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Rear Admiral Jayantha Kularatne appointed as Navy Chief of Staff



President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed Rear Admiral Jayantha Kularatne as the Chief of Staff of Sri Lanka Navy effective from 23rd December 2022.

Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera formally handed over the letter of appointment in this regard to Rear Admiral Jayantha Kularatne at the Navy Headquarters today (Jan. 03) and expressed his best wishes to the newly appointed Chief of Staff.
Rear Admiral Jayantha Kularatne is a proud product of Mahanama College, Colombo. He has amply exhibited excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities during his school days as a college senior prefect, member of school cadet platoon as well as an athlete. He joined the Sri Lanka Navy in 1987 as an Officer Cadet of 16th 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 on 15th June 1989. The senior officer completed his Sub Lieutenant Technical Course at the Naval and Maritime Academy in 1990 and specialized in Long Navigation and Directions at the Navigation and Operations School, Pakistan Navy in 1999. Progressing steadily in his career, the senior officer was elevated to the rank of Rear Admiral on 07th August 2020.

He has successfully completed the Naval Command and Staff Course from the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington in India in 2004/2005. He holds a Master’s Degree in the Defence and Strategic Studies from the University of Madras in India and also has a Master’s in Maritime Policy from the University of Wollongong, Australia in the year 2017. In addition, the senior officer has completed a Diploma in Conflict Resolution at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies in Colombo.

He has been awarded the Rana Soora Padakkama (RSP), a gallantry medal, twice for his conspicuous bravery. He has also been awarded the Uththama Sewa Padakkama (USP), for his unblemished character and devotion to the duty. In addition, Rear Admiral Jayantha Kularatne has been issued 03 Letters of Commendation by Commanders of the Navy for outstanding performance of the duty and exceptional contributions to the naval service.

Rear Admiral Jayantha Kularatne 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; Director Naval Administration, Commodore Sea Training, Head of Naval Research Wing, Director Naval Training, Naval Officer in Charge (Trincomalee-South), Deputy Area Commander Eastern Naval Area and Port Facility Security Officer – Trincomalee, Director Naval Welfare, Director General Services, Director General Training and Commander Northwestern Naval Command stood prominent. Prior to his appointment as Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy, the officer served in the Eastern Naval Command as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Commander Eastern Naval Area.

Rear Admiral Jayantha Kularatne has also been awarded the ‘Shasanabhiwurdidayaka Deshamanya’ title from the Amarapura Maha Sangha Sabha for his contribution to the promotion of Buddhism.

Rear Admiral Jayantha Kularatne is married to Mrs Udeni Kularatne and they are blessed with a son Asel Kularatne.


New evidence surfaces on health ministry’s controversial emergency procurement scheme




More documentary evidence has emerged on the Health Ministry’s disastrous “fast-track” emergency procurement scheme that led to counterfeit drugs entering public sector hospitals.

Letters between key officials show the plan was in place as early as September last year. That month, a Health Ministry Additional Secretary wrote to the Deputy Director General of the Medical Supplies Division (MSD) stating that it was decided at a meeting chaired by former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella to buy drugs using the Indian credit line (ICL) through private suppliers.

The purchase would be under an “emergency procurement method”, it said, adding that pending orders must be disregarded.

This meant that, even if required stocks were on the way, the Health Ministry would farm out additional contracts under the ICL to handpicked suppliers. And it would be done through a new system that a small coterie of officials—with the Health Minister’s endorsement—had floated to facilitate walk-in, unsolicited offers from unvetted suppliers, bypassing the national drug regulatory process.


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Tsunami Alert Lifted 




The Philippines lifted a tsunami alert early on Sunday as waves receded from a magnitude 7.4 earthquake that struck the south of the country, triggering coastal evacuations and some waves in there and in Japan.

There were no initial reports of casualties or serious damage from the quake in the Mindanao region, although some residents reported damage to buildings in the area, which is less populated than some parts of the archipelago.

More than 500 aftershocks were recorded, and the Philippines’ Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) urged caution as people resumed normal activities.

“The tsunami threat associated with this earthquake has now largely passed the Philippines,” Phivolcs said in a statement but advised people in threatened communities to heed the instructions from local authorities.

It had earlier urged people living near the coast of Surigao Del Sur and Davao Oriental provinces to move inland.

The national disaster said it was assessing the impact of the quake, with a team on the ground collating information.

The Philippine Coast Guard put all its vessels and aircraft on alert for potential dispatch.

“We started going back to our homes early on Sunday, although we are still shaking because of aftershocks,” Julita Bicap, 51, a front desk staffer at GLC Suites hotel in the seaside town of Bislig, said after power was restored around 5 a.m. (2100 GMT)

“There are aftershocks even now. Last night we were at the evacuation centre including my two foreigner guests. One of them came back to the hotel already,” Bicap told Reuters, adding that she noticed a small crack in the hotel’s front wall.

The largest aftershock was magnitude 6.5, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre.

Earthquakes are common in the Philippines, which lies on the “Ring of Fire”, a belt of volcanoes circling the Pacific Ocean that is prone to seismic activity.

Scores of residents were seen in an evacuation centre in photographs posted on social media by the authorities in Hinatuan province, 30 km (20 miles) from the quake’s epicentre.

Philvolcs’ Hinatuan-Bislig Bay station recorded maximum waves of 0.64 metre (2 feet). Japan’s Hachijojima island, some 290 km (180 miles) south of Tokyo, recorded waves of 40 cm (1.3 feet), the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The U.S. Tsunami Warning System had initially warned of waves of up to 3 metres (10 feet) above the usual high tide level.

The quake, which struck at 10:37 p.m. (1437 GMT) on Saturday, was at a depth of 25 km (15 miles), Philvolcs said.

James Soria, who owns a small hotel in Hinatuan, said there had been significant damage to his home. “It’s shaking again here now,” he told Reuters before the call was disconnected as another aftershock hit.

Cosme Calejesan, 47, said there had been damage to his house in Surigao City 185 km (115 miles) from the epicentre, but the structure was intact.

“I was already asleep, but I was woken up by the creaking sounds of my cabinets when the tremor occurred,” he said. “It was frightening. It was sudden and abrupt and I was worried for my children.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by srilankamirror staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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President leads talks on six renewable energy projects for next year




President Ranil Wickremesinghe along with Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera and Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake has spearheaded discussions for six renewable energy projects next year.

The projects will generate over 1500 MW and transform Sri Lanka’s energy landscape. The inaugural project is a 700 MW solar power initiative, harnessing sustainable energy sources. A senior Government spokesperson said that all six projects are slated for completion within the next 12-24 months.

President Wickremesinghe initiated these discussions with the relevant parties before leaving for the United Nations International Conference on Climate Change (COP 28) in Dubai.

Presidential Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake last week held a meeting with officials to address the challenges and devise solutions to commence these ground-breaking projects.

The Ministry of Power and Energy anticipates a marked reduction in Sri Lanka’s electricity tariffs following the successful implementation of these energy projects. This is in line with the country’s broader vision for a sustainable and eco-friendly energy future.


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