Junior police officers suffering in silence due to denial of promotions

– Ven. Battaramulle Seelaratana


Ven. Battaramulle Seelaratana thera making representations to NPC Secretary, Ariyadasa Cooray, in its office at the BMICH. (Pic by Dharmasena Welipitiya)

Ven. Battaramulle Seelaratana thera, leader of the Janasetha Peramuna made representations to the National Police Commission (NPC) last week about the denial of due promotions to police sub inspectors, sergeants and constables who are suffering in silence die to this injustice.

In his written representations personally handed over to the NPC, the prelate says "As a Buddhist monk, it is my firm conviction, as well as that of my people-oriented political party, that national security should be the top priority.

"Apart from the tri-services, the police play a challenging role in maintaining law and order to ensure peace and normalcy in the country. Attending to civil duties as the law enforcement arm, the Police render an active public service 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

"It is the country’s youth who join the police service with reasonable aspirations to ascend the ladder in terms of career advancement. An 18 or 20-year-old youth who joins the service as a Police Sub Inspector is, no doubt, eager to reach the next rank in his career.

"But, at present the career prospects of these young police personnel are very bleak. There is a large number of Sub Inspectors who continue to stagnate in their rank for many years without any hope of promotions.

"It is the same sad story with Police Constables (PCs) as well. Youths who join as PCs at a young age of 18 or 20 years continue to kick their heels due to lack of career prospects. As with Sub Inspectors, they have also put in their best and rendered exemplary service, but continue to stagnate as they have been largely ignored for promotions.

"There are PCs who have remained in that rank for 25 to 30 years without any hope of reaching the next rank of Sergeant. This stagnation and denial of career advancement has led to immense frustration and mental trauma.

"My humble request is to ensure justice to these suffering police personnel as they perform a thankless task in maintaining law and order in the country around the clock.

"It should also be pointed out that a direct ASP is afforded every opportunity to move on to the next rank with ease, with most of them reaching the rank of DIG within a period of 5 to 10 years.

"It is regrettable that ordinary PCs for whom life is a struggle are left in the lurch. There is nobody in authority to look into their grievances and offer relief. When VIPs visit an area, these PCs are made to stand unarmed on the roadside at different points and look on like scarecrows.

"It is these policemen down the line whose lives are mostly at risk as they have visit scenes of crimes – murders, robberies and violent clashes. Even where protests and demonstrations are concerned, these policemen have to do their job despite the risks involved.

"It is very unfortunate that they have been largely ignored in granting their due promotions or giving an ear to their grievances".

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