Maintaining ethnic ratio in Police recruitment imperative - TNA
[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 August 2003, 10:40 GMT]
At a conference held Thursday morning between the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) delegation led by its parliamentary group leader Mr.R.Sampanthan at the parliamentary complex, it was decided to summon all Tamil and Muslim parliamentarians for a conference on Tuesday or Wednesday next week before finalizing the list of new recruits for the police force in the eastern province, political sources in Colombo said.
The Prime Minister is to preside over the conference, which is expected to decide on the ethnic ratio in recruiting new hands to the police force in the east, TNA sources said.
It was further agreed at the conference to continue the process of accepting applications for the posts of Tamil speaking sub inspectors and constables as decided by the Defence Ministry and the final selection would be made on the outcome of the proposed conference of Tamil and Muslim parliamentarians to be held next week, sources said.
These decisions were taken following strong protest made by TNA parliamentarians that recruiting more Muslims in the new recruitment effort would lead to serious problems in ensuring security of Tamils in the eastern province, TNA sources said.
The TNA strongly demanded that the new recruits to the police service should be appointed on the ethnic ratio in the eastern province. It brought to the notice of Mr.Wickremasinghe that already more Muslims are serving in the police force in the eastern province than Tamils. Recruiting more Muslims now to the Police in the category of 'Tamil speaking' policemen would not be accepted under the present circumstances, the TNA delegation stressed.
The TNA delegation pointed out to Mr.Wickremasinghe that not only Muslims but Tamils also had been murdered, abducted and harassed in the eastern province during the recent violence. A Tamil youth Adrian Sellan who had been abducted the same night after the murder of two Muslims in Trincomalee is now reported to have been killed.
Earlier, a Tamil youth Gunam Subaraj was shot dead in Muttur while he was asleep. Tamil people are unable to walk freely in Muttur and buy their provisions for their day-to-day lives. They live in fear as Muslim extremists attack them. Tamils in Batticaloa and Ampara district are also in the same plight. Recruiting more Muslims to the police service would do more harm than good in restoring peace in the east, the TNA delegation told the Prime Minister.
The TNA delegation told the Prime Minister it was not advisable to take a hasty decision that the LTTE was responsible for the killings of Muslims in the eastern province. "Several anti-peace elements are working in the eastern province to derail the present peace process and such elements could also be held responsible for the killing of Muslim civilians to meet their ends," the delegation told Mr.Wickremasinghe.
TNA sources said that Mr.Wickremasinghe had also expressed similar view at the discussions.
The TNA delegation comprised of parliamentarians Messrs R.Sampanthan, V.Anandasangaree, Joseph Pararajasingham, Mavai Senathirajah, Selvam Adaikalanathan, M.K.Sivajilingam, A.Chandra Nehru and N.Raviraj Thursday again met the Prime Minister at the parliamentary complex and discussed in detail about the outcome of the talks it had earlier on Thursday with the Interior Minister Mr.John Amaratunge and Inspector General of Police Mr.T.E.Anandarajah
The TNA parliamentary delegation on Wednesday also met the Prime Minister at the parliamentary complex and discussed in detail regarding the security situation in the eastern province.
The Defence Ministry on Tuesday decided to recruit Tamil speaking persons for the posts of five hundred constables and fifty reserve sub inspectors. This decision was taken at a discussion held between the Defence Minister Mr.Tilak Marapone and Minister Mr.Rauff Hakeem who is also the leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, sources said.