The Public Health Inspectors Union (PHIU) has decided to call off its ongoing trade union action from 07.30 a.m. tomorrow (29).
President of the PHIU Upul Rohana told the Colombo Gazette that the decision was taken following discussions with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning.
During the meeting it was pointed out that Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera had informed the Secretary to the Ministry of Health that draft circular instructions to PHIs to control COVID-19 during the upcoming General Elections are contrary to law.
The AG pointed out that it was contrary to law as powers of PHIs to directly enter premises of meetings, polling stations, and detain and prosecute have been removed and are subject to the directions of the Ministry of Health, Upul Rohana said.
He further said taking this into consideration Prime Minister Rajapaksa had agreed to the AG’s statement and provided necessary advice in this regard.
On 17 July, the PHIs withdrew from coronavirus related activities and also staged a one day token strike 24 July.
Public Health Inspectors were outraged over the lack of legal protection provided to PHIs in the health guidelines issued for the General Elections and a recent statement made by Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi concerning PHI officers and.
Minister Wanniarachchi had recently told the media that PHI officers engaged in COVID-19 duties were causing inconvenience by revealing details of the latest detection of coronavirus patients to the media.
The PHI Union said that as their activities are a hindrance to the Health Ministry and due to PHI officers being accused of engaging in their official duties, they had decided to refrain from COVID-19 duties. (Colombo Gazette)