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Thursday, 2 February 2012

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SLASSPA - the invisible partner in nation building

The end of three and half decades of separatist violence and terror has paved the way for rapid economic development activity in Sri Lanka. After defeating a vicious enemy, the Security Forces and the Police are making a laudable contribution towards this national effort.

These heartening developments have brought in its wake a bigger role for private security agencies. They can no longer be perceived as organizations employing uniformed men and women to stand guard outside private and government establishments. As infrastructure broadens and more new ventures are born every day, they have become an integral part of nation building. Their primary task, no doubt, remains security. Added to it, they have to be geared to be the link between a law abiding society and the establishments they protect. For this, a collective approach among the private security establishments has become a high priority. This is where SLASSPA begins its journey.

Economic development

That primary objective is the foundation on which the Sri Lanka Security Service Providers Association (SLASSPA) has been established. The Association's current members numbering 116 companies, serve in some of the country's most recognized private and government sector ventures. An estimated strength of 52,850 who serve SLASSPA affiliated security companies are, therefore, men and women devoted to new ideals, a rigid discipline and well trained to meet the newer challenges posed by rapid economic development. These security cadres understand the security and safety needs of their clients and their properties. Though they put in their utmost to protect their clients' assets, this segment of the security trade is not recognized by the society in a 'Social status' perspective. However, they belong to the same human community in Sri Lanka.

The birth and development of SLASSPA has been possible only because of the fullest encouragement, support and co-operation extended by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. This support is indeed an acknowledgement by the Ministry that SLASSPA has a greater role to play in nation building.

The membership is ever grateful to its clientele without whom SLASSPA would not have been in existence. The journey is long and there is much to be done. SLASSPA is committed and confident of moving forward.

During the past seven years of its existence, SLASSPA has obliged to the directives of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development to improve the professional quality of the security cadres.

Collective support

Already, a Security Training Academy has been set up in Serupita, Kalutara by the Ministry of Defence and Periodic training courses are being conducted for security officers to be educated on various aspects of security. SLASSPA is also acting in the capacity of the co-ordinator in the implementation of the Defence Ministry directives by its members.

SLASSPA is committed to the well being and career development of its members. With this in mind, SLASSPA has chosen to introduce a code of ethics for their members. Also several Committees have already been established to handle Research and Development, Training opportunities for its members, Corporate Social Responsibilities and Public Relations etc. The aim of this is to uplift professionalism and quality of all stakeholders associated with the membership by providing a collective support network which would ultimately enhance the bargaining position of member organizations.

As at today, it is estimated that there are over a thousand security companies operating in the island. Surprisingly, less than 300 companies are registered with the Ministry of Defence, which is a mandatory requirement to provide any security related service to a client.

By not doing so, the other companies that do not comply with the Defence Ministry regulations, not only violate the law of the country but also encourage their clients to do so unintentionally. This has also paved the way for unscrupulous elements to exploit the trade, which has ultimately resulted in a situation where the day to day operatives who serve these organizations have become desperate without any hope for their future.

These operatives who are young at age seeking better prospects for their future can then become a social nuisance which has a direct impact on the security of commercial and industrial segment. SLASSPA expects the relevant authorities to be aware of this predicament and take appropriate remedial action.

SLASSPA extends an open invitation to all non member security organizations to join hands in their effort to improve the standard of the industry and to fulfill the expectations of all stakeholders, whilst giving a special emphasis to uplift the quality of life of all personnel who are engaged in the day to day operations of this significant trade.

Courtesy: SLASSPA

 

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