Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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India reiterated its continued support to Sri Lanka

Dr. S Jaishankar, the Indian Foreign Minister, met with SJB MP and eminent economist Dr. Harsha de Silva, founder of 1990 Suwaseriya, on Tuesday 29 at the 1990 Headquarters in Rajagiriya.

Dr. S Jaishankar reiterated his continued support to Sri Lanka and thanked Dr. Harsha de Silva for his commitment to 1990 Suwaseriya. Minister Sudarshani Fernandopulle and a group of officials including Chairman Dumindra Ratnayake were also present at the occasion.

The project was launched at the initiative of Dr. Harsha de Silva, then a non-cabinet minister of the Yahapalana government and now an Opposition MP.

the 1990 Suwa Seriya Project was launched in the Western and Sabaragamuwa Provinces with 88 ambulances purchased from India with a grant of USD 7.6 million. Following the success of that pilot project, India granted a further USD 15.2 million to cover the whole island with the service.

Today as many as 297 ambulances are operated countrywide and they are a common sight even in remote areas. The service is managed entirely at the expense of the Government of Sri Lanka through the Suwa Seriya Foundation set up by an Act of Parliament. It is run by an eminent group working in an honorary capacity

.the ambulance fleet will be augmented with 112 new vehicles. The situation caused by the current explosion of the Covid pandemic has demonstrated a new the value of this service which has over the past few years on this redoubled its efforts attending not only to medical and accident related emergencies but also in helping the transfer of Covid-infected patients to hospitals.

The country certainly owes a debt of gratitude to India, whose Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a personal interest in the project when Dr. Harsha de Silva first made the request to him while he was here on an official visit some years ago. Equally so to de Silva for all the hard work he has put in to make the project the success it is.

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