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The Presidential Secretariat had received information about several instances of fraudsters collecting money using COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund as cover.

The Secretary to the President requests the public to make their contributions to the Fund only through direct bank deposits, cheques or any other approved mean and not to donate money to any organizations or individuals.

The Government advises the entire population to observe “health quarantine”. The provision of their daily needs of food, medicine and other essentials services is being carried out according to the regulations and guidelines of health authorities and the Elections Commission.

The Secretary appeals to the public to inform such misdeeds to the nearest Police station. In this regard further information can be obtained from Mr. K. B. Egodawele, Director General (Administration) through 011 2354479/ 0112 354354.

With direct contributions from the public, the COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund reached Rs. 314.5 million mark today (April 02nd).

The Fund’s balance increased with the contributions of Rs. 10 million each by the Telecom Engineers Benevolent Fund and the Ceylon Electricity Board Independent Engineers Association and Rs.50 million by the Cargills (Ceylon) PLC.

A special account had been opened at the Corporate Branch of the Bank of Ceylon under the account number of 85737373. Local as well as foreign donors have made their contributions to the Fund. Donations to COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund have been exempted from taxes and foreign exchange regulations. Deposits can be made through cheques or telegraphic transfers.

The Director-General of the World Health Organisation Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had commended President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for mobilizing the whole government in the fight against the Coronavirus.

The WHO Director-General had stated this in an official Twitter message.

who twi

President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa appealed to world aid organizations to grant concessions to third world countries at risk such as Sri Lanka with an economy that is dependent on the tourism industry, exports, income from migrant workers, loans and foreign investment in the stock market.

The President held a telephone conversation with the World Health Organisation Director General and urged him to get the International Monetary Fund Managing Director, World Bank President, Asian Development Bank Chairman and leaders of leading countries which provides bilateral loans to allow the loans payable to be suspend or to re-align these loans. 

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa held a discussion with the Governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) and other senior officials to assess the emerging macro-economic conditions due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. The steps taken by the CBSL to manage the operations of the Bank to provide liquidity and access to finance were also discussed during this meeting.

The President also enquired into the issues connected with the management of Foreign Exchange Budget and external reserves. He urged the CBSL officials to maximum confidence building measures are taken for the investors in the Sri Lanka Sovereign Bonds.

President Rajapaksa instructed that the CBSL should ensure that all the banks are kept open. The Bank officials were also instructed to workout post-COVID- 19 economic strategies.

Secretary to the Treasury, the CBSL Governor and its three Deputy Governors, Assistant Governor in charge of Bank Supervision and Director of Information Technology participated at the discussion.

 The curfew currently in force in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutura, Puttalam, Kandy and Jaffna which have been identified as High Risk Zones in the wake of COVID – 19 will be in effect until further notice.

In all other districts, curfew which was lifted at 6.00am today (April 1st) will be re-imposed at 2.00pm today itself. The re-imposed curfew will  continue until 6 am Monday(April 6th) and  will be re-imposed at 2.00 pm on the same day.

Traveling to and from all districts has been  completely prohibited except for the purpose of providing essential services.

Those who misuse regulations introduced with the prime objective of ensuring the smooth and efficient functioning of essential services will  severely be dealt with according to the law.

The government has put in place a mechanism to continuously supply  essential food  and other goods enabling for the public to purchase them while at  homes.

Those who are engaged in paddy farming and cultivation of  small tea holdings  and export crops in any district are permitted to carry out their activities.

Since the sole purpose of these measures is to ensure the well-being of the people of this country in this critical situation, the Government requests the public to strictly adhere to the guidelines in a responsible manner.

The villages which have been declared isolated  areas in the districts of Kandy and Kalutara will remain in the same category  and no one will be allowed to enter or leave from these  areas until further notice.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa urged the Director General of World Health Organization (WHO) to pursue with the international financial organizations and lending nations to help developing countries adversely affected by COVID- 19 calamity.

In a telephone conversation with WHO DG Tedros Adhanom, President Rajapaksa requested him to pursue with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund  (IMF), President of the World Bank (WB), President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and leaders of the leading bilateral lending nations to provide debt moratorium or debt re-profiling facilities for vulnerable developing countries like Sri Lanka whose economies  depend on tourism, exports, remittances and foreign investment in debt  and equity markets preventing affects by COVID – 19 pandemic.

The Sri Lanka Missions in South Asia, in collaboration with the Foreign Ministry, have been closely engaging with the Sri Lankan communities overseas and are working towards assisting and facilitating the many Sri Lankan expatriates in the region in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic. Mission wise, databases of Sri Lankan students and other expatriates are being compiled by the Missions with a view to keeping in close contact and ensuring their welfare at all times.

The Government of Sri Lanka with its recent announcement requesting all Sri Lankan expatriates to remain in their current locations until the risk of COVID-19 is minimized, has further assured that requests for return of Sri Lankans will be considered once the spread of the virus is contained in the country.

Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Missions in New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Kathmandu, Islamabad, Dhaka,  Kabul and Malé have established ‘hotlines’ and social media groups and have been networking with Sri Lankans overseas and community organizations and representatives assisting them to stay in their current locations in a safe environment, in compliance with local regulations and also to ensure that those Sri Lankans in different locations have access to food and other necessities.

Missions have also been coordinating and discussing with the respective authorities and have also intervened and sought clearances for visa extensions, as required. Certain Missions have also been liaising with local health authorities in preparing COVID-I9 awareness messages in Sinhala language for circulation of messages to the community via mobile devices. With forecasted lockdowns in certain stations, these Missions have taken necessary steps to set up sub-offices at the residences of Diplomatic Staff, to work from home and continue the services to the community.

To ensure that the large numbers of Sri Lankan students enrolled in universities in these countries have continued access to hostel, canteen and medical facilities, the Sri Lanka Missions have been liaising with the respective academic institutions and continue to maintain constant dialogue with student groups. The Missions have also been in discussion with University Vice Chancellors, Registrars, Deans and other educational institutions to facilitate students by rescheduling their vacations and exams. Discussions are also being held in ensuring the stipends reach the scholars uninterrupted.

From a regional perspective, in its efforts to combat COVID-19, SAARC leaders recently agreed on the establishment of the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund with voluntary contributions of the member countries, which includes Sri Lanka’s pledge of US$ 5 million.

Further, in strengthening Sri Lanka’s medical services and to ensure the uninterrupted supply of medicine and preparedness in view of the current public health emergency, the Foreign Ministry has already bilaterally sought the support and assistance from South Asian countries to assist in obtaining pharmaceutical items and medical equipment on a G-to-G purchasing scheme, considering the present emergency situation.

As an additional measure enabling the Government of Sri Lanka to reach out worldwide and provide assistance during emergencies such as the COVID19 outbreak, the Foreign Ministry has invited all Lankans overseas to register on the online web portal “Contact Sri Lanka” jointly created by the Foreign Ministry and Information & Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA). The portal was launched last week by the Ministry.

Ministry of Foreign Relations

Colombo

31 March 2020

Another batch of 134 returnees after completion of the two-week-long quarantine process at the Military operated Punani and Diyathalawa quarantine centres, were sent home and currently, there are 1964 persons in quarantine at 48 centres, said Army Commander Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva in a special statement issued at the National Operation Centre for the Prevention of the Covid-19, yesterday (20).  

He said that another 321 persons who had completed the quarantine process would be released today (31) including 104 from the Periyakadu Quarantine Centre, 11 from the Punani Quarantine Centre and 206 from the Vavuiya Quarantine Centre.The Commander also noted that the Army had mediated and provided transport for 498 workers of the Seethawaka Garment Export Zone for them to return to their homes.He also stated that 68 persons of the Kadayanakulam Village in Puttalam had been isolated and put under quarantine after a Covid-19 positive person was found in that village. Further, the Akurana Village in Kandy was declared an isolated zone and also the Atalogama village,

In the Jaffna Peninsula, all districts have been demarcated as isolated zones which has prevented the spread of the Coronavirus in that region.

Therefore, the Army Commander noted that these areas identified with persons who tested positive for the Coronavirus have been demarcated as isolated areas for the safety of the public and to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

All the decisions with regard to imposition of curfew, selection of localities to implement curfew and declaration of isolated areas are being taken at the highest level of the Government following an in-depth analysis of data received.

If there is any information that suggests changes to ongoing curfew hours at any place, the same should be forwarded to the Presidential Task Force on prevention of COVID – 19.

The Government announces that no decision should be taken at the regional level which can cause disruption of civilian life.

A large number of organizations and individual donors are contributing funds to strengthen the COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa established this Fund on March 23 to strengthen the mitigation activities aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19 virus in the country and related social welfare programmes.

Creating the Fund, President Rajapaksa donated Rs. 100 million from the President’s Fund.

Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) Trust Fund and Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapters donated Rs. 20 million to COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund.

At present the Fund has received donations worth Rs. 140 million including the contributions from Sri Lanka Administrative Service Association Rs.2.5 million, Presidential Secretariat Rs 2 lakh, Sri Lanka Engineering Service Association Rs.6.5 million, Ananda College Old Boys’ Association, Colombo Rs. 2.5 million, Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka Rs. 1 million, Association of Public Service Engineers Rs. 3 million, State Engineering Corporation of Sri Lanka Rs.1 million and cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan Rs. 5 million.

A special account had been opened at the Corporate Branch of the Bank of Ceylon under the account number of 85737373. Local as well as foreign donors have made their contributions to the Fund. Donations to COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund have been exempted from taxes and foreign exchange regulations. Deposits can be made through cheques or telegraphic transfers.

The management of the Healthcare and Social Security Fund will be entrusted to a highly qualified panel of professionals in the fields of administration, finance and banking sectors. The panel will comprise secretaries to the Ministries, Director General of Health Services and audit and banking experts.

Secretary to the President Dr. P. B. Jayasundara emphasized that this would be an opportunity for the local and foreign companies to make their contributions towards this humanitarian mission.

 
 

A large number of organizations and individual donors are contributing funds to strengthen the COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa established this Fund on March 23 to strengthen the mitigation activities aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19 virus in the country and related social welfare programmes.

Creating the Fund, President Rajapaksa donated Rs. 100 million from the President’s Fund.

Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) Trust Fund and Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapters donated Rs. 20 million to COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund.

At present the Fund has received donations worth Rs. 140 million including the contributions from Sri Lanka Administrative Service Association Rs.2.5 million, Presidential Secretariat Rs 2 lakh, Sri Lanka Engineering Service Association Rs.6.5 million, Ananda College Old Boys’ Association, Colombo Rs. 2.5 million, Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka Rs. 1 million, Association of Public Service Engineers Rs. 3 million, State Engineering Corporation of Sri Lanka Rs.1 million and cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan Rs. 5 million.

A special account had been opened at the Corporate Branch of the Bank of Ceylon under the account number of 85737373. Local as well as foreign donors have made their contributions to the Fund. Donations to COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund have been exempted from taxes and foreign exchange regulations. Deposits can be made through cheques or telegraphic transfers.

The management of the Healthcare and Social Security Fund will be entrusted to a highly qualified panel of professionals in the fields of administration, finance and banking sectors. The panel will comprise secretaries to the Ministries, Director General of Health Services and audit and banking experts.

Secretary to the President Dr. P. B. Jayasundara emphasized that this would be an opportunity for the local and foreign companies to make their contributions towards this humanitarian mission.

 
 

The curfew in force in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutura, Puttalam, Kandy and Jaffna will continue until further notice.

In all other districts, curfew will be lifted at 6.00am tomorrow (30th Monday) and will be re-imposed at 2.00pm on the same day.

Traveling to and from all districts is completely prohibited except for the purpose of providing essential services.

Those who misuse regulations introduced with the aim of continuing essential services will severely be dealt with according to the law.

Since the sole purpose of these measures is to ensure the well-being of the people of this country in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, the Government requests the public to strictly follow the guidelines in a responsible manner.

The village Atalogama in the Kalutara district and the village Akurana in the Kandy district have been declared completely isolated areas. No one will be allowed to enter or leave from these two villages.

Page 5 of 39

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