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$1.8 mn from Japan to provide essential services for children in SL

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The Government of Japan has provided a new contribution of over $1.8 million to UNICEF’s emergency response for the most vulnerable children in Sri Lanka. The new contribution will enable over 600,000 children to access clean water, good hygiene and sanitation, and treatment for malnutrition.

Sri Lanka faces an economic crisis which is disproportionately affecting the poor and vulnerable households, with dire implications for children. Access to a nutritious diet has emerged as a potent threat to children. The practice of proper hygiene through handwashing with soap has been identified as inconsistent especially among the most vulnerable, further compounding the situation of children.

Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka – Mr. Mizukoshi Hideaki said, “We are pleased to announce that the Government of Japan has decided to provide additional humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka in this critical situation. With this latest contribution, the total amount of assistance provided by the Government of Japan through UNICEF has exceeded USD 3.8 million since the beginning of the economic crisis last year. Japan continues to stand by and support Sri Lanka.”

UNICEF has remained agile in its work to address the needs of children in Sri Lanka and ensuring that the most vulnerable and their families are cushioned from the worst effects of poverty, COVID-19 and now the economic crisis.

“The Government of Japan has made a significant contribution to support the efforts of UNICEF collaborating with the Government of Sri Lanka in responding to both the long- and short-term needs of children”, said Christian Skoog, UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative. “UNICEF appreciates and relies on such contributions for its work for children”.

This contribution will enable UNICEF and partners to among others:

Treat 9,000 children with severe acute malnutrition through provision of therapeutic food and support access for children with complications to effective care in 97 hospitals where in-patient treatment is prioritized.

Procure and distribute multiple micronutrient powders for 200,000 children under two years to address deficiencies.

400,000 children and their parents/caretakers reached with accurate information on proper sanitation and hygiene information.

Support 100,000 people mainly women through provision of safe and adequate water supply, sanitation, and hygiene facilities in identified Maternal and Child Health clinics.

This contribution is in line with the Japanese Government’s commitment that people live in dignity, free from want and fear through the provision of basic social services for the most vulnerable populations, including access to essential lifesaving WASH and nutrition services.

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Anton’s TU life celebrated in Kusal’s ‘Humanist Without Borders’

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A book celebrating fifty years of Mr. Anton Marcus as a Trade Unionist will be held in Colombo next week.

Mr. Marcus is currently the Joint Secretary of the Free Trade Zones and Public Employees’ Union.

The book entitled ‘Humanist Without Borders’ alongside its Sinhala version, will be launched on June 17, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo from 3.30pm.

The books are penned by political columnist and analyst – Kusal Perera.

Emeritus Professor Jayadeva Uyangoda and the former president and general secretary of New Zealand’s ‘First Union’, Mr. Robert Reed, will deliver guest lectures.
Speaking to ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ in this regard, Mr. Kusal Perera said:

“My effort in profiling Anton in this book that traverses the fifty years of his trade union life is in the context of Sri Lankan politics. It’s because he himself is a political creature. Therefore my reading said, despite all rights, decency, dignity enshrined in the Constitution, in International law and for all that Anton fought for, it was no easy task in a world of the filthy rich whatever honourable labels one would tag them with.”

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Modi expected to visit SL?

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A high level delegation headed by the State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya is scheduled to visit Russia to arrange for the repatriation of Sri Lankan ex-military personnel deployed in Russia for military purposes and the related discussions will be held on June 26 and 27, said Minister of Foreign Affairs, President’s Counsel Ali Sabry.
The Minister also noted that a team of officials has been tasked with reviewing the Cabinet paper submitted to decide on Sri Lanka’s potential membership in the BRICS organization. Their report is anticipated later this month.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, President’s Counsel Ali Sabry, highlighted this during his participation in today’s (June 14) Press conference at the Presidential Media Centre, focusing on the theme ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’.

The minister elaborated further, stating that they are also anticipating a visit from the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs – S. Jaishankar followed by a visit by the Indian PM himself.

“President Ranil Wickremesinghe visited India to take part in the swearing-in ceremony of Sri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.  Consequently, we anticipate a visit from the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs to Sri Lanka later this month, with the Prime Minister of India expected to follow suit shortly,” Minister Sabry has said.

He further noted : 
Recently, I attended the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Conference in Russia, representing Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has submitted a Cabinet paper to explore the possibility of Sri Lanka joining the BRICS organization. A team comprising officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Treasury, Ministry of Finance, and Central Bank has been tasked with studying this proposal. The Cabinet is expected to receive their report later this month.

Furthermore, discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov focused on resolving the issue of Sri Lankan ex-military personnel serving in the Russian army. To address this, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, and a delegation including secretary to the Defence Ministry will visit Russia. These discussions are scheduled for June 26th and 27th. Concurrently, efforts have commenced to facilitate the safe return of Sri Lankans currently stranded in Myanmar.

(Excerpts : President’s Media Division) 

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Keheliya & 7 others further remanded

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Former Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella and 07 others have been further remanded until June 28 by the Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court over the import of substandard human Immunoglobulin vials.

This order was issued when the case was taken up before the Maligakanda Magistrate today (June 14).

Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s Department today informed the Supreme Court that it will not appear on behalf of former Health Minister Kehiliya Rambukwella and arrested NMRA officials over the case of purchasing medicines from two allegedly unregistered companies.

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