Government Medical Officers Association launches token strike
The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) will launch an island wide token strike on Thursday (May 17th) in protest against the recently signed Sri Lanka – Singapore Free Trade Agreement. The token strike is set to begin at 8am.
Dr. Haritha Aluthge, Secretary of the Government Medical Officers Association said that there is strong opposition against the FTA adding that they can no longer remain silent on this issue. Aluthge hopes that the President would intervene in this matter and provide a guarantee that the FTA will not come into effect until a robust national trade policy is in place.
The President tabling a memorandum at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on the 08th of January 2018 states the Sri Lanka Singapore Free Trade Agreement needs to be drafted and prepared as per the National Trade Policy to which the Cabinet agreed in July 2017. One month after the President issued this letter, the President of the National Chamber of Commerce Sujeewa Samaraweera in an interview to a newspaper had said Sri Lanka needs to expedite the process of preparing a National Trade Policy.
However, when looking back at the Cabinet decisions for the month of July 2017, it is clear no such decision was taken by the cabinet of ministers. Questions were raised in this regard during the cabinet media briefing and Minister (Dr.) Rajitha Senaratne, referring to the national trade policy, said that there is no such policy and that there are many other national policies that need to be prepared.
When pressed for an answer on whether the President had been misled to believe that a national trade policy was in place, Min. Senaratne responded in his signature fashion and evaded the question.