blood, new look for STF
By Shanika Udawatte
DIG Nimal Lewke, the newly appointed commandant of the elite Special
Task Force, is drawing up plans to give expert training to his personnel
by specialists from the US, Italy and India.
He said the
command structure too would be changed and more opportunities given
to young people. DIG Lewke said 10 STF personnel have been sent
to Vavuniya for training in demining.
He said the
STF needed young blood and also modern technology to act fast and
effectively. He said that since the STF was operating in the sensitive
multi-ethnic east, the personnel would need to be given training
in all languages and in winning hearts and minds.
He said he
hoped to increase the strength of the STF from 5000 to 6000. He
said that along with increasing the strength of the STF a welfare
scheme will also be implemented to look into the needs of the STF
families as it would keep the morale of the STF men at a high level.
playing an active role in curbing underworld activities as well,
“DIG Lewke said. Speaking of the reported emergence of various
armed groups in the East he said that taking to arms was not a solution
for problems and that the formation of any illegal army in any part
of the country where the STF is responsible for security will not
school heads under bribery probe
Over 100 school principals and Vice principals - some of them from
leading schools in Colombo are under investigation for allegations
of amassing a large amount of wealth in a short period, a Bribery
Wickremasooriya told The Sunday Times they were continuing investigations
into the complaints already received and more complaints were flowing
in about allegations connected with bribery.
He said among
the allegations was a case where a principal had built a large house
on the outskirts of the city. Mr. Wickremasooriya said pending investigations
had been given approval by the Commission, before the demise of
one of the members in February this year, but the investigations
have been slow as they had to collect a large number of documents
and needed to carefully monitor some of the activities of these
principals or vice principals.
He said most
complaints referred to receiving bribes for year one admissions.
He said some of the leading schools in Ratnapura, Kurunegala, Badulla,
Moratuwa were implicated in the complaints.
JVP go their separate ways, no joint action
By Harinda Vidanage
The SLFP and the JVP have decided to go their separate ways after
the collapse of the alliance talks- but a high ranking faction in
the SLFP is reportedly planning to challenge President Chandrika
Kumaratunga on this issue.
In the meantime
most of the proposed joint demonstrations have been abandoned while
both parties are organizing separate political activities. The JVP
also is organizing separate political programmes and on the top
of its agenda lies another peoples march from Kandy to Colombo similar
to the recent Galle- Colombo march.
While one SLFP
faction led by Anura Bandaranaike is likely to continue pushing
for a link with the JVP, another faction led by opposition leader
Mahinda Rajapakse and most of the old guard are preparing separate
political activities led by the SLFP.
Meanwhile some leading SLFP members including Dr. Sarath Amunugama,
Mangala Samaraweera, Dilan Perera and a group of back benchers are
reportedly moving to bring about a change of President Kumaratunga's
decision to suspend talks with the JVP.
party which had expressed serious reservations about a link up with
the JVP responded cautiously to the breakup of talks. CP General
Secretary Raja Collure said his party was insisting that the PA
should support the devolution of power- the issue on which the JVP-SLFP
talks broke down. The LSSP also had opposed the linkup with the
JVP and its leader Batty Weerakoon said they were reviewing the
experience for Sabaragamuwa campus
Insufficient lecturers, shortage of water and the lack of a laboratory
has severely curtailed the functions of the Sabaragamuwa University,
says its vice chancellor Prof. I.K. Perera.
He told The
Sunday Times that shortage of water was one of the most serious
problems affecting the functions of the university, which accommodates
some 1500 students.
had been discussed with the authorities at the University Grants
Commission, the Water Board and the Provincial Council since January
but no action has been taken to alleviate the situation he said.
authorities also say that the UGC has paid little interest in recruiting
new lecturers for the university. There had been a shortage of 34
lecturers and the UGC had only recruited 10.