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GMOF accuses GMOA of acting illegally



The Government Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) has, in a media statement, said that it is illegal for the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) to exert pressure on the Health Ministry over doctors’ transfers.

The statement signed by President of the GMOF, Dr. Rukshan Bellana, says there is an injunction order against the GMOA and its Working Committee and it is illegal for the officials of the GMOA to use their designations as the injunction is in force.

However, those officials still continue to use their designations to criticise the government and others and exert pressure on the Ministry of Health to manipulate the transfers of doctors, port intern training appointments and continue to hold Room No 07 of the first Floor of the Ministry of Health as a trade union office.

In addition, they have given instructions to make deductions from the salaries of the members of the GMOA.

The action by those who continue to hold the offices of GMOA is in violation of the injunction given against them by the Court and we demand the Secretary to the Ministry of Health to take legal action against them,” Dr Bellana has said in the statement.

Dr Bellana has said that the GMOA and GMOF are the two main trade union bodies representing the medical practitioners in the country and the main difference between the two organisations is that the latter in its constitution itself has forbidden any trade union action at the expense of patients.

He said that a GMOF delegation met with Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella on Monday (13) to explain the undue influence by the GMOA and to register their opposition. Secretary to the Ministry of Health Dr Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Additional Secretary Dr. Sunil de Alwis, Director General of Health Services Dr Asela Gunawardana, Deputy Director Generals of Health Drs. Lal Panapitiya and G Wijesuriya and Director Tertiary Services Dr. Ianthi Karunaratne attended the meeting representing the Ministry of Health.

“We pointed out at the meeting that a fraud was being committed in the name of re-attachment of doctors so that the henchmen of GMOA could continue to serve in the same hospitals for over 20 years.”

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Now, CEB plans to ‘rationalise’ tariff



By Ifham Nizam

Plans are afoot to ‘rationalise’ the electricity tariff shortly, Ceylon Electricity Board Chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando said, adding that the 52-year-old system should be changed for the betterment of the electricity consumer.

CEB Chief told The Island the CEB tariffs need to be changed to better reflect the use and the income level of the consumer. Ferdinando added that he had already briefed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on it.

Ferdinanado said that right now waste and corruption on CEB’s part had also been added to the consumers’ bill.

He said the CEB had received 1500 MT of fuel yesterday and would receive another shipment soon. However, thort-term power interruptions would continue in several areas until the operations at the Kelanitissa Power Station returns to normal.

“The power interruptions are an annoyance and we are looking for solutions. We too want to provide an uninterrupted power supply to our customers. Our hydro-power generation capacity is low as water levels in reservoirs are receding,” he said.

CEB’s Systems Control Department officials said that power outages might be experienced for one and a half hours due to problems at the Kelanitissa thermal plant complex.

CEB Media Spokesman, Additional General Manager Andrew Navamani said that the national grid had lost 282 MW due to the issues at Kelanitissa thermal plant. He said the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation had informed the CEB that necessary stocks of fuel for Kelanitissa power plant would be provided by yesterday night.

However, it would take several hours to start the generators, he said.

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Solving vexed problems: Ranil calls for fresh approach



‘What we are witnessing is end of politics’

By Saman Indrajith

Traditional politics did not have solutions to the present-day problems, and the MPs should adopt a novel approach to them, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday.

Participating in the adjournment debate on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy statement, the UNP leader said: “We have come to the end of politics. If we go by the words of Francis Fukuyama, it is a question of the end of politics. But that does not mean the end of Parliament. We in Parliament must think afresh. We must discuss how to bring about long-term policies which would help us find solutions to the problems affecting the public. Thereafter, we can go for elections and ask people to decide who or which party could do better. Japan did so. Great Britain is doing so. India and Canada do the same. Why can’t we do it here? If we can arrive at a consensus, we will be able to usher in a new era.

“The President has commenced this new session while the country is facing the worst economic crisis in 34 years. In his statement, he mentioned only the foreign reserve crisis. The economic crisis we are facing is far worse. We created a middle class with open economic policies. With the collapse of the open economy, the middle class too will collapse. There are a handful of companies and individuals who could earn profits while the economy is shrinking. We must decide whether we’ll perish or unite to work out a plan to ensure our collective survival,” Wickremesinghe said.

“We have come to the end of traditional politics. We may shout at each other and go out to shout slogans. But that will not help us solve problems.”

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Chandrika says Sirisena should be thrown out of SLFP



SLPP MP and former President Maithripala Sirisena should be thrown out of the SLFP for making the party a junior partner of the SLPP former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said on Wednesday night after appearing before the Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry (SPCoI) appointed to implement the recommendations of the final report of the PCoI into alleged Political Victimisation.

Both Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had destroyed the SLFP, Kumaratunga alleged.

The former President said that she had urged Sirisena not to join the SLPP as that would be the end of the SLFP.

“I repeatedly told him this and Sirisena removed me from the party’s Central Committee and stripped me of my organiser’s post in retaliation.

“Now, Sirisena is saying the same things I said about the SLPP. Even during the war, I managed to get the economy up and running. Look at it now, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” she said.

Kumaratunga was also critical of the SPCoI, stating that she had not been summoned before the PCoI on Political Victimisation for her to respond to any allegations against her.

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