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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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CEBEU guns for ex-Chairman Ferdinando



by Ifham Nizam

The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) Friday  said that they are in the process of collecting evidence against former Ceylon Electricity Board Chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando over the recent statement he made on a proposed power project with India.

A senior engineer said that there is a high possibility that the seasoned civil servant dragged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to disrepute because he didn’t see eye to eye with the President.

Eng. Isuru Kasthuriratne, a committee member of the CEBEU and Project Engineer – Mannar Wind Power Project of the Board said they would never allow former chairman to get away easily.

“There are always controversies about him. We would not let this case go. We are in touch with all bodies,” he said.

Kasthuriratne said that very relevant documents were authored and authorized by the former chairman and “he cannot simply say he is not aware of this and that.”

Ferdinando on June 11, tendered his resignation following the controversy he sparked over the planned 500 MW unsolicited wind power project here by India’s Adani group.

“The Adani group at first proposed to sell power to the CEB at 6.50 US cents per unit,” CEBEU President Anil Ranjith told journalists recently.

Despite numerous attempts, the former CEB chairman was not available for comment.

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Dilshan Wirasekara, new CSE Chairman



The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) announced the appointment of Dilshan Wirasekara as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CSE with effect from Friday (24).

Wirasekara has served on the Board of the CSE since 21st November 2017 and succeeds Dumith Fernando, who steps down as the Chairman after completing his two-year tenure.

Wirasekara is the Director/Chief Executive Officer of one of the leading investment banking firms, First Capital Holdings PLC, offering a diverse range of financial services in Government Securities, Corporate Finance and Advisory, Asset Management and Stock Brokering, which he has been part of since 2013.

He currently is the chairman of the Investment Subcommittee of the CSE and also serves on the Risk and Audit Committee of the CSE as well as the CSE/SEC joint committees on Digitalization and the Central Counter Party System (CCP).

An Investment banker by profession with a career spanning over 26 years, comprising diversified expertise in financial services, including banking, treasury and investment management, capital market strategy, and corporate finance advisory services.

Wirasekara specializes in Asset and Liability Risk Management, having secured the accolade of leading and representing two Sri Lankan companies in winning the International Bank Asset and Liability competition organized annually by the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), German Investment Corporation (DEG), and Proparco – a subsidiary of the Agence Française de Development (AFD).

Wirasekara is an alumnus of INSEAD, having completed his Executive Professional Education at INSEAD Business School in Fontainebleau, France. He is also an alumnus of AOTS, Tokyo, Japan.

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NCE on Govt’s focus on directing public servants to private sector employment



National Chamber of Exporters has given the a proposal to the Prime Minister and copied it to the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government on providing employment opportunities to government servants in the private sector companies for a specified period.

The Chamber said in a release: Through Media sources we got to know that The Ministry of Public Administration has appointed a committee to look into the possibility of granting five years of leave to government employees to work in the private sector.

Its states that a seven-member committee has been appointed for this purpose and that the said committee is to submit its report to the Cabinet of Ministers within two weeks.

Sri Lankan exporters are proposing to absorb public sector employees for employment in the sector to relieve the burden of wages and related costs on the Government.

The Export Sector has been able to sustain business and has also reached the pre pandemic level of an average of USD.01 billion export revenue during the period January to April 2022. Before the dawn of the pandemic, exporters were facing difficulties with lack of skilled workers. However, during the pandemic, many exporters were compelled to downsize operations and lay off employees which has created a vacuum in crucial areas of operations.

In current scenario, considering the financial burden and the reportedly excessive workforce attached to the public sector, NCE member exporters are proposing following options in reaching a win-win agreement for both government and the export sector. It is to be noted that labour requirements of exporters vary according to the relevant industry, yet in general all categories could be considered.

1. Any government employee in the permanent carder is eligible to apply for employment in the export sector, excluding from following institutions as they are involved in law enforcement in the country which may lead to conflict of interests.

a) Department of Police

b) Department of Inland Revenue

c) Department of Customs

d) Department of Excise

 2.Government to grant unpaid leave up to a maximum of 59 months.

 3.Employer will offer a “Temporary Labour Contract “to such selected individuals which include: –

 a) Period of contract for 59 months (because on completion of the 60th month, the employee will be eligible for Gratuity.)

b) Their employment will be in accordance with the laws and statutes under which the respective private sector company’s  employees of similar cadre is employed.

c) Leave entitlement as per employer’s policy on leave

d) Employment contract can be terminated with either party giving 30 days’ written notice.

e) In case of maternity leave, a number of stipulated days will be available as unpaid leave.

f)  At the end of 59 months, the government to absorb such individuals back to the public sector employment as per pertinent rules and regulations.

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