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Statement issued on rice stocks used for school meal program

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The Veyangoda warehouse complex has only issued rice stocks deemed suitable for human consumption by the expert committee appointed by the Gampaha Divisional Health Services Director for distribution in the school meal program, a media release issued by the President’s Media Division notes.

The media release further notes : 

The committee has provided relevant recommendations relying on analytical reports from the Government Analyst’s Department and the Medical Research Institute.

To ensure compliance, all Provincial Chief Secretaries are instructed in writing to mobilize a team that represents the health sector to conduct a thorough re-inspection and retrieval of the rice stock confirmed safe for consumption by multiple institutions from the Veyangoda warehouse complex. Additionally, they are tasked with strategizing to utilize this rice stock before May 01.

As per protocol, prior to distributing the rice stock from the central warehouse to the respective provinces, it is mandatory for the senior officer from the Provincial Department of Education and a Public Health Inspector (PHI) representing the province to ensure its suitability for human consumption. Only after their official confirmation through signature, the rice stocks are released to the respective provinces.

To enhance health safety and food quality for schoolchildren, the directions further emphasize the necessity for the rice supplied by the World Food Program to undergo inspection by the Public Health Inspector and a representative of the School Nutrition Committee before being distributed to school cooks. 

Compliant with international food packaging quality standards, this batch of rice is advised to be utilized before May 31. 

As the rice has been received as a grant, the packaging is labelled “Not for Sale.” This label does not indicate that the rice is unsuitable for consumption.

Following a comprehensive inspection representing diverse health sector considerations, the World Food Program has confirmed its suitability.

(PMD)

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India in talks with Sri Lanka to acquire graphite mines

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India is in talks with Sri Lanka to acquire graphite mines in the island nation.

The demand for graphite is steadily increasing, as it is the most common material used for anodes in lithium-ion and other batteries.

The Indian government had discussions with the government of Sri Lanka on acquiring graphite mines there, sources said.

(PTI)

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Karapitiya Hospital to be a National Hospital

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The Cabinet has approved the proposal to develop the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital as a National Hospital.

Speaking at the weekly cabinet briefing that took place today (May 23), Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardane said that this will be the third National Hospital in addition to the two National Hospitals in Colombo and Kandy.

The relevant Cabinet paper had been presented by Health Minister Ramesh Pathirana.

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36,900 power breakdowns due to inclement weather

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The Ceylon Electricity Board has reported over 36,900 breakdowns resulting in power interruptions to more than 300,000 consumers in the last 3 days due to inclement weather, says Power and Energy Minister – Kanchana Wijesekera.

Taking to X, the minister notes that additional service staff has been assigned to attend the breakdowns and the CEB management & service staff are working 24 hours to restore power to the affected consumers.

If consumers are unable to repot power interruptions through the CEB hotline 1987, they can use the SMS option to 1987 with BD and the electricity consumer number to follow, use the CEB Care app or through http://cebcare.ceb.lk, he adds.

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