18/12/2015 – Jaffna, Sri Lanka: The President of Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) Jagath Abeysinghe says that in order to ensure a credible development and sustainability of services which is provided by the Red Cross can only be achieved if the branch network becomes more stronger in identifying the needs of their people, thus supporting them with local resources than waiting for foreign aid. He further says that by branches self sustaining themselves will ensure a speedy support to the most vulnerable and will help to address issues at hand in very short period of time.
President of SLRCS made these remarks during a visit to northern branches during the past week. He visited Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Jaffna branches to find out the progress and the issues faced by them.
Initially he visited the Mullaitivu branch and held discussions with the Chairman of the Mullaitivu branch, the Governance and the Management.
An extensive discussion took place in Mullaitivu, discussing about the progress of the branch since the conflict ended in 2009. The branch in the past few years has been assisting over 200,000 people during emergencies, mostly during the monsoon seasons.
Later on the President also inspected the facilities at the branch and also the warehouse of the branch that houses the relief goods in order to be dispatched immediately during emergencies.
The President then visited the Kilinochchi branch and inspected the progress made with the building of new branch building.
Here he discussed about challenges faced by the branch with its Vice Chairman. Recently the Kilinochchi branch came under fire for a misconduct by an employee of the Post Conflict Recovery Programme. However later on it was confirmed by an investigation that the entire episode was fueled by disgruntled employees of the branch.
The President took special attention of the situation in Kilinochchi and requested the branch officials to work closely together as it’s vital towards providing a good quality service in humanitarian assistance.
Finally the President visited the Jaffna branch and held discussion with officials their over their income generation projects and to look into the overall development of the branch.
The Jaffna branch is to begin a fuel station as an income generation project. This project will aid the branch to carry out humanitarian activities within the district with the profits gained from the fuel station.
Meanwhile the President also did not forget to visit the Chairman of the Jaffna Branch Mr. V. Balakrishnan who was hospitalized due to a brief illness. President inquired about the wellbeing of the Chairman and assured the Red Cross unconditional support at his hour of need.
Chairman of the Puttalam Branch Charles Corea, the Branch Executive Officer of Colombo Branch Kumari Kothalawala, Media Coordinator of SLRCS Naveendra Senarathna, joined the President during this visit.