May 28, Colombo: A large number of trade unions joined the Inter University Students Federation today for a massive protest demonstration in Colombo urging the Sri Lankan government to safeguard the Allied Health Science degree.
A number of trade unions in the health sector including the Government Nursing Officers Association, Sri Lanka Janaraja Health Services Union, Joint Council of Professions Supplement to Medicine and Sri Lanka Association of Medical Laboratory Technologists participated in the protest. Education sector trade unions like Ceylon Teachers' Union also participated in the protest with the students of the Allied Health Science degree at Peradeniya University.
The Collective for safeguarding the Allied Health Science Degree demands the government to continue the four year degree course without reducing the number of years to three on the request of Government Medical Officers' Association.
The demonstrators were showing placards and chanting slogans against the Government Medical Officers' Association.
The universities that offer the four-year AHS Degree Program slashed the duration of the course to three years and the students of seven universities including Colombo, Jayewardenepura and Ruhuna launched a Sathyagraha campaign that has continued for over150 days.
However, Sri Lanka's Peradeniya University Senate considering the students' demand has decided to extend the duration of the Allied Health Sciences (AHS) Degree Program at the University, recent media reports said.