Maithripala Still Unaware Of WHO Post:Media Reports Make SL A Laughing Stock

Despite the claims made by the World Health Organization that Maithripala Sirisena has not been appointed as a Vice President of the World Health Organization, the Sri Lankan Health Minister still keeps saying that he is proud to be appointed as the Vice President of the WHO.

Sirisena has said offering the Vice Presidency of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to Sri Lanka's Health Minister is a international recognition accorded to the country's free health service. "Sri Lanka is the only country which has a completely free public health service. Even though Sri Lanka is a middle income country, it is maintaining and strengthening the free heath service. It is President Mahinda Rajapaksa who strengthened the free health service. It is because of his dedication that this position was awarded to Sri Lanka. This is a victory for the country and the people," the minister has told the state run Daily News today from Geneva.

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The Daily News carried the Minister’s statement on the new appointment a day after the World Health Organization made its clarification on the new appointment.

According to the world Health Organization, the Minister has been appointed as one of the five Vice Presidents of the 67th session of the World Health Assembly, an affiliated body of the World Health Organization. The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.

In layman’s language, this is somewhat similar to the difference between the Chairman of the United National Party and the Chairman of the UNP Leadership Council.  Role of the UNP’s Leadership Council’s Chairman is entirely different from that of the UNP Chairman!

The Sri Lankan media confused the Health Minister’s new appointment with the Vice Presidency of the World Health Organization which is a much larger body! If the Daily News report is something to go by, even the Sri Lankan Health Minister is not aware that he has been appointed as a Vice President of the 67th session of the World Health Assembly and not as the Vice Chairman of the World Health Organization.

 

 

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