|Saturday, 24 May 2003|
by Sarath Malalasekera
Interior and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga yesterday directed the IGP T. E. Anandarajah to set-up a 'Major Disaster Contingency Plan for the Police,' to meet any possible natural disaster in the future.
The Minister emphasised that all senior and junior police personnel who had received special training abroad in this field should be co-opted for the implementation of this plan. All police personnel who had done a 'good job' in assisting the public and maintaining law and order during the flood situation in the country recently will be rewarded with cash and promotions, Minister Amaratunga said at a press conference held at the Interior Ministry last morning.
IGP Anandarajah who was also present at the press conference said that he will make arrangements to set-up the 'Disaster Plan', immediately. A Contingency Plan with general instructions and basic plans with a check list for action should be prepared in advance by Divisional heads and Officers-in-Charge of all police stations in the country.
Senior Police officers should brief all other officers and rehearse such plans and that would enable training of officers, give confidence to them and enable speedy response in time of calamities.
The plan should embrace response to control combat or counter the effects of natural or man made disasters in the country so that damaging effects are minimized, Minister Amaratunga added.
Under the new plan the Police officers should also educate the public on how to avoid or overcome massive disasters.
The Minister said that a one week 'Shramadana campaign' should be held in order to rehabilitate and reconstruct the damaged properties. There cannot be any hard and fast rules to meet every emergency. An incident is liable to happen at any time of the day or night in widely diverse places, forms and situations. Initial police action at the scene must depend entirely on the nature of situations which arise, the Minister said and added that plans must be formulated with proper regard to appropriate co-ordination and co-operation with other concerned authorities to ensure smooth functioning.
Interior Ministry Secretary N. M. Junaid, Advisor to the Interior Ministry A.S. Seneviratne, Senior DIGs Chandra Fernando, Indra de Silva, Jayatissa Herath, DIGs Sirisena Herath, Victor Perera, Nimal Jayasundera, Gunasena Thenabadu, Jayantha Paranathala, K.P.P. Pathirana. Senior SPs Cecil Kariyawasam, Sarath Perera, Sarath Jayasundera, T. Wanigaratne, Sheriffdeen, SP Ravi Waidyalanka, ASPs V.T. Sunderalingam and Ranmal Kodituwakku were also present.
Produced by Lake House