Mahinda recalls close relationship with Anura

Opening of Anura B ward and blood bank

President Mahinda Rajapaksa recalled his close friendship with Anura Bandaranaike and the services rendered by the Bandaranaikes to the people, when he addressed a public gathering on Saturday after opening the newly build Anura Bandaranaike ward and blood bank, now part of Wathupitiwela hospital.

A close associate of the late Bandaranaike, Tirukumar Nadesan spearheaded the project, which cost approximately Rs. 80 mn. President Rajapaksa stressed the importance of utilising funds belonging to his one-time friend and associate to put up a modern health facility for the benefit of those living in the area.

Turning towards the late Mr. Bandaranaike’s sister Sunethra Bandaranaike, the President said that Anura’s sister would have been definitely happy for being able to provide such a modern facility. The President also referred to the Obeysekera family for making the Anura Bandaranaike ward and blood bank a reality by paving the way for the new addition to the Wathupitiwela hospital, which was part of the family legacy. The President said that he had known Anura as a man with a good heart.

The President said that his government had striven to strengthen the health sector, with about a 30 per cent increase in the latest budget allocation for health, when compared to the previous year. The government would give priority to both education and health sectors in line with his policy, the President said, adding that since the conclusion of the conflict in May three years ago, the ruling coalition was going ahead with a rapid development programme.

Among the notable absentees were business tycoon Harry Jayawardene, who is overseas, and his confidant and one-time private secretary M. H. M. Onais, while many of the late minister’s friends participated at the opening ceremony. The President was joined by Basil Rajapaksa. (SF)

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