Giritale man commences hunger strike over maternity clinic

Giritale man commences hunger strike over maternity clinic

Written by Staff Writer

29 Dec, 2013 | 12:11 am

An individual from the Giritale Settlement commenced a hunger strike on Saturday morning after climbing on to a tree. He is demanding that the Maternal Clinic and Dispensary in Girihale Settlement, be re-opened to the public.

Forty-five-year-old U. M.Seneviratne Bandara began his hunger strike at around 4 a.m on Saturday after climbing onto a 50-foot Damba Tree opposite the primary school of the Giritale Settlement.

Villagers say that the Maternal Clinic which can provide services to five surrounding villages has been closed down for the past three decades. At around 8 on Saturday morning, the OIC of the Minneriya Police Station accompanied by several other officers communicated with the individual via telephone.

However, the individual who rejected the offer, said that he would continue his fast until the Divisional Secretary of Hingurakgoda arrives at the location and provides a solution.

On Saturday afternoon, the Acting Divisional Secretary of Hingurakgoda arrived at the location.

Subsequent to a discussion with the individuals engaging in the fast , the Acting Divisional Secretary M.A.A.S Nissanakarachchi and several others inspected the Maternal Clinic Building.

A tense situation arose between the villagers and the persons who are allegedly occupying the premises by force. The Police had to intervene to control the situation.

Acting Divisional Secretary of  Hingurakgoda,  M.A.A.S.Nissankarachchi said, “On a pervious occassion a health care centre functioned at this land. Later on, these families have settled on this land during the last thirty five years. There are two sides to this story. After looking into all the documents regarding this matter, we will arrive at a final decision.”

The Divisional Secretary who returned to the location where the individual was carrying out the fast,  gave assurances that a solution would be provided to the issue. However Seneviratne Bandara refused to give up his fast.

He later climbed down from the tree and concluded his fast paying heed to pleas made by his wife, children and the villagers.

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