Colombo, May 5 (NIA) – Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena, on Friday said it is a very pathetic situation that several trade unions, including some section of doctors were holding strikes, affecting people’s daily life, in an environment where all preparation were being made to hold the UN International Vesak festival.
Speaking at a function in Anuradhapura, in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province, Sirisena said it was highly regrettable that some people, due to their political agendas, had resorted to strikes when steps had been taken to solve SAITM issue.
Several trade unions from various sectors resorted to a strike on Friday, opposing the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) Medical university – Sri Lanka’s only private medical college, which the Government Medical Officers association has urged the government to shut down.
Sri Lankan medical students in state universities enjoy free education and any attempts to privatise medical education has been opposed.
Students and the GMOA have also alleged that the process of admission to SAITM is flawed, and students who do not qualify for a basic degree in sciences study medicine at SAITM.
Sirisena, on Thursday urged the medical students not to be political pawns and to complete their medical education successfully for their benefit as well as for the sake of the nation. He assured that no student would be subjected to injustice.
The President stated that those who are poor and marginalized often suffering from this kind of strikes, holding to achieve political gains. He further said that if there is any issue, there is room for the any trade union to discuss those issues with the government.
The President further recalled the requests made to hoist the black flag when the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Sri Lanka to attend the International Vesak festival next week. He said that everyone must understand that strengthening the Indo-Lanka relationship established since introduction of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, does not mean that Sri Lanka is bowing down to India.
President Sirisena also emphasized that he will not sign any agreement with any country which is detrimental to Sri Lanka and said that he came into power not to hand over part of a country to another country or to annul the privileges and rights of the citizens by signing unfavorable agreements with other countries.