Ranil calls for special legislation to control COVID 19 pandemic


Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today called for a special legislation to control the COVID 19 pandemic with the cooperation of both the government and the opposition.

Making a special statement, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the opposition political parties which represent Parliament should cooperate by preparing and submitting proposals for the legislation.

"The Cabinet, headed by the President, should now prepare a draft with a set of common policies to control the pandemic. Government should discuss this Cabinet-led draft with non-government party leaders and the Opposition in Parliament and seek their views.  All opposition parties should submit proposals. I think it is important to discuss this with those in the medical experts and the  business community.

The country will be able to submit a draft agreement that will be agreed upon by all within a month. Legislation to control pandemic can be approved in Parliament then," Mr. Wickremesinghe said.
"I urge the Cabinet to prepare a draft law to control the pandemic and to sustain the country and the economy.  Let us all work together to formulate a common policy. Then the noble goal of protecting Mother Sri Lanka will be fulfilled." he added.

Also, our country has not yet received the required number of vaccines. As soon as the Minister of Health announced that, she should have signed an agreement to obtain the vaccine last November, the Pfizer Vaccine Company submitted its proposals. However it did not work. Unfortunately, it was not until seven months later that the government focussed seriously on the vaccination programme. This is a crime. Sri Lanka has to purchase vaccines through an authorized representative. Some groups are waiting to earn extra money from the vaccine sales. I urge the Government not to leave an opportunity for middlemen to make money through the vaccination programme. The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved vaccination for children over 12 years of age. If we also vaccinate the children over 12 years of age, the number of vaccines required for Sri Lanka will increase from 30 million to 35 million. Countries that had a surplus of vaccines have decided to donate the surplus to the WHO's COVAX programme. The number of vaccines given to COVAX will be further reduced as these countries will now give their doses to children over 12 years of age. With this current situation, it is predicted that the vaccination of all of our citizens will be completed by the end of next year," he also said.

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