On October 14 Woonjin Jeong, ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Sri Lanka met with Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army who is also the Head of National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) at the army headquarters. The ambassador donated a consignment of 4000 re-usable fabric masks for distribution among army personnel engaged in controlling COVID-19 especially in the area of Gampaha.
Appreciating the great relationship shared between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea over time, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva stated that both countries should strive to harness the full potential in areas of defence cooperation and military logistics. He looks forward to strengthening the bilateral cooperation in military affairs and technological exchanges in time to come. He also expressed his gratitude to the government of Korea for recruiting a substantial number of Sri Lankan migrant workers annually.
Furthermore as the Head of National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva assured the ambassador that they have devised and operated an efficient mechanism to control the pandemic. They have the ability to predict the number of patients and most cases have been found among those who have been already placed in quarantine.
Ambassador Woonjin Jeong mentioned he was “deeply impressed by the effective measures by the Sri Lankan government to cope with Covid-19. I am confident that the number of COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka will decline due to the effective mechanism adopted by the military and health sectors of the country. Also, there has been no single infection case among the Korean community in Sri Lanka. On behalf of my country, Korea, I would like to thank Sri Lanka Army for protecting Korean residents here in Sri Lanka amid Covid-19 and creating a secure and stable environment for them to reside in. I would like to give my appreciation to all Anti COVID-19 team led by the Army that has been dedicated to the fight against COVID-19 for the Sri Lankan people including Korean residents.”
He further stated that the Republic of Korea has also successfully coped with COVID-19 like Sri Lanka and that there was no single COVID-19 case from more than 1000 Sri Lankan workers repatriated from Korea until now. 23,000 Sri Lankans live in Korea very safely. He emphasized that Korea and Sri Lanka are among the safest countries in the world at present. The Ambassador affirmed his commitment to promote Sri Lanka among the Korean community and strengthen the bilateral ties in the field of tourism, defence and other areas of interest. “Many Korean people are looking forward to visiting Sri Lanka once COVID-19 is curtailed” he said.
The Ambassador stated that the donation of masks as a gesture of goodwill is a reflection that the long lasting friendship and mutual trust between the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka will grow only stronger through the joint fight against COVID-19. Ambassador Woonjin Jeong asserted that “I have no doubt that the Korea and Sri Lanka will persevere because together we will overcome every hardship, The Republic of Korea will always stand with Sri Lanka in the battle against the pandemic”. He mentioned that these masks which were manufactured by a Sri Lankan social enterprise are presented as tokens of appreciation for the Sri Lanka Army for their invaluable services rendered in controlling COVID-19 especially in Gampaha.
The Army Chief Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva in return thanked the Ambassador for the thoughtfulness and the appreciation of the army personnel and this gesture will deepen the bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea.