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Health Minister commends medical administrators for working tirelessly to curb pandemic



Sri Lanka’s health sector is world renowned and recognized at international level as a people-oriented healthcare system. As a medium income country, Sri Lanka continues to provide government healthcare services free of charge to patients, Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said.

“I emphasize the fact that such a laudable health sector is spearheaded by medical administrators at various levels. It may be at policy level at the health ministry, director of a tertiary care hospital or a medical superintendent in a base hospital, medical administrators work hard and contribute their best to our health system”, she noted.

The Minister was addressing the 27th Annual Scientific Sessions of the College of Medical Administrators of Sri Lanka at the Waters Edge on Friday.

“It is also my duty to appreciate all the medical administrators who worked tirelessly to make our health sector successful, and for taking this system to the status we enjoy today”, she stressed.

Continuing, Minister Wanniarachchi said: “I was determined to attend these Sessions today considering the importance of this subject to the Ministry of Health, and I want to honor this prestigious college for inviting me.

“Coming to the present context, medical administrators are my pillars of strength and confidence to fulfill my duties as the Minister of Health. It is my pleasure to mention your input to mitigate the current Covid-19 pandemic despite your routine medical administrative duties. I mention proudly that with your support we are able to provide all essential services while controlling Covid-19.

“I request all medical administrators that, as we have achieved many health goals, indicators and targets, to focus their attention to the quality of our services. I expect all health institutions to be customer-friendly hospitals and all workers under your supervision to be kind to all those who seek care from their respective hospitals or health institutions. I emphasize that quantity and quality should go together in equal importance.

“I look forward to the very effective, carefully developed plan for improving your own areas for the next year after a comprehensive analysis of the gaps. I have no hesitation to extend my blessings and support to yield a positive impact in every district, bringing new essence to quality health services.

“With your support, we should be able to establish centers of excellence in each and every province. Also, we should not forget about universal health coverage, providing healthcare close to home by upgrading all the health institutions at the basic grassroot level. We must build the faith in our public that their basic health needs are attended to in their local area itself, without traveling many miles to the next level of care. Let us build and improve further accessible-by-all health care, keeping with the concept of “Leaving No One Behind”.

“You are the leaders of your responsible sectors. There are subordinates following you. Therefore, being an example to others is an important factor, which should be showcased by heads of institutions.

“Despite the pandemic situation, I congratulate the president and council of this prestigious college for arranging this important annual event. I suppose all administrators will gain good knowledge, develop attitudes and this will be a forum to share your best practices. This kind of exposure will lead to improvement of your leadership qualities and will contribute towards the further improvement of our health sector”.

The Minister was welcomed by State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana, State Secretary Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva,.

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GL sounds far-reaching educational reforms  



Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday (21) acknowledged that for want of tangible measures on the part of successive governments, there was a critical mismatch between the education provided and the availability of job opportunities.

The academic, in quarantine as a result being identified as potential Covid-19 contact, emphasised the need for far reaching changes to address the issue as part of their efforts to restructure the entire system.

Prof. Peiris said so in his short remarks at an event to mark the 100th anniversary of the University of Colombo.

The one-time External Affairs Minister said: “It is a great pleasure for me to felicitate the University of Colombo, my alma mater on this happy occasion. It is a significant milestone because we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the faculty of arts, faculty of science and the library of the University of Colombo. As we look back on that span of a full century, the characteristics of the University which comes to mind is its resilience. During that period the University has had to face and indeed overcome many challenges. The society of our country has undergone a fundamental transformation during that period.

The University had the strength to cope with rapidly changing circumstances. I would identify that as a principal accomplishment of the University of Colombo.

The University proved its capacity for development, change and refinement and adaptation in order to keep pace with dramatically changing circumstances. The University proud as its history is I am sure will have an even more magnificent future. It has an important role to play in the far reaching changes we are contemplating in the educational system of our country. It is our intention in the course of this year 2021 to restructure the entire system in order to address the fundamental problem of a rather critical mismatch between the education we provide in our Universities and other educational institutions on the one hand and the availability of employment, livelihoods on the other. There is regrettably gap in this regard and it should be our collective endeavor to address this problem. We are also revisiting the curricular. The substance of our curricular  the methods of teaching in such a way  as to serve better the public in a  better way   In all these efforts I have no doubt the expertise of the University of Colombo by any standards  will be of enormous assistance to us in achieving goals we have set ourselves (SF)

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China slaps sanctions on 28 Trump administration officials, including Pompeo



China has imposed sanctions on 28 former Trump administration officials, including outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, agency reports said yesterday.

In a statement released just minutes after President Biden took office, China’s foreign ministry said it had decided to sanction those “who have seriously violated China’s sovereignty and who have been mainly responsible for such U.S. moves on China-related issues.”

The list of names features former Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar; former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro; former national security adviser Robert O’Brien; Kelly Craft, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and Matthew Pottinger, who recently resigned as deputy national security adviser. Former national security adviser John Bolton and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon were also included.

The sanctions prohibit those individuals and their immediate family members from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao. They are also restricted from doing business with China, as are any companies or institutions associated with them.

“Over the past few years, some anti-China politicians in the United States, out of their selfish political interests and prejudice and hatred against China and showing no regard for the interests of the Chinese and American people, have planned, promoted and executed a series of crazy moves which have gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs, undermined China’s interests, offended the Chinese people, and seriously disrupted China-U.S. relations,” the ministry said.

The move comes just one day after Pompeo issued a forceful statement accusing China of committing genocide against Muslim Uighurs and other minority groups in its Xinjiang region, for which the U.S. sanctioned several Chinese officials in July. That was one of numerous instances of sanctions, visa bans and trade restrictions imposed on Chinese politicians and Communist Party officials in the Trump administration’s final year.

Relations between the U.S. and China deteriorated considerably under the previous administration, which took an unusually confrontational approach. Pompeo and other officials referred to China as constituting America’s greatest threat, as NPR’s John Ruwitch has reported.

In fact, Bolton appeared to celebrate the sanction against him, calling it “great news” in a tweet posted Wednesday afternoon.

“I accept this prestigious recognition of my unrelenting efforts to defend American freedom,” he wrote.

It is unclear what changes Biden plans, but Ruwitch noted, “Even if the Biden team moves swiftly to put the U.S.-China relationship back on a less antagonistic track, Beijing will be wary after the dramatic changes of the past four years.”

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Expert Committee appointed to report on gold, copper and iron ore deposits



By Ifham Nizam

Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweeera yesterday appointed an expert committee to conduct a scientific study on the Seruwawila gold, copper and iron ore deposits.

With iron ore prices skyrocketing worldwide and both neighbouring giant India and China having huge demands, Sri Lanka was keen on tapping natural resources, an official said.  

The committee will be coordinated by an Additional Secretary to the Ministry and will be chaired by Prof. Athula Senaratne of the University of Peradeniya and its other members are H W. Navaratne, Dr. Stalin Fernando, Dr. Bernard Perera, Dr. C.H.K.R. Siriwardena and Dr. O.K. Dissanayake.

Amaraweera, addressing the media, at his Ministry yesterday said the mineral deposit had been explored in the 1970s with the help of technology available at that time, and it had been found that there was iron, copper as well as a certain amount of gold in the Seruwawila deposit.

As today’s excavation technology was very advanced, it was possible to dig up to 250-300 metres, the Minister said.

The Minister also said that all possible steps would be taken to increase the value of the mineral resources through value addition locally to ensure higher prices.



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