14th January 2016 19:37:52 Hours
As final arrangements for the launch of the ‘Virusara’ Privilege Card that saw its birth as a conceptual notion of State Minister of Defence, Hon Ruwan Wijewardene with the blessings of the President, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for sustained conduct of the project for the benefit of War Hero families and disable ones was signed Monday (11) morning between Mr Kumarasinghe Sirisena, Chairman, Sri Lanka Telecom and Mobitel and Ms Upulangani Malagamuwa, acting Chairperson, Ranaviru Seva Authority (RSA) of the Ministry of Defence.
The occasion, presided by the architect of the project, Hon Ruwan Wijewardena was graced by the Secretary Defence Eng Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Secretary to Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure, Mr Wasantha Deshapriya, Chairman, Sri Lanka Telecom and Mobitel Mr Kumarasinghe Sirisena, Secretary, State Ministry of Defence, Mr A.P.G Kithsiri, Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Gagan Bulathsinhala, Inspector General of Police, N.K Illangakoon, Director General Civil Security Department (CSD), Mr Chandrarathne Pallegama, representatives of benefit providers, senior officials of the Ministry of Defence, Military Spokesman, officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, CSD, members of the Media and other invitees.
Soon after Mr Kithsiri made a few introductory remarks on the Virusara project, the signing of the MoU for the entire sponsorship took place between Sri Lanka Telecom and Mobitel as the main sponsor and the RSA, representing the interests of the MoD.
Chairman, Sri Lanka Telecom and Mobitel Mr Kumarasinghe Sirisena making a few comments on the project later and why his organization decided to back it, added that no one could ever adequately compensate for the sacrifices of the War Heroes who have restored peace in the country, for which all of us are indebted to them.
“In fact, we must be able to do greater things than the issue of this privilege card to these heroic members of the armed forces and it should be brought to the maximum level of assistance. Because of those War Heroes, we all are enjoying peace dividends. We came forward to assist this project not for any commercial gains,” Mr Kumarasinghe Sirisena underlined.
Mrs Malagamuwa, RSA acting Chairperson, Hon State Minister of Defence, Secretary to Ministry of Defence and Secretary, State Ministry of Defence, Mr A.P.G Kithsiri, also contributed to the occasion, clarifying as the need arose.
Taking due cognizance of those unparalleled contribution of these unsung heroes and their family members, and consequent upon a conceptual notion, mooted by State Minister of Defence Hon Ruwan Wijewardene with the blessings of the President, a special ‘Virusara’ Privilege Card that would provide them with a wide assortment of varying benefits, such as tangible discounts on medicine, food varieties, public/private sector bus travel, railways, electric appliances, government & private hospital admissions and hospitalization, furniture, household items, educational courses, telephone and mobile phone packages, insurance policies, financial lease loans, course fees in private sector colleges and tuition institutes, concessionary rates for housing loans, etc in more than 45 leading, most popular island-wide commercial ventures and relevant spheres of business, is to be ceremonially launched on 25 January 2016 as the first leg of the ‘Virusara’ project under the aegis of the President and the Prime Minister.
The ‘Virusara’ Privilege Card, exceptionally unique to its mission, enables the quick and due identification of those Ranaviru family members and the disable, numbering over 3 lakhs wherever they move about in society, and this Privilege Card unfailingly warrants the deserving prioritized attention of the public and relevant authorities for speedy provision of required services to them in places, such as government hospitals, banks, bus terminals and buses, trains and railway stations, etc over others, for example, waiting in queues, etc.
On the same historic occasion, in what could be considered a reconciliatory move, a total of 100 scholarships, each worth Rs 50,000 are to be distributed among war-affected children in the North & East and children of War Hero families as incentives for continuation of their studies.