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Suwaseriya completes fruitful five years

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Colombo District MP Dr. Harsha de Silva, founder of 1990 Suwaseriya Pre Hospital Care Ambulance Service said yesterday that it had been launched amidst various obstacles. He said so on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the ambulance service, which falls today (28).

Dr. de Silva emphasised that the infrastructure needed to be further developed to improve the service rendered by the ambulance service. Everyone had come to realise the value of the ambulance service due to the national health emergence, he added.

 “Today, this service is celebrating its fifth anniversary with great pride. I salute all, most importantly the almost 1,500 Suwaseriya staff led voluntarily by Dumindra Ratnayake and the Board along with CEO Sohan de Silva; they are totally committed to this service and responsible for having developed it to the present level. It is very important to further improve the service. Therefore, on this occasion of the fifth anniversary of this service, I urge the government to study the future needs and take steps to strengthen the infrastructure facilities of this service. It will definitely be a very important social investment.”

 On July 28, 2016, the 1990 Suwa Seriya pilot project was launched in Western and Southern Provinces using 88 ambulances, with a grant of US $ 7.6 million from India. Following the success of the pilot project, India again donated US $ 15.2 million to Sri Lanka to launch ambulance service countrywide. People of Sri Lanka are most grateful to the people of India and PM Modi for this gift. 

 At present, 297 ambulances of the 1990 Suwaseriya are operational throughout the country and is managed entirely at the expense of the government through the Suwa Seriya Foundation established by 1990 Suwa Seriya Foundation Act No. 18 of 2018.

 “The last five years have been five years of healing for the country. Such services do not exist even in more developed countries than ours. Anyone who has taken its service will definitely appreciate its importance. We have been successful in achieving almost all the targets set by us during these five years. I thank former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for supporting me in launching this service, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for taking this service forward as planned, Minister of Health (Mrs.) Pavithra Wanniarachchi and State Minister of Health (Mrs.) Sudarshini Fernandopulle under whom the service is currently gazetted” he said.

 As of now 903,438 patients have been admitted to emergency and critical care through this service and the average time taken to reach a patient in any part of the country is just 14 minutes and 28 seconds.



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Central Bank urged to save collapsing local industries

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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.

(SF)

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

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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

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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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