The media campaign ‘Itukama’, the fund-raising initiative for the COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund established by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to support and strengthen activities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and related social welfare program, was launched at the Defence Ministry, on Wednesday (13).
The main goal of the fund, which started with a donation of Rs. 100 million from the President’s Fund, is to ensure the health and safety of those in the health sector and other essential service providers while enabling the State to support the population made vulnerable by COVID-19, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
Defence Secretary Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne requested all print and electronic media to extend their fullest support for ‘Itukama’, the media campaign of the COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund.
Addressing the Heads of State and private media firms at the Defence Ministry today (13), the Defence Secretary admiringly recalled the support of media in giving wide publicity to the ‘Api Wenuwen Api’ advertisement during the period of war.
“‘Api Wenuwen Api’ advertisement attracted people in the whole country. Media took the message across the country and it inspired parents to send their children to join the Army,” he said requesting the media institutions to give similar support to ‘Itukama’ media campaign.
“The country fell into a great difficulty due to COVID-19 pandemic but foresight and preparedness under the present leadership helped control the spread of the virus with the assistance of Security Forces, Police, Health officials and various other agencies,” the Defence Secretary said.
“Various Government and private sector institutes and individuals lavishly contributed to the fund. Enhancing the fund will be a saving to face future threats of any nature,” he further said.
“We have prepared the Itukama, the advertisement series to get more contributions to the fund. Bhathiya, Umariya, Santhush and Triad supported us immensely. We request you to support us in this national endeavour giving maximum publicity to this media campaign,” Defence Secretary requested the media Heads and all other media institutions in the country.
The fund will also be used for critical investments in improving national preparedness for contagions by minimising vulnerabilities in the present healthcare capabilities, the statement read further.
It will address the critical healthcare needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and improve Sri Lanka’s long-term preparedness for health emergencies.
On behalf of the President Secretariat and Ministry of Defence, Maj. Gen. Gunaratne thanked all media Heads, telecommunication service providers, Tri-Forces Commanders, Acting IGP and officials of other associated agencies and for their presence.