President slams elements working against reconciliation

He said that those working against the reconciliation process are clearly working against the country. The President called for support to take the country forward by winning international support and assistance.Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his Independence Day message said that in order to make the spirit of freedom more meaningful, the Government must take steps that reaffirm the liberties of the people with regard to their economic, social and spiritual well being. Sirisena said the Government is committed to give priority to National reconciliation and unity. President Mathripala Sirisena today slammed elements working against the reconciliation process in the country.Speaking at the 69th Independence Day celebrations at Galle Face, the President said that the reconciliation process has drawn the praise of those in Sri Lanka and overseas. “During the last two years, we have been able to achieve many steps in the right direction; restore democratic values, rebuild relationships with friendly nations and affirm mutual trust while focusing on revitalizing the economy towards laying the foundation for a nation that has overcome various differences and is firmly anchored on principles of freedom and human values,” he said.The President said that only a path that unites all can pave the way for a stronger Sri Lanka, a path that calls for what each Sri Lankan can give to the Nation, to the common future and to a better tomorrow. (Colombo Gazette) read more

On World Cancer Day UN says goal must be equitable access for

“The goal must be equitable access for all patients, in all countries, to the highest standards of cancer care, regardless of their country’s level of development,” said Yukiya Amano, Director General of the UN Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).“Around 70 percent of the world’s cancer deaths occur in developing countries. Many of those deaths could be prevented if the right facilities, and trained staff, were available,” he told an IAEA-hosted event in Vienna, Austria, marking World Cancer Day to demonstrate that cancer control is ‘Not Beyond Us’ – slogan of this year’s campaign.To mark the occasion of World Cancer Day, which is marked each year on 4 February, the IAEA’s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) hosted a roundtable panel discussion with notable speakers from around the world to address some of the issues regarding comprehensive cancer control in developing countries.IAEA also focused on the growing problem of cancer in Afghanistan.“Like in most developing countries around the whole world, cancer is a growing problem in Afghanistan said the agency in a news release describing how it is helping the country to establish a cancer care centre with in-patient and out-patient facilities that include oncology services. The first and second phases of the project will focus on the population of Kabul and the area surrounding the capital, which is estimated to benefit millions of people.The IAEA, best known for its work as a the UN nuclear watchdog, said it has been working for decades with a global network of partners such as the UN World Health Organization (WHO) to help countries establish comprehensive cancer control programmes that cover diagnosis, treatment and palliative care. According to the Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO), there are 14 million new cases of cancer and over 8 million people die from cancer every year, with 60 per cent of deaths in Africa, Asia and Central and South America. This year, WHO held a Twitter chat with its cancer expert as part of its activities to raise awareness, and shined the spotlight to recall that tobacco is the single biggest cause of cancer in the world and the leading cause of preventable deaths. “Every year, 8.2 million people die from cancer; at least 1.6 million or 20% of these are tobacco-related. In total, more than 6 million people will die this year from tobacco-related diseases including cardiovascular diseases, chronic lung diseases and cancer,” wrote Dr. Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, Head of the Convention Secretariat, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.She noted that “televisions, billboards and magazines were covered in advertisements glorifying smoking. Concerts and sporting events were places for the tobacco industry to hand out free products and branded promotional items.“On World Cancer Day, we must recommit to further reduce tobacco use so that a tobacco-free world becomes a reality,” she said.And the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said nearly half of cancer deaths in the Americas are premature, yet many could be prevented by public policies that support healthy lifestyles and early detection and treatment.World Cancer Day, organized by the Union for International Cancer Control is an opportunity to highlight the wide range of actions needed to effectively prevent, treat and control the many forms of cancer. IAEA World Cancer Day Event with this year’s theme “Not Beyond Us” at the Agency headquarters in Vienna, Austria. 4 February 2015. Credit: IAEA read more