Police recruitment begins in the east

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 August 2003, 20:26 GMT]
Interviews began Saturday to select 550 new recruits for Sri Lanka’s police service in the eastern province at police stations in Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Amparai, Kalmunai, Akkaraipattu, Muttur and Pottuvil, eastern region Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr. Neville Wijesinghe, said Saturday.

Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians met Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister last week and told him that it was important to maintain the ethnic ratio in recruitment as the Tamil people were apprehensive that under the ‘Tamil Speaking’ category, a disproportionate number of Muslim youths could be recruited to a police force in the eastern province in which already more Muslims than Tamils are serving.

Given the current tensions between the Muslim and Tamil communities in the east, the TNA had said, such disproportionate numbers from one ethnic community would add to the tension and cause fear among the Tamil people.

The Prime Minister had agreed for a conference next week, calling on all Tamil and Muslim parliamentarians from the east to attend before deciding on the police recruitment. However, a decision appears to have been made later to go ahead with the recruitment even before such a conference is held.

“Those found qualified at the interviews will be recruited for the post of reserve sub-inspector and constable and will be given appointment after necessary training. 500 constables and 50 reserve sub-inspectors will be recruited,” Mr. Wijesinghe added.

The government has decided to recruit qualified persons from all three communities in the east and they would be posted to several police stations in the east, he said.

In the interviews Saturday, more youths from the Ampara district attended than from the districts of Trincomalee and Batticaloa, police sources said.

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