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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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At least 17 killed after explosion in Peshawar mosque

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(picture from twitter)

BBC reported that at least 17 people have been killed in an explosion at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

The blast happened when the mosque was packed with worshippers and more than 90 people were injured.

A section of the building was destroyed, and officials say people are buried under the rubble. Several others are being taken to local hospitals.

The cause of the explosion is unclear.

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More heavy rain ahead for New Zealand’s largest city

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Auckland experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall on Friday (picture BBC)

BBC reported that residents in flood-hit northern New Zealand are bracing for more heavy rains as officials issued severe weather alerts.

At least four people have died and a state of emergency was declared in Auckland, which on Friday experienced its worst downpour on record.

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Information Dept. media release: EC Chief asks public not to be misled

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by Priyan de Silva

Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Nimal Punchihewa, asked to comment on a special news release, purportedly issued by the Director General of the Department of Government Information, on Sunday (29), told  The Island  that preparations for the 09 March local government elections were going ahead, as planned, and that the media statement at issue was misleading.

The media statement says: “The gazette notice with signatures of the Chairman and other members of the Election Commission required for the commencement of the Local Government election process has not been sent to the Government Press for printing.”

Punchihewa requested the public not to be misled by any misinformation being spread in an attempt to create doubts in their minds.He also  reiterated that the EC would not be deterred by any acts of intimidation.

Three of the EC members have been threatened with death by an unidentified caller to resign from their posts. They are S. B. Divaratne, M. M. Mohamed and K. P. P. Pathirana. The Opposition has accused the government of trying to sabotage the LG polls.

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