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‘We should encourage young doctors to steer The College of Medical Administrators of Sri Lanka’ – Dr. Rukshan Bellana



By Steve A. Morrell

With many senior medical administrators now approaching their retirement from service, it is imperative that young doctors be given the responsibility of steering The College of Medical Administrators of Sri Lanka (CMASL) to greater heights, says Dr. Rukshan Bellana, the medical body’s secretary.

“With senior medical administrators bowing out, we should infuse new blood and new thinking by giving an opportunity to young medical professionals to take over the reins and spearhead the administration of the CMASL with dynamic focus on the journey ahead”, he told last week’s Special General Meeting of the prestigious institution.

President of the CMASL, Dr. B. B. S. Hemantha Benaragama, said that it is of relevance in today’s context that young professionals are entrusted with key positions to drive an organization to a new high.

“We should hand over the responsibility of steering the CMASL to young doctors who think ‘out of the box’ to represent the interests of all medical professionals in the country. That’s the need of the hour”, he emphasized.

Dr. Benaragama said the College was established in 1993, and over the past 27 years, progress of the profession and its interests were of importance in ensuring the rights of the College, with emphasis on its members and their professional standing.

He said development of health services in the country was imperative and continuation of interests of professional doctors is an essential aspect for the future of medical practitioners.

A detailed discussion continued during the meeting on the age of retirement of medical administrators, which was somewhat ambiguous and lacked clarity. It was resolved to re-examine the respective clause and report back on the findings.

Dr. Rani Fernando introduced the guest speaker Dr. Nimal Pathitraja, who spoke on food safety, chemical hazards of food, and methods for avoiding questionable food available on supermarket shelves.

Guest speaker Dr. Wimal Jayantha gave a graphic description of his skills in photography, which was also well received.

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EC member Hoole moves SC against 20A



Petitions challenging 20A before five-judge bench of SC today 

By Chitra Weerarathne

Petitions filed in the Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka, will be called before a five-judge bench today.

These petitions have said that people’s approval at a referendum as well as a two-thirds majority in Parliament will be needed to enact the Bill.

All the petitions have basically said that the Bill has a section, which says a dual citizen can contest to enter the Parliament of Sri Lanka and run for President threatened national security.

The petitions challenge the powers vested in the President. The President could sack the Prime Minister and the Ministers. Once the Bill becomes law, fundamental rights petitions could not be filed to challenge an act of the President, the petitions have pointed out.

The investigating powers of the Auditor General have been curtailed. The powers vested in the Elections Commission when an election is on is also limited, the petitioners have argued.

The petitions have requested the Supreme Court to declare that a two-thirds majority in Parliament and people’s approval at a referendum will be needed to enact the proposed amendment.

Among the petitioners are Elections Commission member Ratnajeevan Hoole, the Samagi Jana Balavegaya, Attorney-at-Law Indika Gallage, Mayantha Dissanayake, S. J. B. Member of Parliament for the Kandy District and also the President of the Youth League of the Samagi Jana Balavegaya.

The Supreme Court bench will comprise the Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare, Justice Sisira de Abrew, Justice S. Thurairajah and Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda.

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Senasinghe announces quitting politics



By Akitha Perera

Former non-cabinet minister of the yahapalana government Sujeewa Senasinghe announced yesterday that he would quit politics. 

He had also stepped down as the SJB Deputy Secretary, Senasinghe said. 

Senasinghe said that he intended to focus on his business in the future and that he would commence work on his PhD from January 2021. 

He unsuccessfully contested the Aug 05 general election from the Colombo district on SJB ticket.

Senasinghe commenced his political career as a member of the Western Provincial Council of the UNP. He was elected to Parliament twice from the same party. 

He earned notoriety by publishing a book denying the bond scam ever took place.

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Pujith insists his hands were tied during crucial period 



By Rathindra Kuruwita

He had been aware that the activities and preaching of Islamists would have an impact on reconciliation, but those in higher positions were convinced otherwise, former IGP Pujith Jayasundara, yesterday, told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) investigating the Easter Sunday attacks.

The ex-IGP said that although he too had received information about activities of Islamic extremists by late 2018, he had been barred from the National Security Council (NSC) by then.

“I couldn’t share the information I had and I didn’t know what was discussed there. I couldn’t even assign a senior officer to represent me there.”

Jayasundara added that after he had received, on April 09, a report from State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director Nilantha Jayawardena about a possible terrorist attack, he forwarded the report to SDIG of Western Province, Nandana Munasinghe, SDIG crimes and STF M.R. Latheef, DIG special protection range Priyalal Dasanayake and Director of the Terrorism Investigation Division, Waruna Jayasundara and spoke to them over the phone.

Jayasundara said that he had also phoned all SDIGs in charge of provinces. The witness added that he had wanted to ensure that there would not be a leak, causing unnecessary problems in society.

“For example, the letter I sent to the Special Protection Range (SPR) was leaked to the media after the attacks.”

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