Suwaseriya Foundation recalls ambulance: Police instructed to apprehend all culprits

Assault on Suwaseriya ambulance staff

 The Suwaseriya ambulance service has been in existence since 2016 and offered a lifeline to many people free of charge 

Raising the matter in Parliament, SJB MP Dr. Harsha De Silva, has said that the Suwaseriya ambulance service needs to be protected

Concerns have been raised regarding the safety of medical officers attached to the Suwaseriya ambulance service following a recent incident of assault that had transpired in Thabbowa. 

On June 14, officers attached to the Suwaseriya ambulance service, stationed at the Karuwalagaswewa police station had received a call regarding an incident. This call was received at around 12.56am. By 1.00am the ambulance had reached the location. However there had been a party at this location and a group of people under the influence of alcohol had requested the ambulance driver to reverse the vehicle. The group of people had then assaulted the driver and the Emergency Medical Technician. Thereafter the ambulance staff had boarded the vehicle and had driven directly to the Karuwalagaswewa police station without making any stops as they had realised that they were being followed by this group of people. 

Raising the matter in Parliament, Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP Dr. Harsha De Silva, who has been in the frontlines of this initiative said that the Suwaseriya ambulance service needs to be protected. “Perhaps the service carried out by Suwaseriya in the Puttalam District will be discontinued as a result of this incident. Usually the officials take the stretcher inside the house to bring the patient. When they had complained to the Police we learned that the Police hadn’t taken swift action against the culprits. Two people had been arrested, but they were later released on bail after being produced in courts. Even though the complainants have mentioned several other names, the police had allegedly not taken down these names,” De Silva said. 

Dr. De Silva said that these officers are government servants. “This is a country where government servants who are trying to help someone save a life are being assaulted. This is wrong. Around 1050 patients are being admitted to the emergency treatment units and we provide them the Suwaseriya service to travel safely to the hospital. This is an important service and there is no politics involved in it,” he added. 

In response Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said that the Deputy Inspector General of the Wayamba District has been informed regarding this incident and that he has been instructed to enforce the law against the perpetrators. 

Issuing a letter addressed to the Chief Inspector at the Puttalam Police, Suwaseriya Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Sohan De Silva had informed of his decision to temporarily remove the ambulance from the Karuwalagaswewa police premises for the safety of the ambulance and its staff and until further action is being taken with regards to the perpetrators. 
Since 2016, Suwaseriya has been a lifeline to many people with its free nationwide ambulance service.

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