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Russia honours Sri Lankan front-line graduates who fought against Covid-19



A ceremony titled ‘Evening of Friendship’ was held at the Russian Center in Colombo in recognition of the efforts of Russian/USSR graduate front-liners who fought against Covid-19.

The event was organized jointly with the Association of Sri Lankan Graduates from Socialist Countries and the Sri Lanka-Russia Friendship Society.

The chief guest was Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and former Director-General of Health Services, Vice Chairman of the 146th Executive Board of the WHO, who led the campaign to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection in Sri Lanka.

Dr. Sunil de Alvis, Additional Secretary (Medical Services), Ministry of Health, who made a significant contribution towards overcoming the threat of the pandemic in Sri Lanka, was the guest of honor.

The event was attended by Susil Premajayantha, State Minister of Education Reforms, Promotion of Open Universities and Distance Learning, President of Sri Lanka- Russia Friendship Society, Yury Materiy, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives and Dr. Saman Weerasinghe, former Sri Lankan Ambassador in Russia and General Secretary of Sri Lanka – Russia Friendship Society.

The official part of the event comprised honoring the contribution of the outstanding Soviet/Russian Alumni towards fighting Covid-19 in Sri Lanka, a photo exhibition, and a ceremony to present souvenirs to the graduates to acknowledge their selfless efforts.

Addressing the audience, Anastasia Khokhlova, First Secretary of the Russian Embassy and Director of the Russian Centre in Colombo, noted that Russia acknowledges its graduates as one of the main assets of bilateral cooperation.

“I’m honored to acknowledge that the utmost contribution in this battle against the pandemic threat was carried out by the Russian/Soviet alumni, Dr. Anil Jasinghe and Dr. Sunil De Alwis with many other graduates of various spheres of education, who did a great lot to successfully prevent the spread of the dangerous disease in Sri Lanka”, she noted.

“It is the best compliment for us that the fundamental base for your utmost professionalism was laid at Russian universities and cradled by our country”, she added.

Tokens of appreciation were presented by Ambassador Yuri Materi to acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Dr. Sunil De Alwis, Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni, CMC’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, SSP Dr. Ravi Basnayake, Police Hospital, Dr. Geethika Guruge, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health, Public Health Department, CMC, Dr. Dinu Guruge, Regional Epidemiologist, Colombo CMC, Dr. Dhammike Adhikarawatta, Public Health Officer, CMC, Dr. Kapila Sooriyaarachchi, Head of Health Promotion Division, Public Health Department, Dr. Sudanthika Wijesooriya in charge of Corona Unit, North Colombo Teaching Hospital and Dr. Theja  Huruggamuwa, Covid Unit, General Hospital, Kalutara.

A cultural program by the students of the School of Music and the School of Ballet and Dance of the Russian Centre in Colombo added color to the event.

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COPE meets online for first time in its history



by Saman Indrajith

The Parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) created a history by meeting online for the first time ever on Thursday.

The COPE had Secretaries of three Ministries joining in with its committee meeting through online (ZOOM) becoming the second parliamentary committee holding an online meeting in the country.

Thursday evening’s COPE meeting chaired by its chairman Prof. Charitha Herath connected online with Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Dr) H. S. Munasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Industries W. A. Chulananda Perera and, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government J. J. Ratnasiri via zoom technology.

The Environmental Audit Report on water pollution of the Kelani River was brought before the committee and the meeting held between the Chairman Prof. Herath, Ministers and Members of Parliament and secretaries and other officials continued without any technical hitches.

Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said that facilities have been provided to hold meetings and discussions using online technology in two committee rooms in Parliament.

He said that Parliamentary officials had been working relentlessly for months to install the requisite technological tools and that the efforts have borne fruit and future Parliamentary meetings could be held online as a result.

The Committee on High Posts under the chairmanship of Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena also held a discussion with the new Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Kenya, who was living in Kampala, using online technology recently.



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Legatum Prosperity Index highlights SL’s development of education and healthcare sectors



During the past decade

One of the key highlights of this year’s Legatum Prosperity Index was the improvement in Sri Lanka’s education and healthcare sectors over the past decade. These improvements were key to increase in prosperity within Sri Lanka, it was noted.

The London-based think-tank Legatum Institute launched the 14th Legatum Prosperity Index on November 17 2020.

The event commenced with the welcome address by the Chair of the Legatum Institute, Alan McCormick. 

Addressing the audience, the Chief Executive Officer of the Legatum Institute, The Baroness Stroud said that according to the Legatum Index, the global prosperity was at its highest level ever with 147 countries seeing their prosperity rise over the last decade.

Speaking at the launch, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK, Saroja Sirisena said that the end of the terrorist conflict in 2009 and the ensuing peace dividend, led Sri Lanka to achieve steady progress within the last decade.

She highlighted that the universal free education and healthcare policies of the country over seven decades are the pillars on which prosperity is built.

Director of Policy of the Legatum Institute, Dr. Stephen Brien explained to the audience as to how the Legatum Index is used to measure prosperity across the world.

The event was also addressed by the Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in Africa, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Biologist and Writer, Matt Ridley and Ambassador of Georgia in the UK Sophie Katsarava.

Legatum Prosperity Index is a global index that analyses the performance of 167 nations across 65 policy-focused elements, measured by almost 300 country level indicators and it is the only global index that measures national prosperity based on institutional, economic and social wellbeing.

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Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India with Sapna Mehra



The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), High Commission of India, Colombo, will be holding an online cookery demonstration on ‘Snack Time: Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India’ on December 5 at 11.00 am on its FACEBOOK page

This festival season, the Cultural Centre will present a virtual cookery demonstration by Sapna Mehra. Cooking has been a passionate hobby of Sapna since her childhood days. Growing up in a large family of 17 members, she was very keen on bringing variety to the dining table, and that’s when her cooking journey began, preparing simple wraps, and snacks.

She now specializes in cooking dishes from a variety of cuisines. Originally from Bangalore, she has lived in many cities across India and Sri Lanka, and at present resides in Delhi.

She has a Postgraduate degree in Marketing and has over 12 years work experience in the professional field.

All are cordially invited to attend. For more details, contact the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre on telephone No: 2684698 or Email:

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