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Pavithra praises medical administrators

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Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi on Friday said that the medical administrators had been the pillars of her strength and helped her fulfil duties as the Minister of Health. She thanked them for their contributiong to mitigating the ill-effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing the 27th Annual Scientific Sessions of College of Medical Administrators of Sri Lanka, the Minister said: “It is my pleasure to mention your contribution to mitigating the current pandemic despite your routine medical administrative duties. I mention proudly that with your support we have been able to provide all essential services while attending to control COVID-19.”

Extracts of her speech: It gives me an immense pleasure to address the inauguration ceremony of the 27th Annual Scientific Sessions of College of Medical Administrators of Sri Lanka. I was determined to be here considering the importance of this subject to the Ministry of Health and I wanted to honour this prestigious college for inviting me.

Sri Lanka’s health sector is internationally renowned as a people-oriented health system. Despite being a medium income country, we are providing healthcare free to the persons who seek care. I emphasise that such a great health sector is run by a group of capable medical administrators at various levels. It may be a policy level at the Health Ministry, director of a tertiary care hospital or a medical superintendent in a base hospital, you all medical administrators are working hard and contributing your best to our health system.

Also, it is my duty to mention and appreciate all the medical administrators who have been working tirelessly to make our health sector successful and for taking this system to the status we are entertaining today.

You are my pillars of strength and have helped me fulfil my duties as the Minister of Health.

I would like to request all the 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 people-friendly hospitals and all workers under your supervision to be kind to all those who come and seek care from their respective hospitals or health institutions. I emphasise that quantity and quality should go together in equal measure.

I look forward to very effective, carefully developed plan for improving your own areas for the next year after a comprehensive analysis of your gaps. I have no hesitation to extend my blessing and support to yield good impact in every district, bringing new essence of quality health services.

With your support, we should be able to establish centres of excellence in each and every province. Also, we should not forget about universal health coverage, giving healthcare close to home upgrading all the health institutions at the basic grass root level. We must build the faith in our general public that their basic health needs are attended in their local area itself, without travelling many miles to the next level of care. Let us build and improve further, an accessible by all health care, keeping with the concept of “Leaving No One Behind”.

You are the leaders of your responsible sectors and other subordinates are following you. Therefore being example to others is a compulsory thing which should be showcased by heads of institutions.

I am happy to note that distancing has been attended in arranging this event and I expect that until the closure of the event you will adhere to universal health precautions throughout. Despite a situation of pandemic, I congratulate the President and the 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 practice. This kind of exposure will lead to improvement of your leadership qualities and will contribute to further improvement of our health sector.



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Pakistan Navy ship arrives in Colombo

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Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Taimur arrived, at the port of Colombo, on a formal visit, yesterday morning (12). The visiting ship was welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy, in compliance with naval traditions.The 134m-long ship is commanded by Captain M. Yasir Tahir and it is manned by 169 as the ship’s complement.

The Commanding Officer of PNS Taimur is scheduled to call on Commander Western Naval Area, at the Western Naval Command Headquarters, today. The ship is expected to remain in the island, until 15th August, and the crew of the ship will take part in several programmes, organized by the Sri Lanka Navy, to promote cooperation and goodwill between the two navies.

PNS Taimur is also expected to conduct a naval exercise with the Sri Lanka Navy in western seas on its departure on 15th August.

Meanwhile, PNS Tughril, an identical warship belonging to the Pakistan Navy, arrived in Sri Lanka on an official visit on 13th December 2021 and conducted a successful naval exercise with SLNS Sindurala off the western coast on 16th December. Naval exercises of this nature with regional navies will enable each partner to overcome common maritime challenges in the future, through enhanced cooperation.

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Stalin reads riot act to govt. over proposal to allow schoolchildren to work part time

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Alliance of Trade Unions and Mass Organisations yesterday warned that the government’s decision to allow schoolchildren, between the ages of 16 and 20, to work part time, would have disastrous consequences.Addressing the media on 11 Aug., General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union, Joseph Stalin, said that the government was planning to amend laws, allowing schoolchildren to work in the private sector for 20 hours a week.

“Now, this may look like a progressive idea. A lot of families are

struggling and if another family member can chip in, it would be a great help. I am sure a lot of children feel the same way. It is also true that there may be children who will find great jobs and horn their skills,” he said.However, these proposals have come at a time when education is in crisis and the schools are on the verge of collapse.

“During the last two and a half years, most children have learnt nothing. But children who go to elite schools are doing better. These schools have systems in place, but most others don’t. Children who do not go to tier one schools have suffered and most children who do not go to such elite schools will not find part time work that will prepare them for the jobs of the future,” he said. “It’s not easy to balance school work with vocation training, especially physically intensive work. Most people will drop out and social mobility will further stagnate. Fix the education system first and create a more level playing field,” Stalin said.

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Harsha: Will RW use Emergency to steamroller his economic reforms?

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By Saman Indrajith

SJB MP Harsha de Silva yesterday asked President Ranil Wickremesinghe whether the latter was planning to use Emergency powers to suppress the people who might oppose his economic reform agenda.

“It is being asked why the government wants to continue the State of Emergency. The anti-government protesters have gone home. There is no unrest. There are those who say that the President wants to keep the Emergency laws to carry out economic reforms. Does that mean the President will use these laws to scare people into submission if they do not accept his economic reforms? I don’t think people can be intimidated. I want the President to answer this question,” he said.

MP de Silva said that the government did not have public support and that it was obvious that the spectre of the Rajapaksas was haunting the government.

“I agree that Wickremesinghe was appointed constitutionally. We have to work within the Constitution. However, the 134 votes he received on 20 July were not realistic. They have managed to manipulate the Constitution, but the government doesn’t have the support of the people. The problem is can the government win the support of the people,” he said.The SJB lawmaker added that Sri Lanka needed to restructure its debt. However, the country had not even started the process.

“One of the consultants we hired, Lazard, says that we have to start with China because it is new to debt restructuring. But we have not done so. Not only that, we have in fact started a diplomatic issue with China. What’s the front page news today? Can this government solve this sensitive international issue? Can it carry out the necessary economic reforms?” he asked.

MP de Silva said that the government had to work with the people and that it had to be honest with them. The government needed to present a common programme on which an all party government could be established.

“In 2020, we said that the government was on the wrong path and that we needed to seek IMF assistance. The government didn’t listen. We need an all-party programme to go before the IMF and get a decent deal. Today, I present to Parliament an economic recovery plan we have prepared. When we decided to throw our weight behind SLPP MP Dullas Alahapperuma, I was entrusted with the task of making an economic plan. We have run it through experts too. I ask the MPs to look at this and suggest improvements.”

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