( August 9, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Setting out the government’s plans dedicated to ensuring capacity building of the Police force, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday announced that a University for Policing and Criminal Justice will be established in Sri Lanka. The Prime Minister made the announcement while attending the inauguration ceremony of the Senior Officers Inter Regional Conference on Countering Terrorism and Transnational Crime organised by the INTERPOL along with the Sri Lanka Police at the BMICH yesterday.
Once established, the University will be only the fourth university in the world dedicated to Police and Criminal Justice studies. Currently, only India and South Korea have universities providing studies in Policing the Prime Minister Pointed out.
According to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, while Military education and training in the country has developed rapidly the Police in the last two decades have fallen behind.
“Therefore,the university will be the apex body dedicated to the studies on Policing in Sri Lanka,” the Prime Minister said adding that the government expects to expand its functions to provide education to qualified individuals across the region. “It can be a University for the region,” he said.
According to the Prime Minister, the university can be Sri Lanka’s contribution to the region for combatting terrorism and transnational crime which are becoming more of a Police function today by developing the capacity building of the region’s Police forces. The university will also be open for other members of law enforcement such as the customs along with individuals working in the fields of law and criminal justice.
The Premier also said that reforms to laws relating to the Police are now being looked at by the Minister of Law and Order. “Sri Lanka Police continues work under the Police ordinance which was ratified 151 years ago, and some provisions are outdated while the rank structure today is not reflected in the Police ordinance, that’s how outdated we are,” the Prime Minister said. Therefore, while the government is looking towards reforming the Police Ordinance, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe also claimed that with the 13th Amendment devolving powers to the Police the authorities are now looking how to reorganise the Police to function along with it.
While speaking about the many challenges faced by the Police force in the modern era due to technology and increased connectivity the Prime Minister also requested the INTERPOL to conduct an audit into the corporation among the Police forces of the region.
“We must ensure that the conferences and workshops are increasing the sharing of information and corporations among the Police forces of the region,” he said adding that therefore an audit is needed. The inauguration ceremony of the Senior Officers Inter Regional Conference on Countering Terrorism and Transnational Crime organised by the INTERPOL along with the Sri Lanka Police and funded by the Canadian government was held under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday.
The event was also attended by Law and Order and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka, Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara, INTERPOL officials, Diplomats, Government Officials, foreign delegates and Senior Police officers.
The three-day conference attended by 45 senior police officers representing seven countries will conclude tomorrow.