Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday declared that reactivating Civil Defence Committees (CDC) which had been a great source of help to the country in the final phase of war had become necessary to eradicate crime.
“The CDC helped in no small measure to eradicate terrorism from the country two years ago. Now it is needed to enhance the interaction between the rural community and the police to control crime,” he stated.
He made these comments at a meeting held at Royal College, Colombo to inform the CDC members of plans to reactivate the CDC movement islandwide. Accordingly, the modern ‘community police’ concept was introduced to Sri Lanka as CDCs were used effectively particularly during the final phase of the war to enhance vigilance among communities. Proving the effectiveness of this concept several bomb blasts and terrorist attacks were prevented in Colombo and in various areas of the country.
The Defence Secretary, speaking at the event said, “Such a force would be most useful to preserve the peace within the country. The interaction between the police and the community should be maintained for this purpose. The President is also of this view,” he said.
Mr. Rajapaksa further emphasized that with the cessation of the war police stations were being turned into people friendly places where the community can readily go to get redress and also to report any suspicious activities. Even the security barriers have been removed to strengthen the interaction between the police and the members of the public,” he said.
Meanwhile Police Chief N.K. Illangakoon, who also spoke at the event, stressed the fact that it would have been easier to control the ‘grease devil’ phobia if the general public were working closely with the police, just as they had been during the war.
“With the end of the war strength of CDC s have seemingly been weakened. Enhanced vigilance on the part of the community was vital support for the police department at the moment. Therefore, a proper CDC network would be a boon for the general public as well as the nation,” he said.