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Pavithra blames spike in cancer and kidney diseases on toxic agricultural inputs

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By Saman Indrajith

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told Parliament yesterday that 239,000 persons were stricken with cancer and kidney diseases every year owing to the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and weedicide in this country.

Annually 75,000 new cancer patients and new 164,000 kidney patients were diagnosed.

The Health Minister said that 6,000 persons died of chronic kidney diseases every year while 54 persons died daily of various cancers caused by chemical substances used as inputs in agriculture. There is an increasing trend of 30,000 cancer cases being detected annually during the recent years.

Minister Wanniarachchi said that agricultural and health experts and scientists had reported on numerous occasions that the main cause of upsurge of cancer and chronic kidney cases was the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, making a ministerial statement in Parliament, requested all MPs to promote the use of organic fertilisers in agriculture without politicising the issue.

“This organic fertiliser promotion project should not be politicised. There are enough stocks of fertilisers. We have reports that some traders are hoarding fertiliser. The statistics show that the need for chemical fertiliser has increased by 300 percent, but the problem is that there has been no corresponding increase in the produce output. We have noticed the abuse of chemical fertiliser usage in the country. We’ll solve that problem and supply the required fertilisers for the upcoming Maha Season.”



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Employees’ Trust Fund Act No. 46 of 1980 to be amended

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The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Hon. President in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to instruct the legal draftsman to prepare a bill to amend the Employees’ Trust Provident Fund Act No. 46 of 1980 enabling to provide health insurance similar to Agrahara health insurance to private sector employees.

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Cabinet nod for MOU between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives on Cultural Cooperation

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The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural affairs to sign a cultural cooperation agreement between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Maldives. (The draft agreement has received the clearance of the Attorney General and the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

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Outgoing Bulgarian Ambassador calls on the President

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(pic PMD)

Mrs. Eleonora Dimitrova, Bulgaria’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, met President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat on Monday (06), before departing for her home country upon completing her tenure in Sri Lanka.

 

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