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Police ordered to video record when taking suspects to locate hidden weapons!

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The Attorney General has informed the Supreme Court yesterday (03) that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has prepared a series of guidelines which include measures to be taken to reduce the cases of suspects arrested by the police being killed when they are taken out for investigation purposes such as locating hidden weapons.

Based on a notice issued by the court earlier, IGP C.D. Wickramaratne appeared in the court yesterday where Additional Solicitor General Nerin Pulle, who appeared on behalf of the IGP, informed this to the court.

Accordingly, the President of the three-member Supreme Court Judge Bench, Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare addressed the IGP and said the court issued orders to prepare a series of guidelines in order to establish the rule of law and to safeguard the trust placed in the Police Department.

The Judge thanked the IGP for preparing and submitting the guidelines to the court and informed the IGP to issue necessary instructions and orders to the officers to implement them in an effective manner.

The following points are included in the series of guidelines submitted to the court.

• Protecting the life of an arrested suspect should be the prime responsibility of the police officers and even in cases of an illness, they should be given necessary treatment.

• Serious consideration should be given to the security of suspects arrested in connection with dangerous criminal cases such as being involved in organized crimes, narcotics, murder, and terrorism.

• When such suspects are in custody, Chief Inspectors should ensure their safety and the Sub Inspectors should check on the suspect every half hour and make notes.

• The officers should handcuff the suspects when they are being taken to the places where firearms are hidden and the officers should conduct the search operation in the presence of the suspect.

• Police officers should video record all such cases and such videos can be used as evidence against a suspect. If any incident occurs, the video will help maintain the transparency of the incident according to the guidelines.

• In no case should a suspect be subjected to physical or mental torture to obtain confessions. Arrangements should be made to allow the suspect’s next of kin and the lawyer to meet them when necessary.

• The lawyers should be given maximum support to protect the rights of suspects.

The IGP has issued an order to all the police stations that from now on, the officers must follow these instructions when taking the suspects out of police custody for investigation purposes. If any officer is found to have violated these instructions, strict disciplinary action will be taken against them. 

Delivering the verdict in a petition filed by Fathima Sharmila, the wife of suspect Mohammad Irfan who was killed when he was taken out by the Slave Island Police for investigation in 2008, the Supreme Court ordered the IGP to prepare a series of guidelines to prevent such incidents from happening in the future and submit them in the court on March 24.

However, when the petition was taken up in court on March 24, the set of guidelines was not submitted to the court.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the IGP to appear in court yesterday to show cause as to why the guidelines were not submitted.

The IGP appeared in the court yesterday and informed that the guidelines have been submitted to the court.

(Source – Aruna)

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Four national sports federations temporarily suspended

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A Gazette notification has been issued by the Minister of Sports, Harin Fernando, announcing the suspension of the Sri Lanka Cycling Federation, the Sri Lanka Rugby Federation, the Sri Lanka Automobile Federation, and the Sri Lanka Netball Federation, effective from Wednesday, May 29.

The Extraordinary Gazette also appoints Professor (Rear Admiral) Shemal Fernando, the Director General of the Department of Sports Development, as the competent authority for the limited purpose of organizing the elections of office bearers for these national sports governing bodies.

In a post on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter), Sports Minister Harin Fernando clarified that the government will not appoint any interim committees for any sport federation.

The Gazette notification states that the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs has temporarily suspended the registration of the aforementioned federations, exercising the powers vested in him under Sections 32 and 33 of the Sports Law, No. 25 of 1973, and its amendments.

Additionally, Professor (Rear Admiral) Shemal Fernando has been appointed as the competent authority effective from May 29, 2024.

His role includes managing administrative and other necessary activities for the federations, organizing and conducting relevant elections, and performing duties appropriately until the elections are completed.

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MoD clearance needed when ex-servicemen seek Russian visit visa – Sabry

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Sri Lanka ex-servicemen applying for visit visas to Russia will now have to get Defence Ministry clearance, Minister of Foreign Affairs M U M Ali Sabry said.

Sabry met the Russian Ambassador in Colombo Levan S Dzhagaryan today (May 29).

On a X post, the minister said, “We addressed the urgent situation of Sri Lankans being deployed in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and agreed on immediate steps to resolve these issues.”

“Russia will now require Sri Lanka Defence Ministry clearance for visit visas of ex-servicemen,” he said, adding that the upcoming visit to Russia will enable further discussions to find a solution to this matter.

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Japan announces skills new test in Building Cleaning

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The Embassy of Japan has announced that a new skills test in the field of Building Cleaning will be newly introduced in July 2024 in Sri Lanka for those seeking jobs in Japan as specified skilled workers. 

Together with the existing skills tests in Nursing Care, Food Service and Agriculture that have been in place since 2022 as well as recently added Construction, Airport Ground Handling and Accommodation Industry, skills tests will be available in seven fields in Sri Lanka with the addition of Building Cleaning.
Building Cleaning is the work to eliminate environmental pollutants in the buildings, such as offices, shopping centres and hotels to maintain the hygiene conditions of the interior of buildings such as the entrance hall, the passage, the toilet, the floor and the bed making work at hotels. House cleaning work is not included in building cleaning work.

The Embassy of Japan sincerely hopes that many talented and aspiring Sri Lankans will take advantage of this new opportunity to work in Japan in the Building Cleaning sector, which is estimated to welcome up to 37,000 foreign workers over a five-year period starting in 2024. The Embassy of Japan will continue to provide the necessary support and cooperation for Sri Lanka’s development, further deepening our long-standing friendship with Sri Lanka.

For more information on the skills test, please visit the following website of Japan Building Maintenance Association. It contains an Introduction video of Building Cleaning (available in Sinhala, English and Japanese), the textbook (available in Sinhala, English and Japanese) and a practical exam preparation video.

https://www.j-bma.or.jp/examination/94334

– The application period for the skills test will be from 5th June (6:30am) – 12th June (1:30pm) 2024 (Sri Lankan time).
– The skills test will take place from 16th – 18 July 2024 at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI).
– The examination fee is Rs. 5,000.
– The skills test details: A judgement test (paper test) and a practical test on building cleaning will be implemented. The paper test is an examination that uses photographs and illustrations. The practical test
consists of three tasks (Task 1: Routine cleaning of floor surfaces, Task 2: Routine cleaning of glass surfaces, and Task 3: Routine cleaning of western style large urinals).

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