Reopening of Kilinochchi and Mankulam Police Stations
Police officers are one of the four categories that are authorised to implement National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) Act.
Kilinochchi and Mankulam are two major precincts in the Northern Sri Lanka. Before 2009, civil war and terrorism restricted access to those for the Sri Lanka Police as well as for the industries and traders such as Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC). Police stations in Kilinochchi and Mankulam were re-established with the sponsorship of CTC in 2010 (Image 1).
National newspapers and news websites reported the project with the image of then Prime Minister DM Jayaratne ceremoniously opening the Mankulam police station. Published on 04th December 2010, all of them highlighted:
- the amount of money spent by CTC (LKR 130 Million)
- it was completed within 6 months
- the re-opened police stations being “supreme” or “A” grade
- the participation of Prime Minister, Inspector General of Police (highest ranking police officer in the country) and CTC chairman Jayampathi Bandaranayake in the event.
The Sunday Island e-paper, the online weekend edition of the national newspaper The Island, mentioned “building modern police stations in Kilinochchi and Mankulam completed in December last year” in an article published five months later (02 April 2011). The article was about CTC shareholders being lobbied against “owning shares in a business selling a harmful product” by an anonymous group. The article referred to re-opening of the police stations as an example of CTC being a “responsible corporate citizen” and its contribution to “acceleration of re-establishing civil administration in the Northern Province”.
Criticised in the Parliament
In June 2017 during a Parliamentary Debate, a Member of Parliament, Buddhika Pathirana, criticised the participation of the Prime Minster D. M. Jayaratne in the Kilinochchi Police Station opening ceremony. He stated that Prime Minister participated in the event knowing that it is sponsored by the Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) violating the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) Act.
Tobacco Unmasked Resources
- SA Bandara. Development projects underway, 4 December 2010, accessed December 2017
- Saman. Mankulam Police station opened after 15 years, Lankadesha, 4 December 2010, accessed December 2017
- Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC. Annual Report 2011, 2012, accessed May 2017
- Daily Mirror. Two police stations reopen after 15 years. 04 December 2010
- The Island, Anonymous group targets the conscience of CTC shareholders, 02 April 2011, accessed December 2017
- The Parliament of Sri Lanka. Parliamentary Debates(Hansard), Official Report, 252(9), 17 June 2017, Accessed October 2019