President Maithripala Sirisena says the Cabinet of Ministers should take steps to approve the proposal tabled by him to the Cabinet to increase the tax on tobacco products to 90 percent without taking much time.
The President requested all the Ministers and MPs not to take the responsibility of making whole nation ill by postponing the duties we should fulfill today for tomorrow. He made this request participating at the opening of the newly built building complex at the Maharagama Apeksha Cancer Hospital, on September 03.
The President also engaged in distribution of food for the patients being treated at the Cancer Hospital to mark his birthday which falls on September 03.
The President cut a birthday cake with the children who are being treated at the hospital and also distributed gifts to them.
Later, the newly built six-storied building complex vested with the public by the President.
President Sirisena also inspected the newly established bone marrow transplant unit and the special care child unit at the hospital.
Addressing the ceremony the President further said that he was the only Health Minister in the world who had to present facts to defend his actions before the directors of the tobacco companies.
As a result of that the people of this country brought him to the position of President, he said.
The President pointed out the importance of paying attention to the prevention of diseases as well as we strengthen the treatment area. He also said that the Government had paid special attention to eliminate the shortage of human resources in the field of health.
Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, Wijedasa Rajapakse, Western Province Chief Minister, Isura Devapriya, Director General of Health Services, Dr. Palitha Mahipala, Director of the Maharagama Apeksha hospital, Wilfred Kumarasiri, persons who made financial assistance to build the building complex, Mr. Karim Ansar and Mr. Ameen Ansar participated in this event.
Meanwhile, the “Diriya Daru Pranama Scholarships programme” organized by the Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society of the Health Department was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the National Youth Services Council in Maharagama, September 03.
During the ceremony the President awarded scholarships to 20 students who excelled in the Grade Five Scholarship Examination held in 2015 as well as to 20 students who gained University admission in 2014. 700 students received scholarships under the Diriya Daru Pranama programme.
A book titled “ Udanaya” which includes the composition of the Society was presented to the President Sirisena by its Chairman Mr. E. Palitha and the Secretary of the Society, W.A.D. Wimalarathna presented a memento to the President,
Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, Western Province Chief Minister, Isura Devapriya, Deputy Minister, Faizar Kasim, Commissioner of Co- operative, D. Jeewananda , members of the society and many others participated in this event.