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Keheliya goes to India to buy medicine from unregistered company



The Health Ministry has obtained the Cabinet approval to import 28 medicines, which are not registered at the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), from an Indian company outside the procurement process.

Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and the Chief Executive Officer of the NMRA have left for India yesterday (21) for the preliminary work of importing medicines from this company.

Internal sources at the ministry said the entire cost of the visit has been borne by the Indian company.

It is also revealed that an amount of USD 46 million received under the Indian credit facility is to be used to purchase these medicinal drugs.

The health sector is faced with a serious crisis due to the shortage of essential medicines.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Rambukwella has stated in a report presented to the Cabinet on October 25 that there are insufficient stocks of 151 types of essential medicines, 5,268 items including surgical equipment, 850 chemicals and 18 radioactive materials.

Therefore, the Cabinet has been informed that a private company in India has agreed to supply the necessary medicines for three months.

The drugs produced by the company in question are not registered with the NMRA, and the manner in which the company was selected is also not mentioned in the Cabinet paper.

Permission has been sought to purchase medicines from several other companies as well.

Although the Health Minister has informed the Cabinet that the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation of Sri Lanka has given approval to these medicines, the medicines used in Sri Lanka are approved by the NMRA.

Since the proposed supplier has been selected on the basis of urgency, the Finance Ministry has informed that the price and the quality of medicines should be discussed.

After receiving approval for that Cabinet paper, the Health Minister had again presented a Cabinet paper on December 5 to buy medicines from another company.

The Cabinet paper has been submitted for the import of pharmaceuticals from a private company located in Chennai, India. Accordingly, 28 types of medicines are to be imported. This company’s drugs are not approved by the NMRA.

Meanwhile, an Indian Credit Facility Coordinating Unit has been established at the Finance Ministry to import medicines using the credit facility. It has also been backed by the Indian High Commission.

The Health Ministry has informed the Cabinet that more than 1,000 files have been submitted for obtaining medicines, and it has taken a long time to get the approval.



Finalize on plantation workers’ wage before Dec. 31 – President




President Ranil Wickremesinghe advised the leaders of plantation companies to engage in a collective agreement concerning the wage hike for plantation workers, aiming for a minimum of Rs. 1700, as per their request. 

Alternatively, they were urged to reach a consensus on the increased wage amount before December 31st.

This guidance was imparted during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (08), where the President met with the heads of plantation companies. The purpose of the meeting was to explore how regional plantation companies could align their programs with the agricultural modernization initiative outlined in this year’s budget.

The conversation also delved into the program designed to grant land rights to plantation workers. President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his intention to establish committees for future work, proposing one committee to address the housing needs of plantation workers and another to represent the interests of both workers and plantation companies.

Emphasizing his confidence in an export-oriented economy for the country’s economic development, President Wickremesinghe stressed the collective contribution needed to ensure the success of the agricultural modernization program. He highlighted the growing demand for food due to the increasing population of Asian countries and urged the country’s export economy to prepare for this reality.

The event, attended by Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Promotion Mr. Manusha Nanayakkara, Minister of State for Finance Mr. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Secretary to the President Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Senior Advisor to the President on Economic Affairs Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, and numerous representatives from local plantation companies, also discussed various aspects of the proposed initiatives.

(President’s Media Division)

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China hands over 100 egg incubators to SL




With the objective of strengthening the rural economy and empowering small scale poultry farm owners, 100 egg incubators were distributed today (Nov. 08) under the patronage of Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Temple Trees.

According to a request made by the Prime Minister during his visit to China’s Yunnan Province, the Chinese Ambassador – Mr. Qi Zhenhong handed over 100 incubators to the Prime Minister and these machines were distributed all over the island by the Hadabima Authority of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Chinese Ambassador who participated in this event, said that as a special friend, China will always fully support the program of Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to improve the lives of the rural people in Sri Lanka.

Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda, State Ministers D. B. Herath, Janaka Vakkumbura, Kader Mastan, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, Chamal Rajapaksa and other District Coordinating Committee Chairmen, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration Ranjith Ashoka, Hadabima Authority Chairman Sarath Chandrasiri Vithana and others joined the event.

(Pics : Prime Minister’s Media Unit)

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Independent Commission for Truth, Unity & Reconciliation to be established




In a historic step towards transitional justice and post-conflict reconciliation, the Government of Sri Lanka has decided to establish an independent Commission for Truth, Unity and Reconciliation. 

This proposed Commission will be established through an Act of Parliament, currently in the drafting process as a concept paper in consultation with relevant stakeholders. The concept paper, used to prepare the final draft of the Bill for Parliament, will soon be available for comments to ensure an inclusive process in developing legislation that strengthens and safeguards national unity through truth, transitional justice, reconciliation, reparation and social cohesion.

A key objective of this process is to establish the truth regarding post-conflict grievances of Sri Lankan citizens, facilitating reconciliation, reparation and sustainable peace. The proposed Commission acknowledges every Sri Lankan’s inalienable right to ascertain the truth, a pivotal aspect for individuals and communities to heal from past conflicts.

Additionally, the Commission aims to ensure and strengthen national unity, peace, the rule of law, coexistence, equality, tolerance, respect for diversity and reconciliation among the people of Sri Lanka. This commitment extends to preventing any recurrence of disharmony and future conflict between the multi-ethnic and diverse communities.

The Commission is expected to review, consider and facilitate the implementation of recommendations made by past Commissions related to Sri Lanka’s post-conflict reconciliation efforts, including the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). Findings from the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms, established in 2006 by the Government of Sri Lanka, will also be considered.

The Government of Sri Lanka is committed to ensuring that the proposed independent Commission acts impartially, free from any political influence. With a victim-centric ethos, the proposed Commission will be a sanctuary for voices to be heard, pain to be acknowledged and dignity to be reclaimed, providing a closure to victims and paving the path for national unity and social cohesion.

Pending the enactment of the proposed new law, the Government has initiated the establishment of an interim body, the Interim Secretariat for Truth and Reconciliation Mechanism (ISTRM). The ISTRM is working to build the necessary legal and policy framework, operational procedures and guidelines for the Commission. The objective of the ISTRM is to lay the foundation for a home-grown solution for truth, reconciliation and national unity. The ISTRM is currently engaging with the public and stakeholders to ensure the Commission is built with their participation and consultation, shaping this transformative mechanism and ultimately paving the way for sustainable peace and national unity.

(President’s media Division)

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