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Thursday June 20th, 2024

Health workers in Sri Lanka continue strike despite court order

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s health workers continued an ongoing strike for the fifth day running despite two enjoining orders issued by the Colombo District Court against it.

Sri Lanka Federation for Health Professionals started their strike last Monday (07) demanding solutions to seven demands.

Health workers initiated several token strikes in 2021 as well, and on February 06 this year, the announced a continuous island wide strike from the next day onwards.

The demands are as follows

  1. Approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on July 05, 2021,


  1. Failure to issue the circular naming the posts in connection with the confirmation of staff ownership.


  1. With regard to the first class promotion system after 12 years,
  2. Delay in issuing circulars related to the paramedical and paramedical professions
  3. Obtaining Cabinet Approval Again for Postponing the Relevant Decision till 01.11.2010 to remove the anomalies.


  1. Eliminate the parallel pay disparity caused by the elimination of only teacher pay anomalies, maintain the pay policy in a manner that does not violate the Sri Lanka Eligibility Framework and implement Ranuk’s pay committee recommendations.


  1. In determining the overtime rate, calculate 1/80 of the basic salary for all health care professionals and update the call and sample allowance which has not been updated for 21 years accordingly.


  1. Establishing the correct salary scale relevant to the professional degree and providing suitable posts / employment opportunities.


  1. Establishment of a “Health Administration Service” representing all health professionals.


  1. Special Duty Allowance to Increase to 10,000 rupees


  1. Transforming health professional services into closed services.

The strike is being carried out by 16 groups of health professionals, including medical laboratory scientists, pharmacists, radiologists, cardiologists, public health inspectors, family health officers and pharmacists.

Following an action filed by the Attorney General on Thursday against the Government Nursing Officers’ Association citing inconvenience to the public, the Colombo District Court issued two enjoining orders against the strike, valid till February 24. One for the enjoining orders was against the convener of the association Saman Rathnapriya.

However, despite the court orders, health workers are continuing the strike for the fifth consecutive day.

Rathnapriya told reporters on Friday (11) that no such orders have been communicated to him officially.

“We got to know through media that an enjoining order has been issued to stop the strike. But it has not been conveyed to me or to the association yet. And striking is a statutory right of ours. If we were summoned to the court, we would have provided our facts,” he said.

A decision on whether or not to stop the strike will be taken by the association after a general meeting in the event an enjoining order is formally issued to them, he said.

“Parallel to the increments in teacher’s salary we are asking for our own salaries’ increment. That responsibility is with the government, the Ministry of Health and the National Salaries Commission. Until that happens it is impossible to stop this strike.”

Meanwhile, the convenor of the Federation for Health Professionals, Ravi Kumudesh on Friday (11) told reporters that the association will take legal actions against the Secretary to the Ministry of Health.

“We are suing the Secretary of Health over the public inconvenience caused by allowing a strike to be prevented,” Kumudesh said.

If the authorities resort to repression when matters can be negotiated, the unions are ready to face it, he said.

Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella on Friday said, the authorities expect the workers honour the court order and resume work, ending the inconvenience caused to the public. (Colombo/Feb11/2022)

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  1. Gehan says:

    Lock up all the leaders causing this strike and confiscate all union assets

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  1. Gehan says:

    Lock up all the leaders causing this strike and confiscate all union assets

Sri Lanka shares debt management experience at global forum

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has shared its experiences at a forum on debt management to “provide lessons for others”, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe has said.

Semasinghe spoke on “The Role of Debt Management in Navigating Crises” at the 14th Debt Management Facility (DMF) Stakeholders’ Forum, in Livingstone, Zambia.

“I shared the experiences of Sri Lanka which can provide valuable lessons for others and explored the critical elements of capacity building and sound institutional practices in managing debt, particularly in the context of economic challenges,” Semasinghe said on X (twitter).

“Sri Lanka’s experience demonstrates that effective debt management is not just about managing numbers but also about building robust institutions and capacities.”

The journey underscores the importance of transparent, accountable governance and the need for international support and cooperation in times of crisis, he said.

“Sri Lanka prioritized addressing gaps in public debt management by drafting a consolidated Public Debt Management Act, ensuring clarity and legal robustness and establishing a centralized Public Debt Management Office with operational autonomy.

“The role of debt management in navigating crises is multifaceted and critical. Further, by investing in capacity building, adhering to sound institutional practices, and strategically managing debt restructuring and liability operations, countries can better withstand economic shocks and pave the way for sustainable recovery.”

Developing countries face severe debt distress as they are more vulnerable to external shocks, Semasinghe said, and “managing global debt requires coordinated international efforts on debt restructuring where necessary, timely fiscal policy adaptation and help sustainable economic growth.”

The state minister also pointed out the financial impact of climate change was an emerging challenge, as countries need investment to mitigate and adapt to climate impacts, “especially through non-debt creating inflows, which would require private capital mobilization.” (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 305.10/30 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger ahead of the long weekend at 305.10/30 to the US dollar on Thursday, up from 305.40/55 to the US dollar Wednesday, dealers said, while some bond yields edged up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.45/80 percent, up from 10.35/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 11.20/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.00/15 percent, up from 11.95/12.35 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.12.2031 closed at 12.05/25 percent.

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Sri Lanka stocks close up, JKH trade pushes turnover

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Thursday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.19 percent, or 23.11 points, at 12,249; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.15 percent, or 5.33 points, at 3,610.

Turnover was 2 billion. Nearly half of this (Rs980mn) came from a crossing on John Keells Holdings Plc. The share closed down at 202.00.

“There were several crossings today which pushed turnover,” market participants said.

“Institutions and high net-worth activity drove the market, while the retail investors we feel are still about uncertain and adopting a wait-and-see approach.”

Melstacorp Plc was among the companies that saw active volumes (Rs194mn) in the day. The share closed up at 87.10.

Top contributors to the index included TeeJay Lanka Plc (up at 41.70), Sampath Bank Plc (up at 79.50), Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 201.00). Hayleys Plc (up at 105.00) and its subsidiary Hayleys Fabric Plc (up at 46.60) were also positive contributors. (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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