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Thabbowa assault: Suwa Seriya requests public/Police support

Thabbowa assault: Suwa Seriya requests public/Police support

26 Jun 2024 | BY Sahan Tennekoon

The 1990 Suwa Seriya Foundation emphasised the shared responsibility of the public and the law enforcement authorities in ensuring the safety of Suwa Seriya emergency ambulance service staff members, who provide essential services under challenging conditions.

Speaking to The Daily Morning yesterday (25), in light of the recent assault on Suwa Seriya personnel in the Thabbowa area, the foundation’s Chairperson Dumindra Ratnayaka underscored the need for enhanced protective measures and more effective Police intervention. 

Ratnayaka stated that while there are no specific preemptive safety protocols, such as a Police officer accompanying the ambulance, the foundation advises its staff to prioritise their own safety. "Staff safety comes first," Ratnayaka reiterated, emphasising that the foundation always informs the authorities if incidents of assaults occur. Ratnayaka also expressed dissatisfaction with the Police's handling of the particular situation, stating, "The steps taken by the Police regarding the incident in Thabbowa were inadequate. It is their responsibility to act correctly to prevent such incidents from discouraging our staff members. The Police has reportedly not presented the facts to the Court correctly."

Highlighting the dedication of the Suwa Seriya staff, Ratnayaka noted their unwavering commitment to their duties, operating without trade unions or strikes, noting that these dedicated professionals therefore deserve both safety and gratitude from the public that they serve. The Suwa Seriya Foundation continues to advocate for stronger measures to protect its staff, ensuring that they can carry out their life-saving work without fear of violence or intimidation.

Recently, in the Parliament, Samagi Jana Balawegaya Opposition Parliamentarian Dr. Harsha de Silva also highlighted the severity of the said incident, expressing concern that such attacks could jeopardise the ambulance service's operations in the Puttalam District. Despite arrests being made, concerns were raised over the adequacy of the Police response. However, Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana has since instructed the local authorities to take decisive legal action against the perpetrators to safeguard public service personnel.

The Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (North Western) Kithsiri Jayalath was unavailable for comment.

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