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Japan grants JPY 800 mn. medical equipment to SL

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Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka – Mizukoshi handed over JPY 800 million (USD 5.5 million) worth of medical equipment to the National Hospital in Sri Lanka (NHSL) and Ragama Teaching Hospital today (27).

The equipment was handed over in the presence of the Health Minister – Keheliya Rambukwella, to help establish a sustainable medical system adaptable to the current economic crisis and strengthen the readiness against COVID-19.

Japan has provided modern Japanese medical equipment including MRI, CT scanner, Angiography, central monitor, and bedside monitors. These items of equipment will also be utilized to inspect and treat people with chronic illnesses such as non-communicable diseases, which are serious challenges as the largest cause of death in Sri Lanka. The CT scanner is the first of its kind to be introduced at the National Hospital in Sri Lanka and installed in its newly established Open Patient Department, which can treat around 1,500 outpatients per day on average.  

We hope that the new set of equipment will help to provide advanced and sustainable medical services to the people of Sri Lanka who are in need under the current unprecedented challenges caused by COVID-19 pandemic as well as grave economic predicament, the Japanese embassy says in a statement.

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Increasing beedi prices result of hidden pact!

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Increasing the tax on beedis instead of tax on cigarettes when there is an opportunity to earn more income from cigarettes is the result of an agreement between the heads of the tobacco company and the government, the Sri Lanka Mirror learns.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe said in the 2023 Budget speech that the government would impose a tax of Rs.2 on a beedi.

“I suggest a tax of Rs.2 per beedi to streamline the beedi industry and to discourage people from using beedis. Apart from this, the fees to be paid for obtaining certificates and licenses will also be increased,” he said.

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Highest income recorded from gem exports after 12 years

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The highest income from gem exports since 2010 has been recorded this year, National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka Director General Pradeep Thenuwara said.

He said more than 380 million USDs have been earned this year from the export of gems, including sapphires.

The National Gems and Jewellery Authority said that in the last 11 months, it has earned a record income more than the previous year.

Accordingly, it is reported that the 355 million USD income that was targeted to be earned from gem exports this year has already been exceeded.

Mr. Thenuwara said that sapphires found in Sri Lanka are popular in the world market and the largest amount of exported gems are sapphires.

Most gems have been exported to China, the US, Britain, Malaysia, Hong Kong while Israel has bought diamonds.

An income of 500 million USDs has been targeted from gem exports for 2023, and the Authority said it will provide facilities including new technology to the miners to achieve this target.

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Minister Tiran’s intelligence team ahead of IGP

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Public Security Minister Tiran Alles has launched an investigation into the sudden death of seven horses of the Police Mounted Division due to lack of proper food this year.

The minister has asked Inspector General of Police C.D. Wickramarate about the incident but it was reported that he was not aware of these incidents until the minister had questioned him.

Each horse has been brought to the Police Mounted Division at a cost of 35,000 USDs.

As soon as the information was received that seven horses had died from malnutrition, the minister has launched an investigation.

The minister has inquired about these deaths from SDIG Priyantha Weerasuriya who is responsible for supervising the welfare of the horses.

It has been revealed that the company that supplies horses’ feed has not provided proper feed.

It has also been reported that 23 healthy young horses have been transported to several special celebrations held in the recent past, but their health condition has not been considered whey they are being transported.

The investigations have revealed that the responsibility of monitoring the health of the horses lies with the veterinarian who also monitors the health of the police dogs and that the senior police officers have not paid special attention to the issue.

Meanwhile, it was reported that 38 horses have died in previous years.

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