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Defence Secretary warns of stern action against corrupt officials in state institutions

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Cautioning government officers resorting to corrupt practices, Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said the good work done by many dedicated officers in state institutions was obliterated due to a few bad eggs among them.

“Their hard work and dedication are lost,” he said, and added that organized crimes, drug smuggling and extortion had to be curbed while stamping out corruption in state institutions to make the government sector efficient.

The Defence Secretary was addressing a forum of police officers of the Southern province at a session to evaluate the progress in respective police divisions, held at the Hotel-De-Galle in Galle last week.

Necessary measures will be taken to address the grievances faced by police officers, he assured.

The Sri Lanka Police has made tremendous sacrifices and won many commendations for their service but they need to re-think their present status and people’s expectations with regard to the police service in the country, he said.

“People feel safe and protected because of the police service of a country, without which lives, liberty and freedom will be lost. Therefore, the police need to be a corruption-free service to ensure a just and peaceful society,” Gunaratne said.

The Defence Secretary lauded the Police Department for its recent contribution towards conducting a free, fair and peaceful election.

He said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected by the people with the hope of assuring and reinstating the safety and security of Sri Lanka.

“When we mean security, it has many facets and all those put together, it is called national security. The first obligation in ensuring national security is towards providing security from terrorist acts, secondly the possible external aggression and thirdly the security  to keep people safe from natural disasters and calamities, pandemics etc, he explained

Creating a safe and secure society for the people is also a part of national security, he stressed.

He said the public expected police officers to perform their duties free from political interferences.

The Defence Secretary was critical of certain Police Divisions and stations in the Southern province against which allegations have been leveled. “We need to adopt measures and make some adjustments in performing duties and responsibilities by the police to maintain law and order to deliver fair service to the public”.

A new mechanism will be introduced within a few weeks to address and follow-up progress made on public complaints and petitions received against Police Divisions or stations in the respective areas, Gunaratne further said.

“Separate files will be opened for complaints against the respective police divisions or stations and they will be reviewed monthly to evaluate the progress made to investigate them. We will take firm action against OICs of police stations who fail to take measures to resolve the complaints,” he said.

The Southern Expressway has become the main transition route for drug dealings, and it surprising that only traffic police officers could be seen on duties at the entry-exit points, the Defence Secretary noted.

Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) C. D. Wickremaratne, Commandant of the Police Special Task Force (STF) DIG Waruna Jayasundara, Senior DIG Southern Province, Rohan J. Silva were also present at the event.



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Six member committee appointed to inquire into Sri Lanka Cricket Team’s conduct in Australia

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Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Roshan Ranasinghe has appointed a six member committee headed by Retired Supreme Court Judge Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena to inquire into the incidents reported against some members of the Sri Lanka Cricket team that participated at the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.

 

 

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SJB MP: Most parents have to choose between food and children’s education

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By Saman Indrajith

Most Sri Lankan parents are compelled to choose between food for their families and their children’s eduction, SJB Matale District MP Rohini Kumari Wijerathne told Parliament yesterday.

Only a few parents were able to feed and educate their children the MP said, participating in the debate on Budget 2023 under the expenditure heads of Ministries of Education and Women and Child Affairs.

“An 80-page exercise book costs Rs. 200. A CR book costs Rs 560. A pencil or pen costs Rs 40. A box of colour pencils costs Rs 570 while a bottle of glue costs Rs 150. If the father is a daily wage earner he has to spend one fourth of his salary on a box of colour pencils for his child. A satchel now costs around Rs 4,000. A pair of school shoes is above Rs 3,500. The Minister of Education knows well how many days a child could use an 80-page exercise book for taking notes. Roughly, stationery cost is around Rs 25,000 to 30,000 per child, MP Wijerathne said, adding that only Rs. 232 billion had been allotted for the Ministry of Education by Budget 2023.

“After paying salaries of teachers and covering officials’ expenses, etc., there will be very little left for other important matters,” the MP said, noting that Sri Lanka would soon be known as the country that made the lowest allocation of funds for education in the South Asian region.

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All crises boil down to flaws in education system, says Dullas

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By Saman Indrajith

All the crises Sri Lanka was beset with were due to the country’s outdated education system, MP Dullas Alahapperuma told Parliament yesterday.

“The political and economic crisis we are facing is the direct result of our education,” he said.

The Sri Lankan education system had not changed with global developments. Our system is not even geared for employment. Our examination system is antiquated and our classrooms are in the 19th Century.

However, the students belong to the 21st century. How can you cater to 21st Century children under an outdated system?” he queried.

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