JVP fires 10 pointed covid- related questions at govt.
by Saman Indrajith
People are dying in their hundreds daily owing to the blunders of the government which did not listen to the experts, the JVP said on Thursday.
Addressing a press conference held at the party headquarters in Pelawatte, former Kalutara District JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatiss said that the reasons were to be found in an inability to learn from what was known about the virus and to act accordingly. Mistakes could have been avoided if the government had listened to the health experts and WHO, drawn on a wider range of expertise, and been curious about experience in other countries.
“We have serious doubts on the motives of the government’s failure because it committed blunders that would not have been committed even by a common man. It is not the manner a government would have acted. We have ten questions to ask from the government and hope that it will be able to answer them,” the former MP said.
Dr Jayatissa said that the ten specific questions over the present state of the country, to the government, were as follows;
01. Who decided to deviate from the National Vaccination Plan, prepared by the Health Ministry on the 18th of January 2021, and not prioritize the vaccination of the over 60 population?
02. Who were the officials at the NMRA and the specialist committee on vaccinations, responsible for the delay in importing the Sinopharm vaccine to Sri Lanka? What were the steps taken against them?
03. The vaccination program was delayed. The faith placed in vaccines was ridiculed by the promotion of so-called miracle tonics, namely the Dhammika Paniya. Government Hospitals were used for this purpose. Will the state officials, state ministers, members of parliament, and heads of media institutions who promoted this tonic be held accountable?
04. Who decided not to provide sufficient vaccine doses to designated MOH areas and thus create a rift among the health officers and the public?
Who decided the type of vaccine that will be administered in a particular area?
05. Will the government record statements over data discrepancies from those who make the allegations and also those at the receiving end of those allegations?
06. Approximately 1.1 million files mysteriously disappeared from the eNMRA cloud. These are matters related to health and national security. Who will be held responsible for this?
07. What is the position of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 prevention with regard to allegations over the pricing of PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests?
08. Why hasn’t the government decided to increase the number of PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests?
09. Health Professionals such as Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Dr. Paba Palihawadana, Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara, Dr. Amal Harsha, Dr. Palitha Abeyakoon, Dr. Asitha De Silva, and several others were removed from their positions. When these high ranking officials in the health sector were gaining experience on how to face this pandemic, who decided to replace or fire them?
10. There are serious warnings made over the new South African Variant. So, who decided to allow Indians to come to Sri Lanka, while such a threat exists?
SF claims thousands of police and military personnel leaving
By Saman Indrajith
Thousands of police and military personnel had left the services recently as they did not want to carry out illegal orders, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka told Parliament yesterday. According to the war-winning army commander 200 policemen have resigned during the past two months and 25,000 soldiers have left the army during the last two years.
“We urged the law enforcement and military officials not to follow illegal orders. We will reinstate them with back pay,” he said.
Fonseka also urged the President and the government MPs not to take people for fools.
“Sri Lanka owes 55 billion dollars to the world. Ranil’s plan is to borrow another seven billion during the next four years. So, in four years we will owe 62 billion to the world.
Ranil and his ministers ask us what the alternative to borrowing is. These are the people who destroyed the economy and society. They must leave. Then, we will find an alternative and develop the country,” he said, adding that the IMF loans had made crises in other nations worse.
“Ranil says that by 2025, we will have a budget surplus as in Japan, Germany and South Korea. These countries are economic power houses, and this comparison is ludicrous.”
CEB hit by exodus of technical staff
By Shiran Ranasinghe
At least five technical personnel of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) resigned daily for overseas employment, a senior CEB official said.They included electrical engineers, electricians and foremen, he added.
“Most of them are quitting due to the economic crisis while others are simply disillusioned. Trained and experienced technical staff are in high demand in many countries,” he said.
CEB United Trade Union Alliance President Ranjan Jayalal said that the CEB had lost about 2,000 employees in recent times due to the above reasons.
“We had about 24,000 such personnel a few months ago. Now the number has come down to 22,000. A number of people had to retire on 31 December, 2022.
Sajith questions sudden decision to charge Rs. 225,000 from students following NDES
By Saman Indrajith
The government had decided to charge Rs 225,000 from those enrolling at the Institute of Engineering Technology, Katunayake under the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said yesterday in Parliament.
Premadasa said that the institute awards the National Diploma in Engineering Sciences (NDES) and no fee was charged from students until 2023.The IET awards the National Diploma in Engineering Sciences under the three major fields of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, and eight sub-fields.
“This is an institute that has created over ten thousand tier two engineers. NDES is a four year programme,” he said.
The opposition leader said that the sudden decision to charge 225,000 rupees from students at a time when the average Sri Lankan family is facing significant economic challenges is unfair.
“This institute offered free tuition. We should continue this tradition. A large number of engineers are leaving the country and we need to ensure that we have a continuous supply of engineers to ensure we can maintain our essential technical services,” he said.
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