Non-Cabinet Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva resigned from his ministerial portfolio today and requested President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to place the 1990 Suwa Seriya Foundation under his purview.
In his resignation letter addressed to the President, Dr. De Silva said he is resigning so that the new President can appoint a suitable person of his choice instead.
“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 I held and am satisfied that I was able to contribute towards the development of our country,” he said.
Upon leaving, Dr. De Silva said he has one important request to make from President Rajapaksa.
“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 to 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 24x7x365 across the country with a 300 unit strong network with a dedicated staff of close 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 13 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,” he said.
While congratulating the President on his victory at the Presidential Election, Dr. De Silva said, “I wish you the wisdom and strength to unite our beloved nation that has become deeply divided on ethnic lines.”