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UK to welcome a greater number of Sri Lankan students as Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine rolls out

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Sri Lankan students pursuing their higher studies in the UK will be able to access the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that is being rolled out across the country. The UK government has expressed its commitment to support international students during COVID-19, with universities’ minister Michelle Donelan writing an open letter to students thanking them for their patience at provisions introduced to tackle the spread of the virus. She has confirmed that the students will not be charged to apply for testing or treatment for COVID-19.

Speaking about the vaccine announcement, James Pitman, UK and EU Managing Director at Study Group said, “We are anticipating some positivity for the forthcoming academic year and would like to take this opportunity to thank our students for showing patience throughout the global pandemic. This vaccine, combined with effective treatments, will be significant in making COVID-19 a manageable disease, thereby allowing us to return to normality soon, so that, going-forward, we can welcome a greater number of Sri Lankan students to the UK.”

The UK has ordered 40 million doses of this vaccine overall – enough to immunise up to a third of the population. In fact, the government has secured early access to over 357 million vaccine doses through several vaccine developers. This will enable international students to access these vaccinations, just as they can access healthcare, including older international students or those with underlying medical conditions who will fall into priority categories.

The UK is consistently increasing in popularity to international students, with thousands of ambitious students choosing to pursue their qualification in one of the many world-class UK universities. According to 2018/2019 statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), there are currently 485,645 international students pursuing their degree in the UK. In the wake of the global pandemic and locked international borders, UK universities and their International Study Centres have been offering blended learning to students this year, which is a mix of face-to-face and virtual teacher-led learning. With access to Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, Sri Lankan students can now be reassured and expect to return on-campus earlier by next year.

Study Group partners with 39 universities worldwide, to deliver academic pathway programmes (e.g., Foundation Year, International Year 1/Diploma and Pre-Masters courses), which broaden access to high-quality, global Higher Education opportunities for thousands of international students every year, across all subject areas.

 

 



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Southern MP warns that Russian & Ukranian tourists working here are at risk

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“They may be knifed or their lives threatened”

ECONOMYNEXT – Tourists from Russia and Ukraine who are staying in houses in Sri Lanka for long periods are engaging in business activities and should be taxed to prevent them being knifed by competitors, SLPP MP Chandima Weerakkody told parliament on Friday.

“There are many tourists who are staying long term in houses,” he said. “Though they come here they cannot use their credit cards – especially Russian and Ukrainian tourists who cannot use their money through their cards. As a result they have been forced to work and earn something in Sri Lanka.”

He called on the government to have a system where they can use their money.

“In our areas many tourists are cutting hair, some are doing tinkering work, some are setting up pizza shops, some are selling cannabis – I think there is a new name now *for ganja),” Weerakkody said. “If we send the immigration behind the tourists who are coming, even those that are coming will not come.”

“No taxes are being charged from any of these tourists who are doing business. Our (local people’s) taxes are raised. I am asking at least to have a system for the government to collect some taxes

“I want to say in Parliament that in our areas, a knifing (pihi anumak), or some other threat to life (jeewitha tharjanayak) may happen if this situation continues.”

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Kidney sale racket unearthed in Colombo

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Five duped to sell their kidneys at Rs. 15 million each

By Norman Palihawadane

The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) has informed the Colombo Additional Magistrate Ranjindra Jayasuriya that an investigation has been launched to arrest the suspects involved in the organized racket of obtaining kidneys from poor people promising big money and selling them to local and foreign people.The CCD told the court on Thursday that four men and one woman have parted with their kidneys, and despite promising to pay Rs.15 million per kidney nothing was paid.

CCD reported to court that the victims were operated at a Hospital on Cotta Road in Borella and no money was paid. A mother who was nursing a one-and-a-half-year-old infant was among those cheated.

The police told court that a person from the Bloemendhal area had referred these people through another man and a woman. Required medical tests had been conducted at three private hospitals.

Evidence has been obtained that kidney surgeries had been performed at a private hospital in Borella and the CCD stated in court that this racket was organized targeting poor families in Colombo.

It informed court that they have already launched investigations and will arrest the suspects and produce them before court.After considering the relevant submissions, the Magistrate ordered the CCD to conduct investigations and arrest the suspects and present them to court.

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Record highest number of school students visit Parliament

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School children wave during their visit to Parliament on Thursday (1). Serjeant-at Arms Narendra Fernando said that the largest number of school students in the history of the Parliament visited the Parliament on Dec 1. Over 5,000 students from 32 schools from different provinces visited the Parliament on that day, he said. More than 25,000 students representing schools in different parts of the country had visited to observe the Parliamentary debates after the Public Gallery was reopened for school students from Sept 19.

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