Enjoining order issued on Medical Officers strike

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 June 1999, 14:57 GMT]
The Colombo District Judge, A.W.Salam, issued an enjoining order today restraining the Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) strike. The District Court further ordered the GMOA to take reasonable steps to inform its members who are on strike of the order.

The enjoining order restraining the two week old strike was issued by the Colombo District Judge on an application made by the Secretary of the Public Interest Law Foundation, Mr.Sumitha Senanayake.

In support of the application, Mr.Kanaga-Iswaran, President's Counsel, submitted to the court that the GMOA strike denied the public's right to life and health. The government spends large sums of money maintaining health services throughout the country, he added.

Mr.Kanaga-Iswaran further argued that the grievance of the GMOA was regarding the selection to posts in the provincial public service: responsibility for which had been devolved through the 13th amendment of the constitution.

The matter was discussed in the cabinet and a decision had been taken to alter the selection procedure on March 3 this year.

The decision is now being challenged in the Court of Appeal by the North Western Provincial Council and the Court of Appeal has issued a stay order preventing the implementation of the decision.

The President's Counsel added that the President had published a gazette notification on July 17, declaring the health services as an essential service. Therefore the present strike was an illegal and punishable offence, said the President's Counsel.

The District Judge then issued the enjoining order restraining the strike of the Government Medical Officers' Association.


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