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ICTA- initiated police clearance certificate status track SMS service

Sep 6, 2011 4:12:13 PM - www.ft.lk

On the sidelines of commemorating the 145th anniversary of the Sri Lanka police service, the Police Department, in collaboration with the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), took a major step recently to make the police service more people-friendly.

This occurred when IGP N.K. Ilangakoon clicked the mobile phone to launch the police clearance certificate status track SMS service project at police headquarters in the presence of a large gathering      including those from the Police, ICTA, the Government Information Centre and the media.
Under this facility using the mobile phone and by typing plc (space) crt (space) (reference number given by the police to the application of the applicant requesting for the police clearance certificate) and sending this to phone 1919, one could know the status in which the application is. The IGP said the reply would fall into three categories.  (a) The investigation about the application is in progress, (b) investigation is completed, (c) the clearance certificate has been issued. Recalling the setting up of the police service in Sri Lanka the IGP said that the Police Department was set up on 1 September, 1866.
The information about the status of the police clearance certificate application can also be obtained from the websites www.srilanka.lk and www.police.lk.  Speaking further on the occasion the IGP said that as a second phase in this programme this facility would, in the near future, be extended to all the police stations throughout the island. This will greatly contribute to the convenience of not only foreign employment seekers but also those who need the police clearance certificate for purposes other than employment abroad like employment in Sri Lanka.  
Participating at this occasion ICTA Programme Director and Legal Advisor Jayantha Fernando said that this was a landmark occasion with vast opportunities for the benefits of ICT to reach the people. Jayantha said that ICTA was pleased to participate in this joint effort that made the Police Department embark on an intensive programme of bringing the benefits of ICT to the people.  This is the third of the major ICTA-initiated projects in which SMS is used for making the benefits of ICT accrue to the people.  This project goes a long way in bringing the ICT benefits to the people as envisaged in the ‘Mahinda Chinthana Vision for the Future’, the Government policy statement”, Jayantha emphasised.
Speaking on the occasion Senior DIG D.K.Gamini Navaratne who had contributed much input to this joint project explained what a great need the project was fulfilling.
The Senior DIG said that every day about 100 inquiries were being made about the status of the police clearance application. These inquiries showed that people were highly vexed about finding out the status of their application for the police clearance certificate. These inquiries constitute the tip of the iceberg of the deep anxiety that people went through from the submission of the application till its issue.
 This facility launched on the commemoration of the 145th anniversary of the Sri Lanka police will be an apt symbol of the service that the police is doing for the people, senior DIG Gamini Navaratne concluded. Speaking on the occasion ICTA Programme Specialist Thushara Suraweera pointed out a special advantage of this facility:  He said that this facility would greatly help not only Sri Lankans seeking employment abroad while they are in Sri Lanka but also those who were in foreign countries. Sri Lankans in foreign countries could send their requests through 1919 from the Sri Lankan diplomatic offices in the relevant foreign countries, Suraweera affirmed.
Referring to the project ICTA CEO Reshan Dewapura said that Sri Lanka enjoyed 86 per cent mobile penetration.   And this project capitalising on a  tool that is  highly popular among the people would greatly accelerate the task of empowering them through ICT. ICTA CEO said that the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka always aimed at adding more and more convenience to the people through the use of ICT.  
Revealing a step forward in this regard under consideration ICTA CEO said  that initial deliberations were also going on with regard to providing the Police Clearance Certificate Status Tracking service even directly through 1919, the Government Information Centre.