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Now, Devananda boasts of having got jab for Jaffna

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By Shamindra Ferdinando

EPDP leader and Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda has become the latest Minister to claim he got the Covid-19 vaccine doses for the people of his electoral district––Jaffna.

The Jaffna district has received 50,000 doses of  a Sinopharm stock recently received from China. Altogether China delivered 1.1 mn doses on March 30 and May 26.

Political sources alleged that Minister Devananda was seeking, like some of the other ministers, petty political advantage at the expense of the government. Responding to The Island queries, sources said that the government released vaccines for the Jaffna district in line with overall assessment of the situation.

The Fisheries Ministry, in a statement dated May 30 quoted Minister Devananda as having said that the inoculation drive would begin on Monday (31). Minister Devananda has issued instructions to relevant officials to launch the inoculation on Monday in areas affected by the Covid-19 epidemic.  However, the Jaffna vaccination programme got underway yesterday (30) with Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa reaching there overland to oversee the programme.

Minister Rajapaksa accompanied by SLPP MP Angajan Ramanathan and Northern Province Governor P.M.S. Charles visited several vaccination centers at Nallur,

Kaithady, Karaweddi and Point Pedro.  

The Sports Ministry quoted lawmaker Namal Rajapaksa having invited those 30 years of age and above to get the first dose and others to receive vaccine in their respective electorates.

The vaccination programme for the public initially confined to the Western Province comprising Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts has been expanded to Galle and Matara in the Southern Province and Kurunegala in the North Western Province, Kandy District in the Central Province, Ratnapura and Jaffna in the Sabaragamuwa and Northern Provinces, respectively.

Several politicians, including Gampaha District SLPP heavyweight Prasana Ranatunga and Kandy District Minister Keheliya Rambulwella among others declared they would get vaccines for their districts.

Authoritative sources however insisted that expansion of the inoculation drive depends on proper health ministry assessment of the situation in a particular district not based on political considerations.

Meanwhile controversy over the ongoing vaccination drive took an unexpected turn yesterday with Health Minister Pavitradevi Wanniarachchi declaring that inoculation at Abhyaramaya temple, Narahenpita hadn’t been carried out under the purview of her ministry. Minister Wanniarachchi was responding to Ven Muruththettuwe  Ananda Nayaka thera accusation that the government bungled the inoculation drive.



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Outgoing Bulgarian Ambassador calls on the President

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(pic PMD)

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