Mangala asks Actg IGP to probe false ‘security alert’ in Matara schools | Daily News


Govt. schools in district sent ‘warning’ circular

Mangala asks Actg IGP to probe false ‘security alert’ in Matara schools

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday said that he had called on Acting Inspector General of Police, Chandana Wickremeratna, to investigate a letter circulated by a minor Education Ministry official among Matara district schools which had briefly caused commotion and fear among parents in the district.

The Finance Minister told news media at a hurriedly summoned press conference at his Ministry yesterday evening that neither the Police or military intelligence nor any other security agency had been able to confirm any real ‘security’ issue in the southern region.

The Minister said he was convinced that this was yet another attempt at sabotaging a peaceful presidential election. He said he asked the Police hierarchy to fully investigate the actions of the Ministry official in circulating the so-called ‘warning’ letter on Friday, October 18th. This warning was communicated to all zonal directors of education on October 18 by an Assistant Director of National Schools.

The Minister has asked the Police to probe whether the letter had been circulated on the basis of verified facts or, whether it was an attempt at sabotaging the election.

He has also formally requested the Acting IGP to take necessary legal action against the Assistant Director in question if his letter was found to be baseless or if he had circulated it with the aim to sabotage the election.

The school principals of the Matara district had summoned the parents to their schools on Monday and had told them that it was required once again to carry out emergency checks inside schools, and that parents’ meetings would be held henceforth to organize school-based security measures such as examining school bags.

This has caused commotion and fear among the parents. The basis for this ‘alarm’ was found to be a letter that had been circulated to all Zonal Education Directors of Education by an Assistant Director of National Schools and School Activities of the Southern Province, A.M.I.R.S.B. Abeyratna, the Minister disclosed.

Abeyratna’s letter was apparently based on a certain common circular issued by the President’s Secretary in April stressing the importance of maintaining an alert on school security at all times.

“But, “ Samaraweera pointed out, “ this circular does not state anything about an emergency situation.” He said he had asked about this from the heads of the national intelligence services and the Criminal Investigation Department and they had both said that there was no such emergency. The Governor of the Southern Province had also confirmed that there was no such emergency .

Outdated circular misused - Prez Secy

The President’s Secretary Udaya R.Seneviratne yesterday said he has received information that the circular issued by him on April 23 and subsequent letters to government institutions on maintaining security following the Easter Sunday attacks were being misused by some state organizations and individuals to create an unnecessary fear in the public mind.

Issuing a statement Seneviratne said defence authorities have affirmed that there was no terrorist or security threat in the country at present.

He urged the public not to get misled by these false and fabricated statements.

The President’s Secretary said security authorities have taken maximum measures to ensure the security at state institutions and the public.



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