Transport, health, education and public service sectors affected

COLOMBO (News 1st); Thousands of Sri Lankans are taking part in a Harthal campaign on Friday (6) joining the biggest protests in decades against the country’s president, prime minister and government.

Thousands of state, semi-state and private sector workers will take part in this Harthal campaign titled “Bow the People’s Mandate and Send the Government Home”.

Transport sector:

Private bus owners and railway workers went on strike from midnight Thursday (5) in support of Harthal’s campaign.

However, Sri Lanka Transport Board Chairman Kingsley Ranawaka told News 1st that SLTB buses will operate as usual.

Health sector:

Several unions in the health sector have decided to join the Harthal campaign.

The General Secretary of the Ceylon Doctors Association, Dr Jayantha Bandara, speaking to News 1st, said that all members will leave office on Friday (6).

At the same time, several nurses’ unions also decided to support the Harthal campaign by stepping down from their positions.

In addition, the Additional Professions to Medicine and Paramedical Services have also joined the Harthal campaign and will not engage in the missions assigned to them.

The Union of Public Health Inspectors also said it would join the Harthal campaign.

The Government Medical Officers Association said it decided to support the national Harthal campaign with protests against hospitals.

Education sector:

The Ceylon Teacher Services Union said its members would support the Harthal campaign and student participation in many schools was at an all-time low.

The All Island School Children’s Transport Association (AISCTA) said it did not work out this morning as all of its members supported the Harthal campaign.

Public service sector:

The Commissioner General of the Department of Registration of People said that his services will not be provided on Friday (6), because the internal staff of the department had decided to support the national Harthal campaign.

The Commissioner-General advised that persons who had secured appointments for the one-day service can obtain said service on any other working day from the Department of Registration of Persons.

The Department of Immigration and Emigration said all its services will be suspended for the day.

The Association of Immigration and Emigration Officers of Sri Lanka has decided to withdraw from its duties in VIP and CIP lounges at all airports, including Katunayake International Airport.

In a statement, the association said it would step down from these duties effective May 6, 2022, until the country’s leaders come up with solutions to the problems that have arisen in the country.

The Association of Immigration and Emigration Officers of Sri Lanka said those who call themselves VIPs and dependent on taxpayers are directly responsible for the crisis situation where people are helpless to make ends meet and have failed in their duty to resolve crises while continuing to enjoy the benefits of being a VIP.

The association said such a situation is not acceptable.

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