Monday, 26 January 2004  
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Dharmasoka PPA felicitates IGP

The members of the Colombo branch of the Past Pupils Association of Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda, hosted a dinner on January 17 at the Taj Samudra Colombo to felicitate one of their fellow Old Sokians, T. Indra de Silva, on his appointment as the Inspector General of Police.

As the citation revealed Indra de Silva has had an impressive career as a student at Dharmasoka College, both in academic studies and sports and games.

Having completed a special degree in Geography at the University of Ceylon.

He had initially embarked on an academic career taking up a position of Assistant lecturer in Geography and research assistant in the same University. With his application and dedication he could have become a distinguished Professor of Geography following in the footsteps of another native of Ambalangoda Professor A. Ginige of the University College, Colombo and another Old Sokian Dr. George Thambipillai who was an eminent Geographer, and a teacher of Geography. But having chosen a different and less rewarding, but a challenging and riskier profession he took to a career in the Police service as an Assistant Superintendent of Police in 1972.

True to the College Watch Word 'Vidya Dadathi Vinayam (Knowledge imparts Discipline) after an unblemished record as a professional Police Officer, he has now reached the highest position in the Police service, like another Old Sokian, genial Mr. Osmond de Silva, son of the founder principal of Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda, Mudliyar Thomas de Silva, however unlike Mr. Osmond de Silva who migrated to a Colombo College, after a brief stay at Dharmasoka, Indra de Silva has had his entire primary and secondary education at Dharmasoka College.

Among the gathering of past students there were those who had left school three or four decades ago and who themselves had reached high positions in their chosen careers.

There were apart from Indra de Silva's contemporaries at school a representative group of younger past students.

Mention must be made of what Indra de Silva said in his brief speech thanking the hosts, his fellow members, who were invited to join him in his mission to realize his vision for the police service of this country. He was absolutely right when he mentioned that the police force in any democratic country must be an instrument of the people, an instrument that the people can trust as reliable and is there to be used in the service of the people.

The mission was to win the trust and confidence of the people, and to harness the essential inherent goodness of the people, who have had a long tradition living and working together in harmony within their own communities helping and supporting each other in spite of the induced fissiparous tendencies of the post-colonial Era.

At the end of a very pleasant evening when old acquaintances were renewed and new ones were forged, it was heard among those gathered that excellent as the Vision of their fellow Sokian was, whether within a hierarchical system, and not very tolerant of change, he will have the security of tenure at least to explain his vision to his colleagues in the force let alone to the fellow country men. (Visionaries usually have a hearing only once they are crucified).

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