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SLFP mark 70th anniversary with blood donation programmes countrywide



By Ifham Nizam

The Central Committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has launched countrywide blood donation programmes with over 10,000 donors to mark its 70th anniversary.

The first programme commenced on Friday at Ranna Maha Vidyalaya in the Hambantota District with the participation of the Minister of Environment and the Senior Vice President of SLFP Mahinda Amaraweera.

It was carried out following strict health guidelines due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.

Amaraweera said the past 70 years in politics was not a trivial period. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party was still a party respected by the majority of the people in the country.

Although some immature politicians criticised the SLFP, there was no other party that had produced as many respected political leaders as the SLFP.

“Our founder the late Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was a great erudite leader of international standing. After him, it was the Sri Lanka Freedom Party that also created the world’s first woman Prime Minister Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who also shone on the world stage. She became the leader of SLFP after the assassination of her husband S.W.R.D Bandaranaike. Today, we as a country are indebted to the whole world. The foundation to become a debt-ridden country was laid after 1977.”

The programme of building the country through the development of the local economy initiated by Mrs. Bandaranaike in the period 70-77 if continued, Sri Lanka would have been the most developed country in South Asia today, Amaraweera said.

He said: “It was she who introduced the brand name Made in Sri Lanka to the world. Kelani tyres, Oruwala steel, Pulmudai minerals that invaded the entire world market”.

In 1977, she handed over the country without debt to J.R. Jayewardene. “But the UNP destroyed our local economic upliftment programme. We came to import everything that could be produced and cultivated in our country. The people of the country were turned into lazy people. Today we are suffering as a result.

With the Covid-19 pandemic the national outputs of the whole world has been disrupted. Therefore, we have to wait for food items to be imported. But what happens if those countries do not sell their products. The leaders of our party saw this situation then,” he added.

The second blood donation programme took place yesterday at Lunugamvehera.

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Central Bank urged to save collapsing local industries



The National Freedom Front (NFF) has requested the immediate intervention of the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal to save micro, small and medium scale industries badly affected by the current economic downturn caused by the Covid-19.

The NFF parliamentary group comprises six members, including one National List.

Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa, on behalf of the SLPP constituent parties, has warned of steep increase in unemployment, drop in the contribution made by small and medium scale industries to the national economy and the further widening of the gap between the rich and poor.

Party sources told The Island that the NFF had decided to take up the urgent matter because, in spite of repeated promises, those who had been severely affected were yet to receive assistance. Minister Weerawansa has urged the Central Bank to restructure loans obtained by affected industries and also extend the moratorium.

Weerawansa has in a letter dated Oct.18, told Cabraal that according to a survey conducted by the Industrial Development Board, micro, small and medium enterprises suffered serious setbacks. However, of the loans made available through the banking sector, a substantial segment had been disbursed among major players, the Minister said, while pointing out that in other countries in the region more than 50 percent of total loans were made available to micro, small and medium industries.

Unfortunately, here in Sri Lanka they received approximately 15 percent of the total given as loans, the minister said.

Minister Weerawansa said that though industries suffered, almost all state and private banks had recorded much improved performances with significant profits.

The Minister said that following his intervention with the cabinet of ministers, the government agreed on a plan of action to deal with the situation. It would be the responsibility of the Central Bank to implement the agreed proposals, he said.


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So far no side effects among Pfizer vaccinated 15,000 A/L students



By Rathindra Kuruwita

Over 15,000 GCE AL students had been vaccinated with Pfizer and there had not been any side effects, Colombo District Director of Health Dr. Dilip Liyanage told the media yesterday.

He said that the Ministry of Education had given them a list of 20,688 that needed to be vaccinated.

“We would like to assure parents that there is no need to worry. Over 15,000 children have been vaccinated and there have been no problems so far. Trust the health professionals and vaccinate your child at the first opportunity you get,” he said.

Dr. Liyanage added that children who missed their chance to get vaccinated on weekdays, can get vaccinated at the MOH office near their home.

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Govt. approves prohibition of cattle slaughter



The government has approved the prohibition of cattle slaughter. The decision was announced at the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Information Department yesterday (19). The government said the relevant laws and regulations, including those passed by Local Government authorities would be amended for that purpse.

The Legal Draftsman has drafted Bills to amend the following acts and ordinances.

• Authority 272 of the Cattle Slaughter Ordinance No. 9 of 1893

• Act No. 29 of 1958 Concerning Animals

• Municipal Councils Ordinance – Section 252

• Section 255 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance

• Ordinance No. 15 of the Urban Council Act of 1987

The Attorney General has certified that the said Bills do not clash with the provisions of the Constitution.

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