Categories
Domestic

Healthcare delivery: Lanka on top

Sri Lanka has once again emerged as the most successful country in South Asia in healthcare delivery, recording low indicators in Maternal Mortality and a high rate of Life Expectancy , ‘The State of World Population 2010’ (Report) issued by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said today.

According to the Report all other countries in South Asia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives lag much behind Sri Lanka in respect of these important health and social indicators.

The Infant Mortality Rate per thousand births in India in 2010 was 52, Pakistan 61, Bhutan 41, Nepal 38 and Maldives 20 while Sri Lanka had only15 deaths which was highly satisfactory.

The Maternal Mortality rate per 100,000 births stood at a high 830 in Nepal while in India it was 450, Bangladesh 570, Pakistan 320, Maldives 120 with Sri Lanka only 58 mother deaths.

The life expectancy in India respectively for male and female was 62 / 66 years, Bangladesh 68 years for both, Pakistan 66 / 67, Nepal 66 / 68, Maldives 70 / 74 and Sri Lanka was 71 and 74 years.

The country with most dismal indicators in the world, Afghanistan records 152 infant deaths per 1,000 births and 1,800 maternal deaths per 100,000. The life expectancy in Afghanistan is only 44 for both sexes.

Some of the best countries to live in, Sweden, Australia and Switzerland, the Infant Mortality rate, Maternal Morality rate and Life Expectancy stood respective at 3, 3 and 79 / 83, 4, 4 and 79 / 84 and 4, 5, and 79 / 84.

Mrs. Lene K. Christiansen, UNFPA country director Sri Lanka, addressing the gathering at the ceremony held to mark the release of the Report said the Report makes the case for replacing the vicious cycle of crisis and underdevelopment with virtuous cycle of peace and stability.

“It is time to tear down the false barriers between crisis, recovery and development. Investing in the development soften the impact of crisis and natural disaster and whatever is invested during humanitarian response can become a solid foundation for development and rebuilding a society,” Mrs. Cristiansen stressed. Mr. Reza Hassaini and Mrs. Sunila Abesekara also addressed the ceremony.

Categories
Domestic

Battle Against LTTE Elements Abroad

Defeated terrorist elements have encamped in several foreign nations and their latest weapon is to defame our country and throw allegations at our war heroes accusing them of war crimes, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

‘We have already commenced the battle against them in the international sphere and are committed to continue it’. President Rajapaksa said so at the ceremonial passing out parade of Cadet officers at the Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA) in Diyatalawa (21 Dec).

We are now at a significant phase in the humanitarian operation. Our endeavor is to win hearts and minds after freeing the people and lands from terrorism. The humanitarian operation includes de-mining, resettlement and providing basic requirements among other tasks. All development programs carried out in the North and East are part of the humanitarian operation, the President stated.

He stressed that this humanitarian operation will not stop until the painful memories of terrorism and all thoughts of separatism are
removed from people’s hearts.

‘You pass out today to contribute to this noble humanitarian operation’, the President told the Cadet officers.

A person does not excel through talent and knowledge alone. Instead, the most important element is the love for one’s country, he pointed out.

‘The government not only lined up the security forces for the humanitarian operation but also organized the people against terrorism.’

Categories
Foreign Affairs

Sri Lanka ready to assist India in combating LTTE

Sri Lanka is to consider assisting India in combating the threat posed by LTTE elements said Minister of Media Keheliya Rambukwella.

Answering a query of a journalist at the Cabinet media briefing held in Colombo a short while ago (16), he said that Sri Lanka will consider on the issue if such a request is made and the country will share all its experiences in combating terrorism.

India is the neigbhouring country of Sri Lanka who has had strong ties for centuries mentioned the Minister.

The Minister mentioned this commenting on the very recent reports on LTTE attempts to take the lives of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and TamilNadu Chief Minister M Karunanidi. These details were revealed by the intelligence units of the country.

Categories
Military

Wikileaks: SL denies NK arms charge

A senior military official said there had been no transactions with North Korea.

Sri Lanka says the country never purchased any arms, ammunition and equipment from North Korea during the war against the LTTE.

A senior official involved in procurement of arms on Thursday (Dec. 9) told The Island that there hadn t been any transactions with NK for a long time.

He was responding to information in diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks of US diplomatic protests about North Korea s alleged sale of rocket-propelled launchers to Sri Lanka in early 2009.

The official pointed out that the international media may have wrongly reported that Sri Lanka was acquiring arms from NK, whereas the actual beneficiary of such arms sales could have been the LTTE.

Alleging possible NK support for the JVP-led 1971 insurgency, Sri Lanka broke-off diplomatic ties with that country.

Military sources say that Sri Lanka hadn t purchased any major items even from South Korea except some Fast Attack Craft (FACs) acquired in the 80s during the JRJ administration.

Authoritative sources told The Island that the leaked US cables, which had been the basis for media speculation on Sri Lanka receiving NK arms, could have dealt with the LTTE procuring arms from China and transferring them overland through NK to be loaded into LTTE ships.

Categories
Economics

Partnership Model

Sri Lanka said keen on public-private partnerships
Dec 13, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is keen on partnerships between the public and private sectors in developing its economy, the International Finance Corporation, which is supporting the initiative, said in a statement.

“Sri Lanka is actively considering options to increase private participation in development,” it quoted Sarath Amunugama, Sri Lanka’s Senior Minister of International Monetary Cooperation as telling a forum.
“A sustainable public-private partnership model is an important part of our framework for economic growth and infrastructure development.”

The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said it is working with policymakers and private sector players to help meet Sri Lanka’s ongoing development agenda through public-private partnerships.

The forum held in Sri Lanka Monday was part of a series of IFC-led events in South Asia to identify and address concerns and challenges related to public-private partnerships among stakeholders, it said.

The event brought together specialists and expert speakers from around the world and was attended by officials of ministries and public sector departments of health, transportation, and municipal infrastructure and other multilateral partners.

“Improving quality of services in Sri Lanka, gaining efficiencies, and boosting economic growth through private participation in social and physical infrastructure were part of the discussions,” the IFC said.

“Long lasting public-private arrangements receive public ownership while generating interest among local private sector players and other development partners with shared goals,” said Vipul Bhagat, Manager of IFC Advisory Services for Public-Private Partnerships in South Asia.

The Sri Lankan government is committed to facilitating the transition necessary to boost the country’s economic growth and build on development fundamentals, the IFC statement said.

“Public-private partnership activity can make an important contribution to help address the country’s immediate infrastructure needs and garner needed funding for the purpose.”