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WHO commends Lanka’s health care system

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Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena receiving newly appointed representative of the WHO to Sri Lanka Dr. Alaka Singh

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena received the newly appointed representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to Sri Lanka Dr. Alaka Singh on Friday at the Ministry.Welcoming Dr. Singh to Sri Lanka, Minister Gunawardena recalled the close cooperation between Sri Lanka and the WHO, being the very first UN agency to be established in Colombo in 1952.He appreciated the WHO’s assistance to Sri Lanka during the COVID- 19 pandemic, and requested continued support in securing COVID- 19 vaccines to the people of Sri Lanka. Minister Gunawardena also recalled that Sri Lanka was among the first countries that stood in strong solidarity with the WHO in its efforts towards addressing the COVID- 19 challenges.While appreciating Sri Lanka’s solidarity with the organization, representative of WHO Dr. Singh assured the continued collaboration of the WHO in both addressing the COVID–19 pandemic as well as in ensuring the sustainable delivery of other health care services during this period.

She commended Sri Lanka’s excellent health care system producing impressive health care indicators and the country’s standing as an example to other countries in the region.The representative of WHO to Sri Lanka Dr. Singh assured WHO’s assistance in securing COVID – 19 vaccines to Sri Lanka, and also in the post COVID- 19 recovery phase. She expressed hope that the availability of vaccines would increase significantly in the 3rd quarter of this year. Minister Gunawardena said that Sri Lanka looked forward to collaborating with the WHO among other things, to enhance the capacities of the health care system and research facilities in the Sri Lankan universities.



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Shocking 17,500 video clips of Lankan children being sexually abused

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By Norman Palihawadane

There were over 17,500 video clips of Sri Lankan children being sexually abused, on the Internet and action had been taken to arrest those responsible, Police Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said yesterday. The Sri Lanka Police had sought the assistance of international law enforcement agencies and the Internet service providers to track down the persons involved in uploading those video clips and child sex trafficking via internet, the SDIG said.

Crimes against children in Sri Lanka were rising at an alarming speed, the SDIG said.

The police would conduct a special awareness programme together with the National Child Protection Authority to curb the alarming trend, he said.

The first programme was held recently in Nuwara Eliya where it especially focused apprising police officers attached to that Division.

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Private buses to insist that inter-provincial commuters carry proof of vaccination?

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

A limited number of Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and National Transport Commission (NTC) buses and trains would maintain limited inter- provincial operation from 01 August, State Minister of Transport, Dilum Amunugma said.

The State Minister said that certified documents issued by the respective depot superintendents and the letters of approval by the NTC were mandatory, he added.

“The buses and trains will be permitted to operate only in the morning and in the evening for office workers,” Amunugma said.

The State Minister added that passengers should behave responsibly when using the inter-provincial transport services and understand that those services were only for commuters engaged in essential services.

“The Delta variant is spreading rapidly. If one infected passenger travels in a bus, all other commuters will contract it” he warned.

The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) has decided to make proof of vaccination compulsory for inter provincial travel from 01 August

LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said they had written to the President and Transport Minister asking for permission to enforce it.

Wijeratne said that all bus operators in the Western Province should ensure they were inoculated by August 15.

 

 

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TNA Leader complains against appointing Sinhala officers to Tamil areas

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By Dinasena Ratugamage

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader, R. Sampanthan had written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, objecting to the appointment of Sinhala government officers to the Northern Province, former TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah told journalists on Wednesday (28.)

The President and the Prime Minister are appointing officials violating democratic principles, Senathirajah said after a meeting of party activists at Karachchi Divisional Secretariat Office, Kilinochchi.

“A lot of Sinhalese are appointed to the North and the East. They must appoint Tamils. These appointments undermine our struggle for a just language policy,” he said.

Senathirajah said that it was customary to appoint Tamil officers to Tamil majority areas. However, this tradition was being violated increasingly in recent times, the former MP said.

“The TNA has nothing against Sinhala government officers. However, appointing Sinhala state officers to majority Tamil areas is a great injustice to the people. So, our leader has written to the President and the Prime Minister asking them to stop this practice,” he said.

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