PM, parliamentarians discuss police recruitment issue

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 August 2003, 17:03 GMT]
Several decisions to strengthen the goodwill and security of Tamil and Muslim communities in the eastern province were taken at a conference called by the Prime Minister (PM) Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Wednesday evening which was attended by parliamentarians of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) , Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and National Unity Alliance (NUA), a press release issued by the PM ‘s media unit said.

Tamil and Muslim parliamentarians would meet again on September 8th and discuss in detail about the security situation in the eastern province, PM’s media unit further said.

The Prime Minister last week decided to summon a conference of Tamil and Muslim parliamentarians to discuss the issue of special recruitment to the east police force face to face and come to a consensus as the Tamil National Alliance promptly lodged a strong protest to the recruitment of Muslim persons to the eastern police force as requested by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader and Minister Mr.Rauff Hakim, sources said

TNA parliamentarians submitted at the conference that they were for providing adequate security to Muslims in the east but it was not the time for organizing a separate Muslim police force. It was not the time for even Tamils to be recruited to the police force. The timing and way the police recruitment is done has created an impression that a Muslim police force is being organized in the east, sources said.

The Prime Minister replied that twelve thousand vacancies exist in the Sri Lankan police force and he had decided to recruit one thousand five hundred Tamil speaking persons to the police force immediately, sources said.

Muslim parliamentarians voiced their security concerns and stressed the urgency for recruiting Muslims to the east police force to ensure the security of their community, sources said. Tamil parliamentarians also submitted at the discussion the security concerns of Tamil people in the east.

When the TNA parliamentarians pointed out that the proposed police recruitment would pose problems at a time when the government and the LTTE are engaged in finalizing the interim administrative structure for the northeast, Muslim parliamentarians replied that they were opposing handing over of law and order to the proposed interim administrative council, sources said.

Ministers John Amaratunge, Milinda Morogoda and Rauff Hakim also attended the conference, which lasted for about ninety minutes from 3.30 p.m, Wednesday, sources said.

Twenty parliamentarians, 12 from TNA, 7 SLMC and one from NUA, attended the Wednesday’s conference, sources said.

 

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