Worrying about their image in the public eye has become as big a problem for the Police as maintaining law and order. Not surprisingly when some of their top brass are accused of murder, treasure hunting or simply engaging in bribery and corruption. Now, a new issue has added to their woes: Advertisements, particularly in [...]


Ads to the woes of the Police


Worrying about their image in the public eye has become as big a problem for the Police as maintaining law and order. Not surprisingly when some of their top brass are accused of murder, treasure hunting or simply engaging in bribery and corruption.
Now, a new issue has added to their woes: Advertisements, particularly in the electronic media, portraying them in bad light have become a cause for worry. In one instance, a police officer is shown confronting an amorous couple in a park. Between their fun and frolic, they are seen eating a brand of biscuits.

Suddenly, the Police officer appears more enamoured by the biscuits than the couple. So the threesome sit together and share the biscuits. Angry Police officials tracked down the advertising agency in question and urged that scenes be changed in such a way that they do not insult the Police.

In another instance, footage shows two policemen in uniform raiding a house where dada mas or flesh of forbidden animals is cooked. The two officers are shown sniffing around. They pull out a gunny bag and empty the contents only to learn that it was some artificially flavoured savouries. Of course they bore the meat flavour. Then the two officers are projected savouring the delight in the company of the householders.


The move has now angered the Police Department. Their spokesperson ASP
Ruwan Gunasekera has lodged a complaint with the Colombo Fort Police about these advertisements and asked them to take action. Police said they would record statements from those concerned and forward them to the Attorney General’s Department for legal action. ASP Gunasekera said that no prior permission had been obtained from the Ministry of Law and Order for the script for such advertisements.

Not so long ago, a person in uniform seated in the back seat of a car was arrested for impersonating a senior Police officer. It turned out that he was returning from a location after a film shoot and thought at least for a few moments he would enjoy the temporary glory.


PM on post hunt for Cooray
A ding dong controversy at Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), where the creation of a post of Deputy Chairman/Managing Director became a political hot potato, was ended by the intervention of President Maithripala Sirisena.

The post, created with the blessings of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, was to go to SLT director Krishantha Cooray, a Working Committee member of the United National Party (UNP). However, it met with strong opposition from SLT Chairman, Kumarasinghe Sirisena, a brother of President Sirisena, on the grounds that it diluted the role of his office.

At the same board meeting where the proposal for the new post was discussed, among the other decisions made was one to remove businessman K.J.H. Wegapitya, Chairman of Laugfs Holdings Ltd. from being a director of the SLT subsidiary Mobitel.

The SLT has overriding authority over Mobitel.
President Sirisena sought the removal of Cooray after representations had been made to him. The Treasury that deals with public enterprises, acting on his recommendation, called upon Mr. Cooray to resign. He did so this week. So did directors Thusitha Halloluwa and Firdouse Farook. All three were appointed by Mangala Samaraweera when he was in charge of the telecom ministry during a previous administration. Wegapitiya in the meantime has been appointed a member of the SLT board of directors, the parent body.

Premier Wickremesinghe and Telecommunications Minister Harin Fernando met President Sirisena to plead Mr. Cooray’s case. This was on the grounds that he had been involved both in the presidential and parliamentary election media campaigns. The President said he could be accommodated in any vacant position other than the SLT.

Mr. Cooray has now been offered the post of Sri Lanka High Commissioner in the United Kingdom by both Premier Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. If he did not prefer London, he has even been offered an alternative posting – Norway.

This is after unsuccessful efforts to make him Chairman of Hotel Developers Ltd., the owning company of Colombo Hilton. The present board of directors refused to send in their resignations despite a personal appeal by Premier Wickremesinghe.


Wrong minister stoned
Sri Lankans are concerned about the fate awaiting the local maid who has been found guilty and sentenced to be stoned to death in Saudi Arabia. One women’s group that was vocal about its feelings and determination to support her was Women for Rights (WFR).

It even organised a seminar to educate women about this pressing issue. One speaker was quite passionate about the subject that she called on Women and Child Affairs Minister ‘Thalatha Atukorale’ to take immediate action.

Yes, she got the name wrong. It should be Chandrani Bandara. When the poorly informed speaker called and accused the wrong minister several times during the meeting, some women present wanted to correct her but thought it was rude to butt in. But on the other hand, with all these ministers and their portfolios who can remember which minister is what nowadays.


FCID probes resort racket
How the ownership of a beachfront resort hotel in the Deep South changed hands has become the subject of a top level investigation by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID).FCID detectives recently visited Singapore to check on the money trail after they discovered that funds had been funnelled by a local businessman.

An FCID source said it was done to create the impression that the money was coming as foreign investment to Sri Lanka. However, assistance from Singapore authorities shows that he has not been able to cover the trail.


MR bats for retiring officers
A retired Army officer attached to an important Government office has asked the Army hierarchy to place adverse reports in the files of nine senior officers who met President Maithripala Sirisena without informing the Commander of the Army or the Defence Secretary. Details of this meeting were reported in the Sunday Times (political commentary) last week.

The officer, who now co-ordinates matters between the important Government office and security establishments, is periodically in touch with the higher command.His request came as former President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a different appeal in a brief speech in Parliament on Thursday. He said, “I have come to learn that the senior military officers who led the various Divisions during the final phase of the war are to be sent on retirement without being given the usual service extensions. When these officers retire, they lose the institutional backing and protection provided by the military.

“Sending these officers on retirement at a time when war crimes investigations are being spoken of is a clear case of deliberately abandoning these officers. It is my view that these officers should be granted service extensions by the Government until the danger abates.”

Leave a Reply

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


Post Comment

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.