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Sithara Limited bags Merit Award at CNCI Achiever Awards 2020

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Sithara, the leading Sri Lankan printing ink manufacturing company with nearly six decades of industry-leading performance was awarded Merit at the CNCI Achiever Award for Industrial Excellence in the National Level Extra Large (Manufacturing) category at the recently concluded awarding ceremony.

The CNCI Achiever Awards is an initiative by the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) which identifies and recognizes industrialists who have contributed significantly to industrial and economic growth and improvement in selected sectors over a year.

Chayanka Wickremesinghe accepted the award on behalf of the Company at the ceremony presided by Minister of Industries and Supply Chain Management, Wimal Weerawansa.

“It’s a great privilege for us to be awarded by the CNCI for the good work that our team is doing day in and day out. At a time when we are both approaching six decades of a leading presence in the industry and also navigating through a global crisis, it’s a testament of our team’s resilience to not only be steady but also continue finding growth opportunities in a highly competitive industry. We are very proud to be a truly Sri Lankan company in an industry with large global players and to be moving ahead with a clear vision for success”, he said.

CNCI honored Sithara Limited for its outstanding performances in turnover growth, productivity improvement, research and development, quality assurance, human resource development and corporate social responsibility.

The Company has always been intently focused on improvement and growth amidst the challenges due to the global pandemic. The Company was incorporated in 1964 by the late Esmond Wickremesinghe, and is today the leading indigenous printing ink and coatings manufacturer in Sri Lanka, with a comprehensive range of products covering Offset, Rotogravure, Flexography, UV and more.

It is equipped with a state-of-the-art production facility. The Company is ISO 9001:2015 certified. In a post Covid-19 era, Sithara will be focusing on sustainability for the total effect of a product on the environment, society and the economy. This concept encompasses every stage of product life cycle from raw material manufacturing formulation, application and disposal. Furthermore, the company has invested on solar power generation and is also working on rainwater harvesting.

 

 



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Haiti police riot after crime gangs kill 14 officers

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Protesters attempted to break into the Haitian prime minister's residence (picture BBC)

BBC reported that Rebel police officers rioted in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince on Thursday following the killing of more than a dozen colleagues by criminal gangs.

The rioting officers blame the government for not taking action.

More than 100 demonstrators blocked streets, burned tyres, broke security cameras and damaged vehicles.

Local media said several officers broke through the gates of the prime minister’s residence and attempted to enter Haiti’s international airport.

Fourteen officers are thought to have died since the start of the year in various gang attacks on police stations.

Seven officers were killed in shootout on Wednesday alone, according to Haiti’s National Police.

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Gold-covered mummy among latest discoveries in Egyptian tomb

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One of four newly discovered tombs at the Saqqara archaeological site south of Cairo (picture BBC)

BBC reported that archaeologists say they have found a gold leaf-covered mummy sealed inside a sarcophagus that had not been opened for 4,300 years.

The mummy, the remains of a man named Hekashepes, is thought to be one of the oldest and most complete non-royal corpses ever found in Egypt.

It was discovered down a 15m (50ft) shaft at a burial site south of Cairo, Saqqara, where three other tombs were found.

One tomb belonged to a “secret keeper”.

The largest of the mummies that were unearthed at the ancient necropolis is said to belong to a man called Khnumdjedef – a priest, inspector and supervisor of nobles.

Another belonged to a man called Meri, who was a senior palace official given the title of “secret keeper”, which allowed him to perform special religious rituals.

A judge and writer named Fetek is thought to have been laid to rest in the other tomb, where a collection of what are thought to be the largest statues ever found in the area had been discovered.

Several other items, including pottery, have also been found among the tombs.

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Health crisis: GMOA calls for WHO intervention

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Alleging the government has failed to address the developing crisis caused by grave shortage of pharmaceutical drugs, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has called for WHO’s intervention.In a letter dated January 26, 2023, addressed to WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge has raised concerns about shortage of pharmaceutical drugs, escalating prices of medicines and allegations of malpractices and corruption in procurement procedures.

The GMOA has released its letter to the media along with what it called a 10 fold plan formulated by an expert committee set up by the GMOA.

The following are the GMOA’s proposals:

1. To appoint a high-level coordinating committee within the Ministry of Health to ensure effective communications and coordination between following institutions, identified as responsible for the whole exercise. (a) Ministry of Health focal points (b) Medical Supplies Division (MSD) (c) State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) d. State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) e. National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) Monthly progress review meetings of aforementioned committees are to be ensured, with Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Health or his representative. Quarterly review with Minister of Health to facilitate arriving at essential policy decisions.

2. To ensure Transparent Procurement Procedures, where every interested citizen should be entitled to know the true facts.

3. To upgrade the available computer software programme to match the current needs and to ensure more efficiency in procurement procedures.

4. To appoint a technical committee to study Auditor General Reports with regard to procurement Procedures of last 5 years and actions to be declared with specific time frame to implement recommendations of the Auditor General.

5. Review the recent Presidential Investigation Commission reports and initiate urgent actions to file legal action against the respondents. Remove all those officials who are accused through these reports of malpractices, from their current posts, until the verdicts are delivered.

6. To minimise emergency purchases of Medicinal drugs and ensure the transparency of that process through progress reports on emergency purchases, which is to be published on a monthly basis.

7. To identify alternative modes for distribution of pharmaceutical drugs to peripheral stations (e.g.: Public Transport services with identified modifications)

8. To open an “Information Desk” at the Ministry of Health to effectively communicate with and guide the donors of pharmaceutical items.

9. To fill the existing vacancies at National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), following stipulated acceptable pathways and activating all the sub committees within NMRA.

10. To declare a relief package to reduce the prices of essential medicinal drugs, through the upcoming interim budget.

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