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JSC to probe on Actg. magistrate over Asiri Hospital case verdict

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The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has initiated a probe on the Acting Magistrate over her verdict delivered on a court case filed against Asiri Medical Hospital.

The probe is to ascertain whether the Acting Magistrate committed a professional misconduct while Maligakanda Chief Magistrate – Lochani Abewickrama Weerasinghe was on leave by delivering a biased verdict in favour of the Asiri Medical Hospital.

This is with regard to the case where the hospital was accused of selling 11 drugs beyond the MRP set as per the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) Act.

The complaint filed with the JSC states that the Acting Magistrate in question – Himali Ekanayake and the Attorney-At-Law Dhanushka Weerasinghe, who had presented the motion on behalf of the private hospital, are batchmates.

Previously, notice was issued to all 11 respondents in the case which includes the group’s directors – Vishal Bali, Ashoka Kariyawasam Pathirage, Ankur Nand Thadani, Karunamuni Manjula Prasanna Karunaratne, Sudarshan Ahangama, Gardiyar Lokuge Harris Premaratne, Sivakumar Sellaiya, Haresh Kumar Kaimal and Ajith Karunaratne as well as Assistant Billing Manager – B.D. Sadathisaru.

However, when the additional magistrate had taken up the case, the hospital had pleaded guilty and was fined Rs. 25,000.

Amid the controversy,the case was taken up again by the Maligakanda Chief Magistrate – Lochani Abewickrama Weerasinghe. In response, the hospital and its Board of Directors filed a case at the Court of Appeal, naming Justice Lochani as a respondent.

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Election Commission invites tenders for election stationery

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The Election Commission has announced a call for tenders to procure essential stationery, including indelible ink, for the upcoming election. 

The required items include photocopy and printing paper, printed and data-printed envelopes, pens, pencils, carbon paper, staplers and stapler pins, calculators, and other necessary supplies for the election process. 

Tenders will be opened on August 2nd under the national competitive bidding process.

Meanwhile, Deputy Postmaster General Rajitha Ranasinghe stated that preparations for the Presidential Election are ongoing despite a staff shortage. 

He confirmed that 8000 mail delivery staff will be deployed for relevant tasks. 

However, the Election Commission and relevant authorities have been informed about the staffing issue.

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Sri Lanka announces squad for home series against India

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Sports Minister Harin Fernando has approved the 16-member squad for Sri Lanka’s upcoming home series against India, with Charith Asalanka named as the Captain.

The squad includes notable players such as Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, and Chamindu Wickremesinghe.

India’s tour of Sri Lanka will feature a three-match T20I series followed by a three-match ODI series.

**Sri Lanka’s 16-member squad:**

1. Charith Asalanka – Captain
2. Pathum Nissanka
3. Kusal Janith Perera
4. Kamindu Mendis
5. Dasun Shanaka
6. Wanindu Hasaranga
7. Mahesh Theekshana
8. Matheesha Pathirana
9. Nuwan Thushara
10. Dunith Wellalage
11. Dushmantha Chameera
12. Binura Fernando
13. Dinesh Chandimal
14. Avishka Fernando
15. Chamindu Wickremesinghe

ODI Series at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
– August 2
– August 4
– August 7

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Hospital to be established at Somawathiya Raja Maha Viharaya

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The Health Ministry has announced plans to construct a peripheral hospital within the Somawathiya Raja Maha Viharaya premises to serve the large number of devotees and nearby communities.

A special discussion on this initiative was recently held at the temple, led by the Chief Incumbent, Ven. Pahamune Sri Sumangala Thera. 

The Chief Incumbent highlighted the temple’s significant daily visitor count of around 1,000 devotees, which swells to over 50,000 on Poya days and exceeds 100,000 during Poson and Esala Poya days. 

Currently, devotees who fall ill are transported to Polonnaruwa Hospital, a process that will be significantly eased with the new hospital.

Under the Health Ministry’s directives, two ambulances from Polonnaruwa General Hospital have been stationed at the temple to assist sick devotees. 

The new hospital will provide much-needed relief to the local villages of Sungawila, Katuwanwala, Galkanda, and Kandakadu.

Health Secretary Dr. Palitha Mahipala outlined the facilities of the new hospital, which will include an outpatient department, an emergency treatment unit, male and female wards, and residential quarters for doctors and health staff. 

This hospital will function as an affiliate of Polonnaruwa General Hospital, with staff being deployed from the main hospital.

A special Cabinet paper for the hospital’s construction is set to be presented, with an allocation of Rs.100 million for the project this year.

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