The launching ceremony was held at Jaffna Municipal Grounds under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Sri Modi addressed the gathering through Live Video Link Technology.
Premier Wickremesinghe addressing the gathering thanked Prime Minister Modi for the assistance extended by him and the people of India in setting up and expanding this service.
The Government of India had granted USD 15.02 million for the expansion of this service under the second phase. The first phase of this ambulance service was implemented in Western and Southern Provinces with 88 ambulances. With the implementation of the second phase, new 209 ambulances will join with the service.
PM Modi in his address said that the expansion of this Toll Free Ambulance Service all over the island marks another major achievement in development partnership of Sri Lanka and India. In good times and in bad, India had been the first responder of Sri Lanka, he said. PM Modi appreciated the efforts of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe for meeting the aspirations of the citizens of Sri Lanka.
Recalling the past, Premier Modi said that he had visited Sri Lanka twice in 2015 and in 2017 and he was the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Jaffna. He said that experiences he had during these visits are unforgettable. The 1990 ambulance service will be in effect in all the provinces by December this year.