Connect with us

news

AG suspends consultations with public officers in areas under corona curfew

Published

on

… countrywide curfew unlikely as Year 5 Scholarship and GCE AL exams on

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Attorney General Dappula de Livera, PC, has directed that his officers refrain from dealing with government servants and police officers currently serving in areas where a curfew has been imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19

The Attorney General’s Office yesterday (9) afternoon announced the unprecedented measure as the government battled what a section of the media called the Brandix cluster.

Coordinating Officer to AG de Livera, Attorney-at-law Nishara Jayaratne told The Island officers would refrain from consultations as a precautionary measure. Since a 39-year-old female employee of Brandix garment manufacturing facility reported positive last Sunday (4), police headquarters imposed curfew in Gampaha, Ganemulla, Kiridiwela, Dompe, Malwathuhiripitiya, Mirigama, Nittambuwa, Pugoda, Veyangoda, Minuwangoda, Weeragula, Weliweriya, Pallewela, Yakkala, Ja-ela, Kandana, Divulapitiya and Seeduwa.

There is a likelihood of the AG extending the suspension in case police headquarters brought more areas under curfew.

So far, the health ministry had reported nearly 1,100 positive cases whereas several thousands were quarantined in military run facilities, hotels as well as in their own homes.

Well informed sources told The Island a substantial number of Brandix workers had been affected by the time the first detection was made. Therefore, an inquiry was needed as over1,000 couldn’t have been affected under any circumstances within four or five days, sources said.

Responding to another query, sources emphasized that random tests conducted on those having flu led to the first detection over the last weekend. If not for the chance detection, the situation would have been far worse, sources said.

Health Minister Pavitra Wanniarachchi told the first media briefing following the ‘Brandix eruption’ last Sunday (4) that government health sector made the chance detection. Her statement contradicted the first Brandix statement that the detection was made by them.

The Attorney’s General announced restrictions in the wake of the entire police contingent deployed at the Munuwangoda police being quarantined after a food supplier to the station tested corona positive. Minuwangoda police station didn’t function on Thursday.

 Sources pointed out that the Brandix eruption had taken place days before the chance detection. This was proved by the food supplier to the Minuwangoda police station being infected by his son, an employee at the Brandix facility, sources said. They said that Brandix workers had been tested positive in many districts, including Jaffna, outside Gampaha as they were allowed to go on leave until the chance detection was made over the last weekend.

Police spokesman and attorney-at-law DIG Ajith Rohana yesterday said that there had been 85 personnel there at the time the food supplier tested positive. “We moved there 80 new officers and men to resume operations. In addition to personnel who had been brought from police stations within the Gampaha Division, men were called from police training facilities at Kalutara, Nikaweratiya, Boralanda, Elpitiya, Pahalagama and Kundasale,” DIG Rohana said. Those who had been previously at the Minuwangoda station were in the process of undergoing RT PCR tests, the police spokesman said.

Earlier, the Army decided to postpone the Army Day parade at the Galle Face due to the Corona outbreak.

Meanwhile, Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union, in a letter to Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday urged the government to take maximum possible precautions to ensure the safety of those sitting the Year Five Scholarship Examination scheduled to be held on Oct 11 and the GCE Advanced Level from Oct 12 to Nov 16 due to corona threat.

Sources said that contrary to claims that the government was to declare countrywide curfew in view of the deteriorating situation, the decision to go ahead with the Year 5 Scholarship Examination as well as resume the GCE Advanced Level as scheduled on Monday would prevent declaration of curfew.

 

 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

news

Special COVID-19 probe crippled by infections among CCD sleuths: AG calls for new police team

Published

on

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Brandix Apparel Limited yesterday (29) said that the company would fully cooperate with relevant authorities in the investigation ordered by the Attorney General (AG). A spokesperson for the company said so when The Island sought a clarification with regard to AG Dappula de Livera, PC, directing the police to launch a criminal investigation into the alleged lapses on the part of the company as well as those officials leading to the devastating COVID-19 outbreak.

The Minuwangoda eruption, which happened in the first week of October is widely believed to be the cause of the fast expanding Peliyagoda cluster.

Asked whether the police had contacted the Brandix management as regards the investigation and sought access to Brandix management and workers at its Minuwangoda apparel manufacturing facility as well as records at the Minuwangoda facility, the spokesperson said: “We will work with the relevant authorities in this regard”.

The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) tasked with the probe has suffered a serious setback due to a section of its officers being tested positive for COVID-19. Authoritative sources said that the CCD lacked sufficient strength to carry out the investigation.

AG de Livera early this week told DIG Ajith Rohana that a progress report should be submitted to him by or before Nov. 13.

Sources said that the badly depleted CCD was not in a position to conduct the high-profile investigation, in addition to other ongoing inquiries. The AG has directed the Acting IGP to constitute a special team of law enforcement officers to conduct the investigation. Sources acknowledged the urgent need for a thorough inquiry into the far worse second corona wave. Sources said that the AG issued fresh instructions in that regard after the crisis in the CCD was brought to his notice.

Continue Reading

news

Most garment workers under self-quarantine left to fend for themselves

Published

on

By Rathindra Kuruwita

A large number of garment workers who were undergoing self-quarantine in Minuwangoda did not receive any assistance, Chamila Thushari of the Dabindu Collective, a labour organisation that works with garment workers, told The Island yesterday.

She said that those who were under self-quarantine did not have money to purchase food and even those who were willing to help could not reach them.

“Some of them have received food parcels from their work places but that is not adequate. Most others have not received any assistance. Matters will only get worse after curfew is imposed throughout the Western Province,” Thushari said.

Most of these workers are undergoing self-quarantine at their boarding places, which also house individuals who still work in garment factories. “Although there is a curfew, they can go to work. These are perfect incubators for the virus,” she said.

Thushari said that every day between 20-30 workers under self-quarantine, tested positive for COVID-19.

There were no public health inspectors to monitor the boarding houses of garment workers to ensure that COVID-19 prevention measures were being followed, she said.

“Not even Grama Niladaris visit them,” Chamila said.

Continue Reading

news

SJB requests separate seats for its dissidents

Published

on

Chief Opposition Whip and Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella has written to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena requesting him to make arrangements to provide separate seats to the nine MPs who had voted with the government for the 20th Amendment to the Constitution recently.

The letter dated yesterday said that the SJB parliamentary group had decided to expel MPs Diana Gamage, A. Aravind Kumar, Ishak Rahuman, Faisal Cassim, H. M. M. Haris, M.S. Thowfeeq, Nazeer Ahmed, A.A.S.M. Raheem and S.M.M. Musharaf and it requests the Speaker to make separate seating arrangements for these MPs in the Chamber.

Continue Reading

Trending