By Indika Sri Aravinda
The security of universities has been handed over to a security firm which operates under the Defence Ministry.
Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne told The Sunday Leader that the security has been handed over to Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd and another company.
Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne said that the two security firms operate under the government but refused to say who heads them. Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd, according to its website, is headed by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
Dr. Nawaratne said that the security of 15 universities in the country as well as the University Grants Commission and the Higher Education Ministry will be handed over to the two security agencies with effect from next month.
He said that the reason the two State owned agencies are being handed over the security of the universities is because some private security firms had failed to maintain proper standards.
Dr. Nawaratne said that the private security firm which was earlier handling the security of the universities had drug addicts and aged men as security officers.
As a result a decision was taken to hand over the security to the two State institutions and according to Dr. Nawaratne those companies will be paid their normal dues.
When contacted Inter University Students Federation convener Sanjeewa Bandara said that university students will strongly object to the move.
He said that Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd is the Defence Secretary’s private firm and is likely to be used to control university students.
He claimed that former officers from the army and navy are among those working as security officers in the security firm.
Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd also handles the security of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the BMICH.