Grievances of the police prioritized by Amaratunga’s ministry

by Maheen Senanayake

The Minister of Public Order, Disaster Management and Christian Affairs, Mr. John Amaratunga, has had his hands full since assuming office attending to various previously neglected matters under his purview.

"We had to attend to the grievances of the Police, including transfers, promotions and welfare," he said yesterday.

Speaking the Sunday Island whilst on an inspection tour of the Bandaranaike International Airport, he said "I visited the Police Hospital and found how neglected it had been. I was able to take stock of requirements and even donated wheelchairs to some who did not have them before.

"Today I am on an inspection visit at the BIA along with Minister Arjuna Ranatunga and was able to look into the grievances of immigration officers who also come under my ministry."

On the subject of disaster relief, the minister is expected in Polonnaruwa today (Sunday) where he will distribute cheques to approximately 1,500 families affected by the recent floods. In the afternoon, the minister is meeting another 1,200 families in Anuradhapura where he will again provide relief in the form of funds for reconstruction and rehabilitation.

"Each family will receive varying amounts. The maximum per family is Rs. 100,000", he said.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Public Order is expected to open a number of new police stations across the island including in Jaffna, Badulla, Bandarawala and Katana.

Looking to the future, Amaratunga said they are looking at tamper proofing passport issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration and considering technology on par with other countries which have followed this trajectory.

The minister who played a major role in the visit of the Pope to Sri Lanka said his ministry was also in the process of providing donations to churches for upgrading and renovations. These are for ‘gazetted festivals’ for which state patronage is provided. All local government bodies, public officials including Divisional Secretaries facilitate the conduct of these festivals.

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