Many trade Unions including medical, port, electricity, water, railway, post, banking are ready to launch a one-day strike today (15).
However, Cabinet Spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that since the President has already gazetted many of the services that will be included in the strike, legal action will be taken if it is violated.
The Unions’ had started their professional actions including strikes since the day before, protesting against several issues including the government’s new tax policy, increase in interest rates, increase in electricity bills.
Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe, the media spokesperson of the Government Medical Officers’ Association stated that the strike of the entire government hospital system has been planned for tomorrow.
Mr. Ravi Kumudesh, President of the Scholarly Association of Health Professionals,
“This professional action will start at 8 am today. If a single military officer or police officer comes to the health service to use force or force, we will extend the 24-hour strike to a continuous strike.”
Mr. Prasanna Kalutharage, Chairman of Harbor Sri Lanka Freelancers Association, stated,
“If there is a general strike today, the government will suffer a huge loss. “
Also, the Ceylon Electricity Board’s Engineers’ Association also engaged in a professional action today to work to the letter.
Mr. Buddhika Wijewardena, Joint Secretary of Lang.VMA Engineering Association,
“We are reporting sick leave today and expressing our protest. This process may increase the time it takes to restore normal power outages.”
Mr. Ranjan Jayalal, Convenor of Lang.Vma Joint Trade Union Alliance,
“Today, all employees of the Ceylon Electricity Board are on sick leave and refraining from coming to work. We will disable all sectors tomorrow. “
Joint Secretary of Water Supply and Water Conveyance Employees Union S.D. Mr. Neil Leelaratne,
“We are joining the strike today. Tomorrow we will be out of maintenance.”
The train drivers are going to join a 24-hour symbolic strike from midnight yesterday (14).
Chief President of Locomotive Operating Engineers Association K.U. Mr. Konthasinghe mentioned,
“Our executive council has decided to participate in a 24-hour symbolic strike from midnight yesterday. Due to this, train services are completely stopped. We express our regret to the passengers.”
However, since the railway service has been declared as an essential service, the leave of all staff members of the Railway Department has been canceled with effect from today until further notice; General Manager of Railways Mr. W.A.D. S. Gunasinghe has taken steps.
Meanwhile, the Ceylon Teachers’ Association and the Principal Graders’ Association will also join the strike today.
Mr. Joseph Stalin, Secretary of Ceylon Teachers Union,
“We will implement today’s strike in the same way. It doesn’t make any difference. Teachers, principals, teacher advisors, private teachers, private schools etc. are all involved in this. “
Reverend Ulapane Sumangala Thero, President of the Association of Education Professionals,
“Today we declare that we will join the action of not reporting to work”
Mr. Chinthaka Bandara, Co-convener of the United Postal Trade Union Front,
“We will strengthen today’s strike and start a 24-hour postal service strike at post offices, sub-post offices, headquarters, main control offices and central post exchange all over Sri Lanka.”
Meanwhile, the Bank of Ceylon Employees’ Union protested against the tax policy in front of Lakehouse Roundabout in Colombo.
Mr. Anupa Nandula, Vice President of Bank of Ceylon Employees’ Union,
“Remember, after we get out, bank safes will not open today. That means banks are not working today.”
Also, the Union of Central Bank Executives also protested against the tax policy in front of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka yesterday.
Accordingly, two trains from Avissawella to Colombo at 5.00 am and 5.45 am, and two trains from Halawatha to Colombo at 4.50 am and 5.50 am are planned to run today (15th) morning.
Two trains from Rambukkana at 5.25 am and 5.57 am, from Ganevatte at 3.55 am, from Mahavin at 4.45 am and from Kandy at 5.00 am are scheduled to run to Colombo.
On the Coastal Railway, trains from Beliatta at 4.15 am, from Galle at 5.00 am, from Aluthgama at 6.00 am and from South Kalutara to Colombo at 7.00 am are scheduled to run.
The Railway Department mentions that all these trains are equipped with dual power sets.
The Sri Lanka Police will take the necessary measures to maintain public order and prevent disruptions in the island by ensuring the safety of the railway department officials and passengers.
Accordingly, the officers in charge of the division should provide adequate security to cover every railway station within their divisional area and deploy teams of officers with a responsible inspector grade officer to the main stations. In order to implement a suitable program for their safety when engaged and off duty, and to implement a suitable security program to prevent the occurrence of stone pelting or other acts of sabotage during the running of the train, Inspector General C. D. Orders have been given by Mr. Wickramaratne.
This program will be implemented covering all areas from midnight yesterday (14).