Published on: May 25, 2024

The President inaugurates the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health Services at the Kilinochchi District General Hospital

  • Pleased to see the completion of this project, which began construction in 2017
  • The government is committed to protecting women’s rights.
  • A distinct commission dedicated to empowering women through legal means.
  • Gender equality Bill will be passed before the end of June- The President.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe inaugurated the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Healthcare at the Kilinochchi District General Hospital. The facility, constructed with funding of LKR 5,320 million from the Government of the Netherlands, under the government’s initiative to enhance healthcare infrastructure nationwide, was officially inaugurated by the President, this morning (25).

Established in 2006, the Kilinochchi District General Hospital serves as the primary healthcare facility in the district, catering to the medical needs of over 150,000 residents.

The inauguration of the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health Services today marks a significant advancement in maternal and Neonatal care in the North. This initiative is poised to enhance the healthcare system in the Northern Province by addressing the needs of women and new-borns, as well as their families.

During the ceremony, the President unveiled the plaque and officially opened the Centre, while also taking the opportunity to observe its activities first-hand.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressing the gathering, reflected on the journey of the project initiated in 2017 under the good governance government. Despite facing challenges such as the COVID 19 epidemic and economic crisis, he expressed joy in witnessing its successful completion and delivery to women.

Highlighting the government’s commitment to safeguarding women’s rights, the President announced plans to establish a dedicated commission to enforce legal measures aimed at empowering women. He further assured the passing of the gender equality bill before the end of June, expressing hope for unanimous support from Parliamentarians.

Speaking at further President Ranil Wickremesinghe stated,

“Although initiated in 2017, the completion of the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health Services was hindered by challenges stemming from the COVID 19 epidemic and economic constraints. Nonetheless, I am pleased to announce its successful culmination and dedication to women today.

Moreover, notable progress is evident in Kilinochchi. Plans are underway to foster development, including the establishment of an investment zone in the Mankulam area. Additionally, the region presents opportunities for renewable energy projects, with approvals granted for such initiatives in Kilinochchi.

Efforts have been directed towards resolving land disputes and addressing the issue of missing persons in these areas.

The inauguration of the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health Services signifies a significant milestone in serving the women of our nation. We have implemented various special measures to empower women, reaffirming our commitment to their well-being.

In our country, there has been a notable absence of laws safeguarding women’s rights beyond the basic provisions outlined in the Constitution. To address this gap, we have introduced two new drafts to Parliament aimed at enhancing women’s rights.

The Women’s Empowerment Act proposes essential provisions to legally empower women, including the establishment of a dedicated commission for their implementation. Furthermore, we aim to pass the gender draft by the end of June, currently undergoing review by the courts before submission to Parliament, with anticipation for unanimous support.

Our commitment to protecting women’s rights extends to enacting laws against violence and ensuring equal opportunities for women in workplace promotions and transfers. We anticipate the formal legalization of women’s rights and pledge to operate within this framework.

Additionally, we prioritize the safety of women within their homes. These proposed women’s rights bills are readily accessible on our website, and we encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with them. Furthermore, we plan to launch a specialized educational program to raise awareness about women’s rights and empower them accordingly.

Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda,

The newly opened buildings in Kilinochchi today and Jaffna yesterday are poised to deliver exceptional services to the public. On behalf of the people of the Northern Province, I extend sincere gratitude to President Ranil Wickremesinghe for providing these essential facilities.

Additionally, the President entrusted me with the task of presenting a proposal to elevate Jaffna Hospital to a national level in the upcoming Cabinet meeting. Had the Tamil people extended their support to him during the 2005 presidential election, they would have experienced substantial benefits.

During the recent economic crisis, President Wickremesinghe demonstrated leadership by swiftly addressing issues such as long queues, shortages of goods, and fuel scarcity. If we continue to support him and work alongside him, we have the potential to propel our country forward.

Northern Province Governor P.S.M. Charles,

Citizens have been waiting in long queues for gas and other essential goods, and tragically, some have died while doing so. They have collapsed, and many were admitted to hospitals. For Sri Lankans living abroad, hearing this news was shocking. Many of our relatives and friends reached out to ask about our well-being, given the dire situation in the country.

Today, we have forgotten that past and are fighting to increase salaries and employment opportunities.

We need a leader for this country who is globally recognized and accepted. The current economic crisis cannot be resolved solely through internal efforts; it requires international collaboration. Our current leader, despite not having a majority in Parliament, has managed to guide the country through this crisis due to his global acceptance and leadership qualities.

Member of Parliament M.A. Sumanthiran,

Yesterday, the President announced in Jaffna that efforts will be taken to upgrade the Jaffna Teaching Hospital to a national hospital. We welcome this because, in any case, a teaching hospital comes under the central government. However, as we are intent and keen on the devolution of power in a very meaningful way, we are conscious that health and education are two areas where governmental power must be fully devolved.

Healthcare is fundamental to the survival of any community, and as we inaugurate this building in Kilinochchi today, we sincerely thank all those who have contributed in immeasurable ways to make this a reality and a success.

Member of Parliament Dharmalingam Siddharthan,

I am pleased to inaugurate this special facility for women, made possible through funding from the Dutch government. This project stands as a testament to its exceptional quality.

I express gratitude to President Ranil Wickremesinghe for his steadfast commitment to these initiatives, both during his tenure as Prime Minister and in his current role as President.

Ambassador of the Netherlands to Sri Lanka Bonnie Horbach,

It brings me great joy to inaugurate the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health Services at the Kilinochchi District General Hospital. This project stands as a testament to the fruitful collaboration between the VAMED organization in the Netherlands and the Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka.

Established on June 12, 2018, this partnership aimed to develop four cutting-edge hospitals in the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. To facilitate this endeavour, 75% of the estimated project cost was provided as a concessional loan by the Dutch government, with the remaining 25% granted by the same. Notably, in response to the subsequent challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn in Sri Lanka in 2022, the Dutch government increased its grant to 35% of the total project cost.

The event was attended by religious leaders, former State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran, local politicians, government officials, members of the local community and various other individuals.

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