The Sri Lanka Police recently opened its 436 Police Station in Nilaveli, in the Trincomalee District in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province. The fully-equipped police station that was built on two acres of land at a cost of Rs. 12.1 million was vested with the public recently.
“This Police Station was built to start a civil control through establishing law and order that was disrupted in the North and East area, while specially providing facilities needed by the people of the North and East,” said Sri Lanka Police Media Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana.
Approximately 9,511 individuals representing 2,587 Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim families live in this Police Division of 15 sq. km. In order to provide services to all three communities, police officers fluent in Tamil have also been employed.
Sources: Media Unit, Sri Lanka Police Police Media Spokesperson
At both the informal consultations on implementation of the Human Rights Action Plan held at the Reconciliation Office, and the official meetings conducted at the Ministry of Plantation Industries by the Task Force of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, three factors have been stressed by many participants. The first is better training, not only for the police but also for public servants in general.
The Action Plan asserts the need for this in many places, talking not only about internal programmes but also about outside training. The institution it mentions most prominently in this regard is the Human Rights Commission, but it was also noted that agencies such as the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration, and universities that conduct courses in Public Policy and Management should incorporate Human Rights awareness in their programmes.
An important distinction was made however in the course of discussion, that training of officials should be not so much in awareness of human rights as in awareness of duties that ensured that human rights were protected. Whilst there is also need, and the Action Plan notes this, to educate the public about their Rights, with regard to those whose activities impact through a power relationship on others, the vital point is that they should function with sensitivity about the rights of those they affect.