Jan 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka's National Police Commission needs to be empowered as the powers given to it by the 18th Amendment are not enough, the Commission's Chairman Senaka Walgampaya has said.
Speaking at a meeting to release a report on the progress review of the Colombo Mediation Board, the Chairman has said that the even though the Police Commission is supposed to give redress to civilians, who have been aggrieved by an unfair action of the police, the related provisions are not mentioned in the Police Commission Act.
He has explained that while the Police Commission was set up under the 18th Amendment after removing the powers provided to it by the 17th Amendment, the Commission under the present provisions is unable to help people who have been wronged by the police.
"For example, if our investigations proved that an injustice has been committed to a civilian, we are not in a position to give him/her compensation. The reason is that we have no powers to do so," Ceylon Today quoted the official as saying.
The Chairman has said that the Commission has prepared a Consequential Provisions Act and referred it to the Attorney General. But, the Attorney General has informed the President that the giving of compensation cannot be approved according to the nature of the amendments.
Walgampaya has complained that the Commission has no powers to investigate the incidents of alleged police harassment and the only action the Commission can take is to send a copy of their investigation to the suspect police officer's personal file which may affect the errant officer's chances for promotions.
According to the Chairman, the Police Commission received over 600 complaints in 2012 and 400 in 2013.