JJ says Health Ministry yet to send 2010 progress report to Parliament

*Expects Speaker to take action
*Ridicules UPFA for losing to mosquitoes after conquering Tigers


By Shamindra Ferdinando


UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene says Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has failed to make available a Sinhala copy of the Health Ministry progress report for 2010 though he promised to so in Parliament.

Jayawardene said that the minister had given that assurance to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa during the budget debate when he (Dr JJ) pointed out the failure on the part of the Health Secretary to provide the reports in all three languages. According to Jayawardena, Minister Sirisena said that the report could be tabled on Thursday (July 8) before the final vote the following day.

He said that following Minister Sirisena’s assurance, Speaker Rajapaksa had dismissed his call to summon Health Secretary who was in Parliament at that time. Jayawardena said that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, too, had strongly supported his move to demand an explanation from Health Secretary. Responding to a query by The Island, Jayawardena said that the health sector was in chaos, though Minister Sirisena vowed to do a better job than his predecessor, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. He said: "There is absolutely no difference in their approach. The rising number of deaths due to dengue is just one example of the rapidly deteriorating situation."

Jayawardena said that he expected the Speaker to take up this issue when parliament met again next week.The Gampaha District MP said that nothing could be as ludicrous as a recent press release issued by the Presidential Secretariat following the death of a doctor attached to Badulla hospital due to dengue. An irate MP alleged that the President had ordered an inquiry into the lady doctor’s death by way of a red herring.

Dr. Jayewardene said that dengue could be a major issue at the forthcoming elections to LG bodies. The Opposition should focus on the issue as there could not be a better example to prove government’s incompetence and negligence.

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