New Procedure to register household info with the Police in Jaffna

| by Our Correspondent in Jaffna

(October 18, Jaffna, Sri Lanka Guardian) Police are circulating the form below, in Jaffna with instructions to fill and hand over to the Grama Sevaka by tomorrow. The image of the form is the one that was delivered at my home in Nallur. I suppose it is being given around everywhere in Jaffna (and possibly in the Vanni). As before under the Emergency Regulations we have been asked to retain a copy of the form so that it can be shown when demanded. This time the legal basis for seeking the info is said to be provided by section 76 of the Police Ordinance.
Section 76 reads as follows: (External Link
“Every householder within such town and limits shall furnish the officer of police of his division, when required so to do by such officer under the order received to that effect from any Magistrate having jurisdiction within such town and limits, or from the Inspector-General of Police, with a list of all the inmates of his house, distinguishing the members of his family from the servants or others resident therein ; and he shall also, if it shall be so directed in the order of the Inspector-General of Police or Magistrate report any increase or diminution, or change in the same ; and he shall not, having received such notice under such order, harbour a stranger without giving such notice thereof to the principal officer of police of his division ; and every person failing in any duty imposed upon him by this clause shall be guilty of an offence, and be liable to any fine not exceeding fifty rupees”.
As per this Section, the Inspector-General of Police or Magistrate ought to have ordered that the information be collected by Police. To be democratic, this needs to be produced by the Police to the citizens from whom they are obtaining such information.
This form was used to register visitors to Tamil areas such as Wellawatte in Colombo. After the lifting of Emergency Regulations this seems to be no longer a requirement in Colombo.
To the ordinary citizen of Jaffna therefore, this practice by the Police, after the lifting of Emergency Regulations, would seem to be racially discriminatory. This move confirms that the Government is paying only lip-service, towards engaging with civilians in Tamil areas.

Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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