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Economic sectors at risk from departures of 14,000 professionals

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The growing exodus of professionals and skilled workers to foreign countries will threaten the quality of services provided to the public, experts warn.

Statistics reveal that the country’s heading towards a major brain drain with 14,307 professionals leaving the country last year compared with 2,957 professionals in 2020 and 8,373 in 2021.

According to the Bureau of Foreign Employment, the majority of the professionals were between 30 years and 39 years of age.

Last year also saw 8,130 middle level employees leaving the country. Over 12,000 clerical staff have left, while only 2,400 left in 2020.

In 2022, 92,836 skilled workers left the country compared with the 40,000 in 2021. A majority of them were between 25 years and 44 years of age.

The Association of Medical Specialists said the Government should immediately intervene to retain young specialists, while increasing the retirement age of consultants.

The association’s media secretary Dr. Asoka Gunaratne said out of the trained 30 consultant emergency physicians, 20 have left the country.

“The only paediatric radiology specialist in the country has emigrated. About 70-80% who go for consultant training to the UK and Australia do not return,” he said.

He said the Government’s decision to raise the retirement age of specialist consultant doctors to 63 years is needed at a time when huge numbers of young specialists are leaving the country.

“If they (Government) fails to increase the age limit, about 600 consultants will retire. The country is already short of about 2,000 consultants,” he said.

Dr. Gunaratne said lack of good accommodation, limited private practice opportunities and no school facilities for children, are causing frustration among young specialists serving in rural hospitals.

Prof. Bharana Jayawardena, president of the Federation of Teachers’ Associations said universities are at risk of losing 1st or 2nd uppers in universities as probationary lecturers.

“People are reluctant to sign sureties for PhD scholarship students as they doubt whether the students will return to the country. Even those who return stay for 2-3 years and consider emigration,” he said.

He said lecturers of medical faculties in universities away from Colombo are grabbing every opportunity to emigrate.

“There are a number of vacancies in vet, agriculture faculties as well, that could have an impact on the country’s agriculture, livestock sectors in the coming years,” Prof. Jayawardena said.

He said the government should increase investment in higher education, such as research grants for universities, provide flexible transfers and facilitate school admission for their children.

At a recent Committee of Public Account (COPA) meeting in Parliament, Government Analyst Deepika Seneviratne highlighted that there are 25 vacancies because scientific officers have gone overseas, triggering delays in reports. She said contract staff have to be hired to complete accumulated reports.

General secretary of Ceylon Bank Employees Union Ranjan Senanayake said over 1,000 employees in both the private and state bank sector have left the country.

“Those emigrating already have 10-15 years experience. Many are not seeing a future for their children here,” he said.

(sundaytimes.lk)

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Notice on rebuilding or compensating housing damaged by bad weather

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Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff to the President Sagala Ratnayaka, announced that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed to take the necessary measures to either rebuild or provide compensation, subject to a maximum limit, for houses that were completely damaged by the recent adverse weather conditions.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka also stated that measures will be implemented to assess the damage and provide compensation, subject to a specified maximum limit, for the repair of partially damaged houses.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka shared these views during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (20), concerning the rebuilding of houses fully and partially damaged by recent adverse weather conditions.

The discussion extensively covered the reconstruction of houses affected by natural calamities such as strong winds, floods and landslides, which have impacted various parts of the country in recent days. The provision of suitable compensation, subject to a maximum limit, was also deliberated.

To ensure appropriate compensation within specified limits, for fully damaged houses upon agreement with beneficiaries, and prompt construction of such houses with the assistance of the Armed Forces. Additionally, the assessment and repair of partially damaged houses, with compensation also subject to a specified maximum limit, were discussed.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka also directed District Secretaries to submit formal reports on houses fully and partially damaged by natural calamities.

In attendance at the discussion were State Minister of Defence Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon, the three commanders of the armed forces, and heads of relevant line Institutions. Participating remotely were District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries via online technology.

(President’s Media Division)

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Piyumi’s income generated from Lollia Skin Care – CID

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The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has initiated a thorough investigation regarding a beauty products manufacturing company named Lollia Skin Care (Pvt) Ltd, which is said to be the main source of income of model Piyumi Hansamali, who is under investigation for her assets.

It was informed to the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday by the Illegal Assets Investigation Division of the CID. This company has been registered under the Business Registration Number PV00256805.

According to the CID, the investigation will be focused on businesses carried out by this company, taxes paid and also the imports and exports carried out by the company.

The Illegal Assets Investigation Division of the CID on Wednesday (19) informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court that an investigation was initiated regarding the purchase of a Range Rover Jeep for Rs.78 million, the purchase of a house from Grand Housing Complex in Colombo 7 for Rs.148 million and maintaining 20 bank accounts with suspicious transactions by Piyumi Hansamali. It has been revealed that these 20 accounts have been opened in relation to the National Identity Card numbers of her and people closely associating the model.

The investigations were based on a complaint lodged by President of the ‘Magen Ratata’ organization Sanjaya Mahawatta under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

(dailynews.lk)
(This story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Dharma Rashmi Homagama Poson Zone to commence today

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The Dharma Rashmi Homagama Poson Zone annually held to coincide with the Poson Poya will be held from June 21 – 23.

This year, the Poson Zone spans across 13 kilometres covering Diyagama, Pitipana, Dampe, Meegoda, Godagama, Panagoda and Homagama.

The event is jointly organized by the Homagama Sasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya, the Presidential Secretariat, the Transport and Highways Ministry, the Western Provincial Council, the Homagama Divisional Secretariat, Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha, the Homagama Zonal Education office, the Army and the Police.

Cash prizes to the value of Rs. 4 million will be given to the winners of the Poson Lantern competition.

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