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* President flays doctors' strike action despite measures taken to resolve SAITM issue
Fri, May 5, 2017, 08:22 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 05, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena says it is highly regrettable that some people due to their political agendas have resorted to strikes when steps have been taken to resolve the controversial issue of South Asian Institute of Medicine and Technology (SAITM).

Speaking at a function in Anuradhapura on Friday, the President urged the medical students not to be political paws 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.

He said that several steps have been taken to resolve issues with regard to the private medical college including making clinical studies compulsory for SAITM students and requiring them to face examinations approved by the Medical Council and the University Grants Commission.

Furthermore, the government will announce minimum qualifications for medical studies, take over the SAITM's private hospital, expand the single ownership of the medical college into a broad base ownership and appoint a professional council to administer it.

The President stated that those who are poor and marginalized often suffer from this kind of strikes being held to achieve political gains. He further said that if there is any issue, there is room for any trade union to discuss those with the Government.

President Sirisena further said that it is a very pathetic situation that several trade unions, including some section of doctors holding strikes affecting the daily life of the people, in an environment where all preparations are being made to hold the UN International Vesak festival.

The President recalled the requests made by someone to hoist the black flag when the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Sri Lanka to attend the International Vesak festival. He also 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.

He attended the religious ceremony to unveil the newly built Buddha statue at the premises of the Local Government complex, Anuradhapura.

The President engaged in religious observances and participated in alms giving ceremony for 100 Bhikkus.

The Maha Sangha including Chief Incumbent of Ruwanweliseya Ven. Pallegama Hemarathana Nayake Thera, Ministers Duminda Dissanayake, Chandrani Bandara, P. Harrison, Governor of the North Central Province, P. B. Dissanayake, Chief Minister Peshala Jayarathna, and many others participated in the event.


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