was in the saddle? Even the Indo-Lanka trade agreement which was firmly opposed by the GMOA was entered into under Chandrika and continued during the Rajapaksa era, with nary a whimper of protest from the good doctors.
The GMOA has finally shed its cloak as to its true motives with top members attending political rallies and events of the Joint Opposition. Its chairman is a prominent presence at the Eliya and Viyath Mage shows which are nothing but platforms to promote Gotabaya Rajapaksas’s candidacy for the next Presidential Election. But the coup de gras was when the GMOA made an open appeal to the envoys of western countries to accept the illegal government that was sworn in on October 26 last year.