Nov 19, Colombo: Non-Cabinet Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Dr. Harsha de Silva has also resigned from his ministerial post with immediate effect.
In a letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa informing his resignation Dr. de Silva requested the President to take the 1990 Suwa Seriya free ambulance service under his purview and strengthen the service as he fears that the lifesaving service may be "subject to unnecessary interference elsewhere."
Wishing the new Presiddent wisdom and strength to unite the country Minister de Silva said he is ready to extend his unstinted support to the improvement of the 1990 Suwa Seriya service.
Several government Ministers including Harin Fernando, Malik Samarawickrama, Patali Champika Ranawaka and Mangala Samaraweera, non-cabinet minister Ajith P. Perera, and state minister Ruwan Wijewardene resigned from their positions earlier.
The full text of Minister Harsha de Silva's letter
Please accept my congratulations on your victory at the Presidential Election. I wish you the wisdom and strength to unite our beloved nation that has become deeply divided on ethnic lines.
‘This is to inform you of my resignation from my portfolio of Non-Cabinet Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution with immediate effect so that you can appoint a suitable person of your choice to carry out the duties of the same. I gave my best to this and all previous portfolios | held and am satisfied that I was able to contribute towards the development of our country.
Upon leaving, I have one important request to make from you. That is to place 1990 Suwa Seriya Foundation under your purview and strengthen the service as I fear it may be subject to unnecessary interference elsewhere. In fact, in preparation for sustainability after my tenure, I initiated and was able so enact in Parliament unanimously, the service as a Foundation by Act No 18 of 2018 giving the President of Sri Lanka the authority over this life-saving service, While the Foundation was always gazetted as a subject under me as its founder, the time is now right to place it under you, as envisaged in the Act.
Let me also inform you with a sense of humility that the service we established as a pilot in July 2016 in the face of much baseless allegations, is today saving lives 24x7x2365 across the country with 4300 unit wrong network with a dedicated staff of chose to 1500 Sri Lankan young men and women. On an average day 1990 Suwa Seriya admits over 900 patients to critical and emergency care with an astonishing average response time of under 3 minutes. It has also been identified as perhaps the best such service in the developing world.
Once again, I wish you the best and will always be ready to extend my unstinted support to the improvement of the 1990 Suwa Seriya service to continue to save lives.