12th April 2020 00:28:17 Hours
Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva who is also spearheading the fight against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic with Health sector experts and officials on Saturday (11) visited Mannar with a view to ascertaining the status quo of the isolated Tharavikulam village, and conveying New Year best wishes while simultaneously motivating hundreds of tri service personnel on duty in the region.
During his visit, Lieutenant General Silva assessed the current developments in place as regards the quarantine process, now in progress at Tharavikulam village, where 4600 villagers of over 900 families have now been kept in isolation after a visitor from Puttalam to the area to attend a funeral was confirmed positive to the COVID-19 virus. He inquired into the supply of foods and essentials to this isolated village as well as the availability of food stocks in Mannar town and its outskirts after paying a visit to the city centre.
At the 54 Division HQ, Lieutenant General Silva, mindful of health guidelines and maintaining of necessary social distancing, took time off to address a large gathering of troops where he conveyed the government’s deep sense of gratitude, seasonal greetings and best wishes of HE the President, Hon Prime Minister and Secretary Defence at the dawn of the New Year, and lavishly appreciated the exceptional roles and tasks, being shouldered by the troops day and night at this critical hour of our society.
Lieutenant General Silva during his stay in Mannar did not forget to speak to troops of the Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment and 2 Mechanized Infantry Regiment. On his way back, he paused at a few roadblocks along the road and shared a few thoughts with soldiers on duty while inquiring into their well-being and sharing New Year greetings.
“Your dedicated and invaluable services at this critical stage are admired by HE the President, Hon Prime Minister, Secretary Defence and all Sri Lankans at a time the whole world has been crippled and threatened with this pandemic. Your sleepless nights contribute to a national cause, identical to how you have defended the Nation whenever its very existence has been threatened. However, this pandemic now threatening hundreds of countries is of a different nature where the ‘enemy’ is invisible and its route unpredictable, hence we will have to strictly follow health instructions and procedures which are also simple and practical in essence, ” he told the troops during his talks to the troops.
“To heal the Nation, you need equally to be healthy and it is therefore imperative that you take all precautions against the transmission of COVID-19 among all of you in keeping with strict health guidelines. Let me underline the importance of carrying the message of health to your own family members too in a convincing manner, particularly in the wake of the forthcoming New Year where parents, relatives and visitors generally assemble, together. Let us resolve to be a role model by behaving in this manner and let your family members, too follow suit and remain healthy. I also wish to share my best wishes and greetings of the New Year with each of you at this moment, although we would not be able to commemorate it as usual with our near and dear ones. Mind that your decisive national role at this critical moment is priceless and crucial for all segments of people in our society,” Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army stressed.
Major General Rohitha Darmasiri Commander, Security Forces Wanni, Major General Subashana Welikala General Officer Commanding, 54 Division, Brigade Commanders, Commanding Officers and Senior Officers were associated with the Commander’s itinerary in Mannar.