The Police have agreed to obtain assistance of recognised Citizens` Committees to record complaints by the public in several districts of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, beginning with the Mannar district, the Presidential Secretariat said.
This additional means of citizens` access to the Police for complaints is to be introduced in view of the shortage of police personnel competent in Tamil and the need for police to be more citizen friendly, particularly in these districts, it said.
This facilitation will be extended to other districts in the North and East no sooner arrangements are made.
The Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (Peace Secretariat) has undertaken to encourage the formation of such Citizens` Committees, through its local ceasefire monitors.
Police will also promote the recruitment of members of the minority communities to the service.
Proficiency in Tamil will also be made mandatory for promotions within the Police service.
These decisions were taken following recent discussions the Peace Secretariat had with the IGP and senior police officers on improving confidence building measures vis-a-vis the Police and the public, particularly in the North and East.
It has been observed that the numbers of retired Tamil-speaking persons recruited to assist with police work are insufficient to meet current needs.
The IGP has also reiterated earlier directions to Police to strictly follow the established procedures on questioning and detention of persons, with the caution that disciplinary action will follow any lapses.
It has been stressed that while the current security situation requires increased questioning of the public by the Police, such questioning or detention should always be done with the production of the Police ID or a warrant from a court of law.
It was also agreed that in the event of detentions, in addition to other safeguards for the public, the IGP`s office in Colombo should be informed through regional authorities.