English Insights

Intervention of Sri Lankan Government, Corporate and Mass Media in the face of the current critical situation

By Imesha Thushani

The COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka has hit our country it is not a new story anymore. People are living in a time of uncertainty, volatile and difficulties leading in to a lot of questions unanswered. Hence, the

  • Government
  • Public Institutes
  • Healthcare and Armed forces
  • Businesses and Corporates
  • Mass Media

 have being working towards the relief of the Sri Lankan community.

Present Government Intervention

  • Payment of loan installments from the salaries of public servants and non-staff employees in the private sector has been suspended till 31st May.
  • Implementation of a program to bring dry food items for home.   
  • Double the Agrahara Insurance Benefit for Public Servants including Health, Police, Civil Security and others engaged in essential services.
  • Discharge of personal loans of less than one million rupees given by financial institutions and banks for three months.

Are few of the key decisions made.

  • It is also noteworthy that the Ministry of Health has issued a guideline for mental health professionals to continue treating people with diseases after the coronavirus.
  • In a developing country we would not expect such relief. But now it has become a reality.
  • The government has also provided two dialing numbers for accurate information on COVID-19. Medical support is available free of charge by dialing 0710107107 and 0113071073 and this service is available 24 hours a day.
  • The Social and Health Care Fund was established by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 23rd March 2020.

The contribution of essential services, including the health sector and the three forces, under the headship of the Government is priceless.

With the help of the three Forces, quarantine centers were established throughout the country and sterilization of public places was carried out to eradicate the pandemic

We should also not forget the Health professionals, we really should appreciate their efforts, day and night.

The government is in an effort to make the seriousness of this matter known to the experts to all its publics and gain each stakeholder to join the effort in making our country a Corona Free Nation.

For an example, the well-known personalities and leaders in the healthcare and police forces are taking the leadership together with the respective Ministries. Dr. Anil Jasinghe and Police Media Spokesperson Ajith Rohana are constantly working to advise the public on the current situation.

Therefore, many local and foreign corporations have generously contributed financially and materially to the government in support of this good government initiative.

Intervention of Businesses Corporates and Entrepreneurs

  • The John Keells Group of Companies (JKH) has made available to the government a temporary quarantine center for the prevention of Kovid-19 by the Blu-Cinnamon resort in Trincomalee

  • John Keells Foundation in collaboration with South Asia Gateway Terminals and Deutsche Bank, funded the establishment of a Molecular Virology Laboratory at National Institute of Infectious Diseases (IDH), to increase testing capacity of COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka

  • Dilith Jayaweera has given the Waskaduwa Citrus Hotel a quarantine center in view of the current crisis in Sri Lanka. This is the first time a star class hotel has supported the national mission of preventing COVID-19

  • The Global leading ICT & 5G Giant HUAWEI, donated 10,000 Surgical Masks, 200 sets of PPE, 100 Protective Eyes Glasses and 30 bottles(50L) of Hand Sanitizer to Health Ministry and the front line workers

  • Vega team answering to this call and recognizing the urgent need to develop local technology to help save lives, put together a small team to develop a medical ventilator in 10 days

  • Meanwhile, China Merchants Port Group, with CICT (Colombo Port) and HIPG (Hambantota Port), donated 1000 sets of PPE gowns to the Sri Lankan Government, safeguarding more medical workers on front line against COVID-19 in the island

  • Hemas Holdings (PLC) has agreed to provide Club Dolphin Hotel in Negombo as a quarantine center on demand
  • The Sri Lanka Cricket team has donated an undisclosed amount to the National Hospital, which is to be used to purchase medical equipment needed to fight the country’s COVID-19 epidemic
  • Akbar Brothers have pledged an aid of Rs. 100 million for the battle against corona virus pandemic in Sri Lanka over the downturn of country’s economy due to the disease. Akbar Brothers have donated Rs. 50 million to the COVID-19 Health Care and Social Security Fund initiated by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa
  • Famous cricketers Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara donated dry rations to 7,000 destitute families. Muttiah Muralitharan has also donated 5 million

  • Billionaire Dhammika Perera, who has played a critical role in the fight against COVID-19, the hospital has provided an air-freighted device, six modern beds and many other essential and expensive equipment

  • Atlas PLC, a subsidiary of Hemas Group, has donated an automated robot to the Homagama Base Hospital for remote monitoring and care of patients suffering from COVID 19 virus

  • Uber Eats partners with the Government of Sri Lanka to provide essential supplies

  • PickMe strengthen their operation when no mobility company took the lead making a bold statement to all racist backlashes against the local mobility company

Intervention of Mass Media in Sri Lanka

The media channels operating in the country have been instrumental in forming social ideologies in any country.

‘’Sirasa-Shakthi Sahana Yatra’’ and ‘’Manusath Derana’’ testify that media channels have made valuable contribution in the face of such severe disasters as the 2004 tsunami and the Aranayaka flood. Amidst the current crisis in Sri Lanka, Sirasa TV is launching a ‘’Gammadda Nagitimu Sri Lanka‘’ (ගම්මැද්ද නැගිටිමු ශ්රී ලංකා) official theme song and organizing the art competition based on the concept of the future of Sri Lanka theme.

Siyatha media channel was the first media channel to make a major headline news appearance by wearing a mask and showing that the Example is better than advising.

It is in such a background that these media outlets are constantly being praised and praised for their efforts. There is no doubt that the humanitarian value of the Sri Lankans will once again come to the fore show casing the entire world the true Sri Lankan spirit.

The crisis we face as a country is not trivial. It is important for all of us to be more cautious in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we must be absolutely determined to follow the advice given by the Government, Health Ministry and credible Media.

Let’s make a pledge to our mother land “We will continue to support COVID-19 Emergency Services Staff and the Government of Sri Lanka. We will fulfill our obligations to the country and do our best to safe guard the most important element – Life!”.

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