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Controversy over Harin undergoing PCR test amidst ‘Brandix eruption’

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By Saman Indrajith

UNP MP Harin Fernando, on Wednesday (7) ,called for conducting PCR tests on all MPs to ensure that they did not have COVID-19.

He said so in his response to SLPP MP Premanath C. Dolawatte’s accusation that MP Fernando had deliberately puts others’ lives in danger by coming to Parliament.

MP Dolawatte said that MP Harin Fernando had put up a post in his twitter account that he underwent a PCR test Tuesday. “To undergo the PCR test, the MP should have felt some complications. Has he shown any symptoms of COVID-19? Please let us know the results of his test.”

Dolawatte:

MP Harin Fernando has a moral obligation to stay away from others after facing the PCR test. Instead, he came here. He should inform us of the results of the test.

Gampaha District SJB MP Harshana Rajakaruna:

There is no police curfew in some areas in Gampaha District. So, people still move about freely. If the government declares curfew in remaining areas, then it would help contain the spread of the pandemic.

Anuradhapura District MP Prof Channa Jayasumana:

There have been several discussions on how curfew should be declared. Curfew is imposed on the basis of recommendations of health and security experts. On the other hand, there is fake news with regard to curfew and closure of some institutions.

There is another allegation by the opposition that the number of PCR tests being conducted was not sufficient. That is not true.

SJB MP Harin Fernando:

Number of PCR tests has been decreased. About 900 tests were done yesterday.  I got a PCR test done on me and I have tested negative. I can send him my report. What about the other MPs? The government has asked people to undergo PC tests. A government MP criticises me for following the government recommendation. Government MPs are afraid of facing the test. They too should also undergo that test. Private hospitals conduct PCR tests and charge Rs 6,000 each. One could get the services of private hospital staff members to visit his or her home and undergo the test at a cost of Rs 12,000.”

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COPE meets online for first time in its history

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by Saman Indrajith

The Parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) created a history by meeting online for the first time ever on Thursday.

The COPE had Secretaries of three Ministries joining in with its committee meeting through online (ZOOM) becoming the second parliamentary committee holding an online meeting in the country.

Thursday evening’s COPE meeting chaired by its chairman Prof. Charitha Herath connected online with Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Dr) H. S. Munasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Industries W. A. Chulananda Perera and, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government J. J. Ratnasiri via zoom technology.

The Environmental Audit Report on water pollution of the Kelani River was brought before the committee and the meeting held between the Chairman Prof. Herath, Ministers and Members of Parliament and secretaries and other officials continued without any technical hitches.

Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said that facilities have been provided to hold meetings and discussions using online technology in two committee rooms in Parliament.

He said that Parliamentary officials had been working relentlessly for months to install the requisite technological tools and that the efforts have borne fruit and future Parliamentary meetings could be held online as a result.

The Committee on High Posts under the chairmanship of Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena also held a discussion with the new Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Kenya, who was living in Kampala, using online technology recently.

 

 

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Legatum Prosperity Index highlights SL’s development of education and healthcare sectors

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During the past decade

One of the key highlights of this year’s Legatum Prosperity Index was the improvement in Sri Lanka’s education and healthcare sectors over the past decade. These improvements were key to increase in prosperity within Sri Lanka, it was noted.

The London-based think-tank Legatum Institute launched the 14th Legatum Prosperity Index on November 17 2020.

The event commenced with the welcome address by the Chair of the Legatum Institute, Alan McCormick. 

Addressing the audience, the Chief Executive Officer of the Legatum Institute, The Baroness Stroud said that according to the Legatum Index, the global prosperity was at its highest level ever with 147 countries seeing their prosperity rise over the last decade.

Speaking at the launch, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK, Saroja Sirisena said that the end of the terrorist conflict in 2009 and the ensuing peace dividend, led Sri Lanka to achieve steady progress within the last decade.

She highlighted that the universal free education and healthcare policies of the country over seven decades are the pillars on which prosperity is built.

Director of Policy of the Legatum Institute, Dr. Stephen Brien explained to the audience as to how the Legatum Index is used to measure prosperity across the world.

The event was also addressed by the Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in Africa, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Biologist and Writer, Matt Ridley and Ambassador of Georgia in the UK Sophie Katsarava.

Legatum Prosperity Index is a global index that analyses the performance of 167 nations across 65 policy-focused elements, measured by almost 300 country level indicators and it is the only global index that measures national prosperity based on institutional, economic and social wellbeing.

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Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India with Sapna Mehra

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The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), High Commission of India, Colombo, will be holding an online cookery demonstration on ‘Snack Time: Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India’ on December 5 at 11.00 am on its FACEBOOK page https://www.facebook.com/ICCRSriLanka.

This festival season, the Cultural Centre will present a virtual cookery demonstration by Sapna Mehra. Cooking has been a passionate hobby of Sapna since her childhood days. Growing up in a large family of 17 members, she was very keen on bringing variety to the dining table, and that’s when her cooking journey began, preparing simple wraps, and snacks.

She now specializes in cooking dishes from a variety of cuisines. Originally from Bangalore, she has lived in many cities across India and Sri Lanka, and at present resides in Delhi.

She has a Postgraduate degree in Marketing and has over 12 years work experience in the professional field.

All are cordially invited to attend. For more details, contact the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre on telephone No: 2684698 or Email: iccrcolombo2@gmail.com

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