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No audit committee for Dept. of Probation & Child Care Services!

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The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) Chair Lasantha Alagiyawanna instructed the Department of Probation and Child Care Services to identify the problems related to children at the local level, district level, provincial level and national level and prepare a solution for them.

State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna gave this instruction when COPA met yesterday (04) under his Chairmanship to examine the Auditor General’s report and current performance of the Department of Probation and Child Care Services for the years 2019/2020/2021.

Speaking further, State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna said that it is necessary to maintain a data system to identify children who do not attend school. As a result, he pointed out that a system should be developed to get information from the school at least once a month or every once in two months. Moreover, the state minister also stated that it is necessary to prepare a program in this regard with the Ministry of Education. Furthermore, the COPA Chair pointed out that it is important to quickly find out about children who do not come to school.

Attention was also drawn to the non-utilization of the UNCRC data system provided to this department in the year 2018 for the need to submit timely and accurate reports to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in relation to the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at a cost of 2350000 rupees. Officials present said that there are some practical concerns pertaining to this data system. Thus, the Chair instructed to make arrangements for the implementation of this data system as soon as possible.

The Committee on Public Accounts also inquired from the officials present about the updating of the ordinances and COPA advised to give a date-bound report on the said by August 08th.

It was also disclosed that this department does not have an audit committee. Therefore, by the 25th of this month, the COPA Chair gave instructions to establish the committee and inform COPA about its composition.

Furthermore, there was a discussion about the vacancy of the post of Legal Officer and the appointment of an officer for the same.

It was also discussed how to protect children’s rights when it comes to media reporting of incidents involving children and how to work for the future welfare of the child, steps to be taken to prevent abuse of children on the Internet and delay in hearing complaints received regarding children.

State Ministers Dr. Suren Raghavan, Ms. Diana Gamage, Members of Parliament Dr. Major Pradeep Undugoda, Dr. Harini Amarasuriya were present at this Committee meeting held.

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SL over 60s cricket team ranked 4th in the world

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The Sri Lanka Over-60s cricket team, led by Garry Gunasekara, achieved a commendable 4th place in the recently concluded Over-60s Cricket World Cup in Chennai. 

Twelve teams, including all major cricketing nations except Pakistan and Bangladesh, participated in the tournament.

In the group league stages, Sri Lanka secured victories against India, Wales, and the Rest of the World. 

They also tied with the West Indies and suffered their only defeat to Australia, finishing 2nd in the group. 

Sri Lanka faced England in the first semi-final, resulting in a loss, while New Zealand lost to Australia in the second semi-final. Australia went on to convincingly win the final against England.

In the third-place match, Sri Lanka faced New Zealand and narrowly lost by 20 runs, ultimately securing the 4th position in the Over-60s Cricket World Cup.

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Health Ministry’s Additional Secretary Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrested

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The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) arrested Additional Secretary of the Health Ministry Dr. Saman Ratnayake over the import of substandard human Immunoglobulin injections.

The arrest was made after Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrived at the CID to provide a statement.

Several key individuals including former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Former Health Secretary, the Medical Supplies Division Director are currently in remand custody over the Immunoglobulin scandal.

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Dickwella replaces Kusal in SL T20 Squad

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The Cricket Selection Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket has announced Niroshan Dickwella as the replacement for Kusal Janith Perera in the upcoming Twenty20 International (T20I) Series against Bangladesh.

The series is scheduled to commence on Monday in Sylhet.

Kusal Janith Perera, originally included in the T20I squad, will miss the series due to a respiratory infection.

Perera did not join the team on their departure to Bangladesh on Thursday. 

In light of his absence, Niroshan Dickwella has been named as the replacement and is expected to join the team ahead of the first T20I match at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet.

The T20I series against Bangladesh consists of three matches, with the second and third T20Is scheduled for March 6 and 9, respectively, at the same venue.

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