9 August, 2022


Independence Of Police Under 17A Is Possible Under Up-Dated 13A

By Elmore Perera –

Elmore Perera

Elmore Perera

Neville Ladduwahetty is quite right in stating in his article published in the Island of 20th June 2014 that “recent incidents in Aluthgama and Beruwala have highlighted the crying need to address issues relating to Law and Order in Sri Lanka”. Perhaps the only way to improve the Law and Order situation is by restoring the provisions for a National Police Commission as set out in the 17th Amendment.

For the Rule of Law to prevail it is imperative that the Police who are responsible for maintaining Law and Order should be independent of political or other patronages.

Article 155G(1)(b) of Chapter XV111A – NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION (under the 17th Amendment introduced in 2001) stated that “The Commission shall not in the exercise of its powers under this Article, derogate from the powers and functions assigned to the Provincial Police Service Commission as and when such commissions are established under Chapter XVIIA – Provincial Councils.

The Provincial Councils under the 13th Amendment, introduced in 1987, presently provides that the Provincial Police Commission (if and when it is constituted) shall be composed of the DIG of the Province appointed by the National Police Commission; a person nominated by the National Public Service Commission in consultation with the President and a nominee of the Chief Minister.

Clause 11:1 in Appendix 1 to List 1 of the Ninth Schedule to the Constitution presently provides that “The DIG of the Province shall be responsible to and under the control of the Chief Minister thereof in respect of the maintenance of public order in the Province and the exercise of police powers in the Province”.  As stated by Neville, this means that 2 of the 3 members of the Provincial Police Commission are under the control of the Chief Minister. Admittedly, in those
circumstances the Provincial Police will NOT be independent of political patronage.

The solution is clear and simple. The aforementioned provision in Article 155G(1)(b) was introduced at a time when a Provincial Division of the Sri Lanka Police Force was still only a concept. It merely provided that the National Police Commission shall not act in derogation of the powers and functions that may, thereafter, be assigned to the Provincial Police Service Commission.

The reintroduction of the 17th Amendment can only be done by an amendment to repeal the 18th Amendment.  This amendment could also amend the aforementioned clause 11:1 in Appendix 1 to List 1 of the Ninth Schedule of the 13th Amendment to provide that the Provincial DIG shall be responsible to and under the control of the Governor of the Province, or perhaps the Provincial Police Commission. This will hopefully result in the creation of Independent Provincial Police Forces together with an independent National Police Force.

There appears to be widespread belief that the acts of omission and commission on the part of members of the National Police Service were largely responsible for the incidents at Alutgama and Beruwela.

Could these have happened if a Provincial Police Service was in place?

I think NOT. Perhaps Neville, (who, like me, was born and bred beyond the Bentara Ganga) will also agree.

Elmore Perera , Attorney-at-Law – Founder, Citizen’s Movement for Good Governance -Past President, Organisation of Professional Associations

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Latest comments

  • 0

    What has ‘born & bred beyond the Bentara Ganga’ has to do with all this?

    • 0

      Those who born & bread beyond Bentara Ganga are real murderers, Toy pitolists, cowards, double game players, and real rouges to robe Govt money.

  • 1

    You are as usual,absolutely correct.
    But,the lifeblood and sustenance of the “government” of Mahinda Rajapakse and his clan,is the 18th amendment which was introduced in a hurry,and even approved in a hurry by the supreme court of CJ Shirani B,who suffered & is still suffering because of it.
    Abolition of 18th amendment is the only way to resuscitate Law and Order.
    But with the presidential election coming soon,nothing will be allowed to lose even a single vote.
    This is also why Gnnasara Thero and his gang are tolerated.

    • 0

      Because of greed for power, politicians allow Sri Lanka to be raped by Foreign cultures such christianity and Islam.

      Thera Ghanasara is the only one who has a BACKBONE and want to challenge ISLAMIC expansion.

      Christians are screaming because, they are in the same boat.

      • 1

        Jim you idiot:

        Who are you to criticise foreign cultures when you have openly assumed a Christian ( English) name. Shame on you and why don’t you call yourself Apuhamy and then I will respect your views. You fool.

  • 0

    What matters is the spirit to maintain fairness, law and order and other attributes of good governance. No amount of laws or constitutional guarantees will give it if those in power can have their way. This is applicable to the Central and Provincial Governments.

    In trying to bring in the 17th amendment back again with a modification in the 13th amendment will only result in creating another problem by having minorities to make a hue and cry that what they got by India twisting JR’s hand being done away by MR or another Sinhala “goon”.

    In practice,other than in the Northern Province and the Western Province, the Police is by and large subservient to the provincial political authorities and the hapless inhabitants have no recourse for the injustices perpetrated in them.

  • 0

    We will never reach an agreement to resolve the issues in Sri Lanka. If the President is a honest person he should appoint a National Government, dissolve the present Parliament. In the National Government let all party members who are in the Parliament and opposition participate. The composition should be based on 50% UPFA and 50% from all the other parties. Let the National Government find a solution to all our problems.
    Has the President got the guts to do this? Let us come up with a new Constitution for the country. This can be the legacy of the President.

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