The police yesterday warned that it would come down hard on anyone involved in violence during today s strike.
Police spokesman S.S.P. Ranjith Gunasekera said under Section 14 (1) of the Constitution, any person or group was entitled to peaceful demonstration, but those who resorted to damaging government property, attacking non-strikers and forcing people to join the strike would be arrested.
In accordance with the provisions of Police Penal Code Section 89 to 99, Police would enforce the law to prevent any violent activities and allow strikers to carry out peaceful demonstrations, he said.
Gunasakara told The Island that if the strikers wanted to launch street demonstrations, they would be allowed to do so, but they must not disturb or obstruct non-strikers, students, vehicles, public and private buses, railways and hospitals. The police had already drawn a temporary traffic plan and some roads in the Colombo city would be closed.
Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the Health Ministry had already formulated contingency plans to face any emergency situation.
He warned that any hospital worker resorting to sabotage by blocking water supply, locking up drug cabinets, disconnecting oxygen pipe lines, hiding registers etc.
would be severely dealt with. The services of offending casual labourers and minor staff would be terminated, he said.
Minister de Silva said he had already instructed the Western Provincial Council members to help maintain health services in their areas. He had also requested the support of the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Police in case of an emergency. The provincial council members had been advised to enroll civilians to work in hospital kitchens and sanitary care sections in case the workers in those sections went on strike.
The GMOA said that it would not join the strike since the strike was a politically motivated one.
The pro JVP All Ceylon Government Medical Officers Association said it would join the strike. But members who were attached to the Lady Ridgeway Hospital, Castle Street Hospital for Women and the Accident Service would not join the strike, its President Dr. K. Dassanayake said.
President of the National Trade Union Centre and JVP parliamentarian K. D. Lalkantha yesterday warned that any attempt by the Government to disrupt today s strike would lead to serious and continuous trade union action by the working class from tomorrow.