Connect with us

News

Kiriella alleges India withheld vaccines from Sri Lanka to spite govt.

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

Chief Opposition Whip Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament yesterday that the excuse given by the government for its failure to get vaccines from India was a lie.

 Kiriella said that the government ministers’ excuse for failing to get vaccines from India was that there had been a fire in the vaccine manufacturing factory on Jan 21. “That is not true. After Jan 21, India supplied 7,575,000 vaccine doses to seven other countries. It showed that the reason was that the current government had antagonised India.

Kiriella said: Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka was the first to stress the need to bring vaccines. We hoped that we could get AstraZeneca vaccine from India. But what has happened. Only 500,000 free vaccines could be obtained from India.

The government said that there had been a huge fire in the facility that produced vaccines in India and as a result we could not get vaccines. Thereafter, on Jan 21 India provided vaccines to seven other nations. It gave 500,000 vaccines to Canada on March 02, five million vaccines to England on March 05, 125,000 vaccines to Iran on March 10, 300,000 vaccines to Brazil on March 18, 1.5 million vaccines to Saudi Arabia on March 28, 100,000 vaccines to the Maldives on March 29 and 50,000 vaccines to Palestine on March 29. Those seven countries got vaccines after Jan 21. We could not get it because India is not on good terms with us after this government’s Port city project.

“The government has started inoculation in the upcountry areas. There were vaccination projects in Kundasale and Mahaiyawa. Those who get the vaccine have to sign a letter that they may not need the second dose of the Sputnik V vaccine. Signature is obtained on another letter saying that the government would not be responsible for the side effects of the vaccine. Innocent people after spending hours in queues are asked to sign the letter moments before getting the jab. I have heard that this particular letter has been printed at the Kundasale Pradeshiya Sabha. What authority do they have? Do the local government officials have the same authority as doctors? There is no proper inoculation plan. I request the government to give vaccines to plantation workers because they are vulnerable. There are eight apparel factories under BOI in Kundasale. One such factory has at least 500 employees. All factory workers in the country must be given.

The government does not have money. It took a loan from the World Bank in May. This government is a total failure. It has failed in both vaccination and fertiliser projects. They laughed at us when we were planning to make Wi-Fi available to the public free of charge. They protested when we tried to give free tablet computers to schoolchildren. If that project had been completed, today the children would have been able to make use of them while the schools are closed.

The government gave tax concessions to mega companies, that caused a loss of Rs. 800 million.

The government has no vision to prevent losses. For example, look at the recent incident of a fire aboard X-Press Pearl ship. I saw an article in the London Times on this incident and about the possibilities for the cause of the fire. In future, we will know who is responsible for the fire. But the problem is that now it is exposed that our harbours did not have the capacity to extinguish such fires in the vicinity of the country’s main port. This would bring down our ratings and that would result in an increase of insurance surcharge. The government must take action to rectify this immediately.”   



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Death threats won’t deter us – EC Chairman

Published

on

By

Nimal Punchihewa (Chairman ECSL) picture by PRIYAN DE SILVA
Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka Nimal Punchihewa told The Island that members of  the election commission won’t be deterred by death threats.
He said that members of the commission  M M Mohamed,  K P P Pathirana and S B Diwarathne have been repeatedly threatened and the police have not been able to apprehend the perpetrators.
Continue Reading

News

Three people dead after torrential rain in New Zealand

Published

on

By

At least three people have died due to flash flodding in Auckland (picture BBC)

BBC reported that at least three people have died and one is missing after New Zealand’s largest city experienced its “wettest day on record” on Friday.

Auckland is said to have received 75% of its usual summer rainfall in just 15 hours.

A local state of emergency was declared as authorities managed evacuations and widespread flooding.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Chris Hipkins thanked emergency services for their swift response to the disaster.The new prime minister travelled to Auckland, where he also expressed his condolences to the loved ones of those who died in the floods.

“The loss of life underscores the sheer scale of this weather event and how quickly it turned tragic”, he said in a news conference on Saturday afternoon.

The downpour flooded the airport, shifted houses and resulted in power cuts to homes for hours.

New Zealand’s defence forces were mobilised to assist with evacuations and emergency shelters were set up across the city.

Continue Reading

News

Parliament prorogued on Friday night

Published

on

President says cabinet agreeable to fully implementing 13 A until party leaders decide whether or not to abolish the Amendment

Parliament was prorogued from midnight Friday (27) by President Ranil Wickremesinghe under powers vested in him by Article 70 of the Constitution, parliamentary sources said on Friday.

The Department of Government Printing was due to issue the relevant notification on Friday night but it was not out as this edition went to print.However the President’ Media Division (PMD) confirmed the prorogation on Friday evening saying that President Wickremesinghe “is expected” to make a policy statement based on the decisions taken after the 75th Independence anniversary when parliament recommences on Feb.8.

A separate bulletin said that the president had informed the party leaders Conference on Reconciliation that the cabinet was agreeable to “fully implementing (the) 13th Amendment until party leaders decide whether or not to abolish the Amendment.”

Parliamentary sources explained that a prorogation which is a temporary recess of parliament, should not extend to a period of more than two months, However, such date for summoning parliament may be advanced by another presidential proclamation provided it is summoned for a date not less than three days from the date of such fresh proclamation.

Political observers believe that the prorogation is related to the president’s effort to secure as wide a consensus as possible on the National Question. They dismissed speculation that it is related to the scheduled local elections. This issue was clarified by the PMD bulletin.

When parliament is prorogued, the proclamation should notify the date of the commencement of the new session of parliament under Article 70 of the Constitution.During the prorogation the speaker continues to function and MPs retain their membership of the legislature even though they do not attend meetings of the House.

The effect of a prorogation is to suspend all current business before the House and all proceedings pending at the time are quashed except impeachments.A Bill, motion or question of the same substance cannot be introduced for a second time during the same session. However, it could be carried forward at a subsequent session after a prorogation.

“All matters which having been duly brought before parliament, have not been disposed of at the time of the prorogation, may be proceeded with during the next session,” states the paragraph (4) of article 70 of the constitution.

In the light of this constitutional provision, a prorogation does not result in an end to pending business. Thus, a pending matter may be proceeded with from that stage onwards after the commencement of the new session.

At the beginning of a new session all items of business which were in the order paper need to be re-listed, if it is desired to continue with them.At the end of a prorogation a new session begins and is ceremonially declared open by the president.

He is empowered under the constitution to make a statement of government policy at the commencement of each session of parliament and to preside at ceremonial sittings of parliament in terms of the provisions of paragraph (2) of article 33 of the constitution.The president is empowered to make a statement of government policy at the commencement of each new session. In the past, it was known as the Throne Speech which was delivered by the Governor-General.

Continue Reading

Trending