1.4 Restoring law and order

Restoration of the rule of law is imperative for the implementation of progressive policies. A few initiatives are articulated below.

Legislation should be passed in Parliament to make it a criminal offence for any member of the Parliament, Cabinet, or Provincial Councils to interfere in police operational matters.

An Independent Police Monitor (IPM) should be established and adequately resourced to investigate any corrupt practices within the police force. The Parliament with consensus should appoint members of the IPM. The IPM should report to the Parliament instead of the Minister and should do so on a quarterly basis. Anybody should be able to report to the IPM about police misconduct. Any misconduct of the IPM too can be reported to an Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC).

The main involvement of the Minister in charge of Police with the police force should be about providing resources to and discussing issues the police force is confronted with. The minister might from time to time articulate the government vision on policy matters without any interference in operational matters.

It should be made a criminal offence for the police Commissioner/Officer to refrain from reporting to IPM of any political interference on police operational matters.

An independent Public Prosecutor’s Office (PPO) should be set up for undertaking prosecution on behalf of the police and IBAC. It will be instructive to find out the current prosecution procedures that are in place in Sri Lanka.

These watchdogs with sufficient teeth will be permanent arrangements necessary for the continuous maintenance of a rule-based society.

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