Feature Article

New Police division will address Women,
Children welfare- Nadesan

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 September 2005, 09:30 GMT]
"We have established a new division in our Police Force to focus on the welfare of Women and children in the NorthEast. This division will play a visible role in ensuring that the rights of women and children are protected, and will augment and operate at the same level to the existing five divisions under my leadership," said Tamileelam Chief of Police, Mr Nadesan when TamilNet talked to him on the progress of law and order enforcement in the NorthEast.

Mr. P. Nadesan, Chief of Tamileelam Police
Mr. P. Nadesan, Chief of Tamileelam Police
Mr Nadesan is from Valvettiturai, Jaffna and attended Chithambara College. He worked as a constable for ten years with Sri Lanka Police force in Maharagama and joined the Liberation Tigers following the 1983 race riots. He is fluent in Sinhala and has recently been a visible member of LTTE political delegations in Kilinochchi meetings.

Excerpts from his discussion with TamilNet, on the general state of Law and order enforcement in NorthEast, follow:

TamilNet: Can you tell us about the law enforcement and the impact your division has in maintaining law and order in the NorthEast?
Nadesan: Serious crime in areas under our control is low. We mainly deal with complaints of theft, domestic disputes including land, property matters. Enforcing strict traffic laws to contain traffic accidents and fatalities has become a recent priority.

Mr. P. Nadesan, Chief of Tamileelam Police
Mr. P. Nadesan, Chief of Tamileelam Police
As a peoples' force we are also interested in social development of our community. Rights of Women and Children are of increasing concern to us and that is why we have opened a special division to address issues related to sexual harassment, domestic violence against children and other related matters.

Our zero-tolerance policy on bribery, corruption has earned trust and respect from our people, and that has helped in efficient execution of our duties.

TamilNet: Can you tell us the size of Tamileelam police force?
Nadesan: The only figure I can tell you is, nearly 300 officers graduate from our Training school each year. The candidate selection process is rigourous and this coupled with a generous pay structure allow us to retain good talent within our force.

Mr. P. Nadesan, Chief of Tamileelam Police
Mr. P. Nadesan, Chief of Tamileelam Police
TamilNet: The stretch of A9 through Kilinochchi town is heavily congested and fatal accidents have become common. What actions are you taking to alleviate this problem?
Nadesan: In the short term we have strict enforcement of speed limits and heavy fines are imposed on violators without exceptions. You may have seen that a 20km/hr limit is active near the Kilinochchi hospital, and Police officers are posted near the schools to ensure safety of children crossing A9.

The problem is compounded by the increasing number of vehicles, especially motor bikes and commercial vehicles plying the A9. We are planning to widen the A9 along selected segments. Making the current A9 through Kilinochchi town one-way and rebuilding the parallel gravel road that runs west of the current A9 for the return direction is very much in the drawing board.

TamilNet: Are you planning to introduce driving licences?
Nadesan: We have started issuing driving licences to the LTTE cadres first. General public will be required to undergo licencing procedure within the next few months.

Our written and practical tests are rigourous. To pass, drivers have to be fully competent to control the vehicle especially under emergency situations, recognize his/her responsibility for safety of other users, and drive defensively to protect his/her life.

Mr. P. Nadesan, Chief of Tamileelam Police
Mr. P. Nadesan, Chief of Tamileelam Police

TamilNet: How do you punish police officers who violate the rights of individual citizens? Can the public file grievances against police officers?
Nadesan: We take complaints against Police officers very seriously. Punishment to violating police officers are meted out in the form of compulsory added training, upto six months, in our training school. We have found that this method works pretty well as repeat offenders are very rare.

TamilNet: Other than local trainining have the international community offered help in training officers with modern policing methods?
Nadesan: We are getting some assistance. But, more importantly, we are gradually introducing appropriate technology and training, after studying the usefulness of devices used in advanced police forces.

TamilNet: How advanced is your crime division? Do you have facilities, for example, DNA testing?
Nadesan: A crime laboratory with modern facilities is being developed. DNA testing and other forensic techniques will be gradually introduced to reduce dependency on external institutions. This, however, is low on our priority in view of the low incidents of crime I mentioned earlier.


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