25th March 2016 01:39:20 Hours
Award of 1625 more ‘Virusara’ Privilege Cards under the Phase - III to family members of fallen War Heroes and disable War Heroes, resident in Western province, Kegalle and Puttalam Districts occurred on Wednesday (23) at the Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (SLSR) Regimental Headquarters, Ambepussa.
1387 (Army), 100 (Sailors), 31 (Police), 102 (Air Force) and 05 (Civil Security Department) personnel during the ceremony, chaired by State Minister of Defence Hon Ruwan Wijewardene (MP) received ‘Virusara’ Privilege Cards that offers them multiple benefits.
The ‘Virusara’ Privilege Card which offers a wide assortment of benefits in more than 45 state and private sector services, such as tangible discounts on medicine, food varieties, transport, hospital treatment, loans, educational courses, etc also reflects the recognition, attached to the invaluable services of War Heroes.
Hon Ruwan Wijewardena, State Minister of Defence, Mr A.P.G Kithsiri Secretary to State Ministry of Defence, Additional Secretaries of the Ministry of Defence and Assistant Additional Secretaries, Mrs Anoma Fonseka, Chairperson, Ranaviru Seva Authority (RSA), Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Commander of the Army and many other distinguished guests were present at the occasion.
A warm welcome accorded to the visiting Minister set the stage ready for commencement of the day’s programme after lighting the traditional oil lamp at the auditorium. Major General Boniface Perera, Colonel of the Regiment, SLSR afterwards welcomed all those who were present at the occasion. In his welcome speech, he traced the history of how Hon Wijewardene’s family donated some building materials for the benefit of the SLSR headquarters many moons ago.
Mr A.P.G Kithsiri, Secretary to State Ministry of Defence in his contribution to the occasion outlined how the concept came into being and how the project is being implemented with the coordination done by the Ranaviru Seva Authority (RSA). Mrs Anoma Fonseka, Chairperson, RSA and the Minister Ruwan Wijewardene also addressed the gathering.
Implemented by the RSA under the aegis of Mrs Anoma Fonseka the project conceptualized by State Minister of Defence Hon Ruwan Wijewardene with the blessings of the President Maithripala Sirisena got underway as a welfare measure of the RSA in January, this year in recognition of the services, rendered by War Heroes in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and the Civil Security Department during a ceremony at Temple Trees where the first segment of the ‘Virusara’ card was primarily distributed.
Launch of the Phase - II of the ‘Virusara’ Privilege Card projects for War Heroes at provincial levels recently took place recently at Saliyapura Gajaba Regiment Regimental Headquarters, Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment, Boyagane, and Regimental Headquarters Gemunu Watch, Kuruwita.
The ‘Virusara’ card, Phase - II of the project has already distributed a total of 13,000 ‘Virusara’ Privilege Cards under above-mentioned phases.
A large gathering of invitees, including Secretary to State Ministry of Defence Mr A.P.G Kithsiri, Ranaviru Seva Authority Chairperson, Mrs Anoma Fonseka, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Adjutant General, Sri Lanka Army, Major General Nandana Udawatte, Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral R.C Wijegunaratne Chief of Staff, Sri Lanka Navy, Rear Admiral Sirimewan Ranasinghe, Chief of Staff, Sri Lanka Air Force, Air Vice Marshal K.F.R Fernando, Major General Boniface Perera, Director General General Staff (DGGS), Major General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander, Security Force Headquarters - Jaffna (SFHQ-J), Rear Admiral K.K.J De Silva, Commander West, Sri Lanka Navy, colonel W.M Karunapala, Project Director of CSD and Senior Superintendent of Police for Gampaha District (SSG) L.P.S.P Sandungahawatte. Ministry of Defence officials and tri-service officers graced the ceremony on Wednesday (23).
Over 3 lakhs of family members of fallen War Heroes and disable ones are entitled to receive those benefits when the project completes its mission in six phases by April, this year.