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No decision on non-approval of doctors’ foreign leave – Minister (Update)

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Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella has stated that despite certain claims, no decision pertaining to non-approval of foreign leave for doctors has been made yet.

However, the Minister had noted that a discussion is due to be held with the health sector trade unions focusing on how Sri Lanka can retain its doctors, despite the ongoing situation.

Meanwhile, speaking at a press conference this morning (16 Aug), Secretary of the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Dr. Haritha Aluthge urged that the government take measures to resolve the issues faced by doctors, prior to imposing certain restrictions on them such as the non-approval of foreign leave.

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(Previous News : August 16, 2023 12.36pm)

No leave for specialist doctors to travel overseas

The Health Ministry has decided not to approve leave for doctors in fields with a limited number of specialists, including anaesthesiologists, to go overseas.

Ministry Secretary Janaka Shri Chandragupta said that several areas where there is a severe shortage of doctors in the health service have been identified by now.

If they travel abroad without notifying the ministry, the secretary said that they will be fired followed by necessary further actions.

The number of doctors specialising in certain fields in Sri Lanka is very limited, and the health sector faced several crises as a result of specialist doctors going overseas in recent days.

The Health Secretary said over 600 doctors have gone overseas for specialist training, and 300 of them are due to return this year.

He said the current shortage of experts in some fields will be resolved to some extent once these doctors return.

Meanwhile, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) recently said that 274 specialist doctors have left the country during the one-year period that ended on May 31.

The GMOA said 842 graded medical officers have also left the country during this period.

(Newsradio)

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President inaugurates 10th National Scout Jamboree (Pics)

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As the Chief Scout of Sri Lanka, President Ranil Wickremesinghe inaugurated the 10th National Scout Jamboree in Trincomalee today (Feb. 21).

 The National Scout Jamboree is being held in Trincomalee with the participation of 11,500 scouts, from SL & 28 other countries.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Jamboree, President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized Sri Lanka’s potential for rapid development and security enhancement through unified action. 

He stressed the event’s inclusive nature, transcending caste and religious barriers, and highlighted the significance of national unity in achieving common goals. 

The President pledged support for expanding the Scout Association, recognizing its role in fostering responsible citizens. 

Additionally, he announced plans for collaboration between the Scout Association and the Ministry of Technology to harness cross-sector interactions for national progress.

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SL gets new Chief of Staff

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Ranil Wickremesinghe, the President and Commander – in – Chief of the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka appointed Rear Admiral Pradeep Rathnayake as the Chief of Staff of Sri Lanka Navy effective from 16th January 2024. Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera formally handed over the letter of appointment in this regard to Rear Admiral Pradeep Rathnayake at the Navy Headquarters today (Feb. 21) and expressed his best wishes

Rear Admiral Pradeep Rathnayake is a distinguished past pupil of St. Thomas’ College, Matale. He joined the Sri Lanka Navy in 1987 as an Officer Cadet of 17th intake, in the Executive branch. On successful completion of his basic training from the Naval and Maritime Academy, Trincomalee, he was commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant in 1989. The senior officer completed his Sub Lieutenant Technical Course at the Naval and Maritime Academy in 1992 and specialized in Marine Navigation from the Indian Navy in 1997. Advancing steadily in his professional journey, the senior officer reached the rank of Rear Admiral on 01st July 2021.

He followed his Staff Course at the prestigious US Naval War College in 2005 and obtained his Master’s Degree in Maritime Policy from the University of Wollongong, Australia in 2017. In addition, he followed the National Defence Course (NDC) in Military Science and Security Studies at the National Defence University of China and was conferred an MSc. Further, he followed the Regional Maritime Security Course at the Naval War College Goa, India in 2016.

In recognition of his noble service rendered to the motherland, Rear Admiral Rathnayake has been awarded Rana Wickrama Padakkama as well as Rana Sura Padakkama twice for his gallantry. Moreover, he has also been awarded the Uththama Sewa Padakkama (USP), for his unblemished character and devotion to the duty. Rear Admiral Rathnayake has been issued 04 Letters of Commendation by Commanders of the Navy for outstanding performance of the duty and exceptional contributions to the naval service.

Rear Admiral Pradeep Rathnayake has had the privilege of commanding various Fast Attack Craft, Ships and Establishments in the Sri Lanka Navy. Among some of the other appointments he held; Commodore Sea Training and Principal Merchant Marine Training School, Director Naval Policy and Plan, Commander Southeastern Naval Area, Commander North Central Naval Area and Director General Operations stood prominent.

Prior to being appointed as Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy, he was discharging duties as Deputy Chief of Staff at the Navy Headquarters. Further, the senior officer is a talented sportsman in Squash and a level 1 coach and an international referee in Squash as well.

(Source: Sri Lanka Navy)

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SL to stop sending women overseas as housemaids

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The Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara has urged the management of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment and the Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies to submit a set of proposals to completely stop sending Sri Lankan women overseas to work as housemaids.

He has said this yesterday (Feb. 20).

The Minister has emphasized the importance of halting the usual practice of sending women for overseas employment as domestic workers and sending them for foreign jobs in high paying skilled categories instead.

The Minister has said that the proposals should include views and suggestions of all stakeholders in the sector.

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