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Use of Military Police for police services is illegal: UNP

ECONOMYNEXT- The use of Military Police to perform regular police duties is illegal, an Opposition Parliamentarian said.

At a media briefing held this morning, the UNP’s Ajith P Perera said  that the military police do not have the capability or legal right to take action against the traffic offences or make arrests under the Police Ordinance.

Since Monday, Military Policemen have been deployed throughout the Greater Colombo area during peak traffic times and were seen directing vehicles.

Perera added even though both Police and Military Police have the common title Police in them they are completely different as military police do not have power over civilians but only power over the officers who come under the Sri Lanka Army Act.

“If President Gotabaya Rajapaksa wants to use military police to perform regular police services then he should do so after amending the Police Ordinance or the Army Act without arbitrarily giving powers to those who don’t have powers and undermining the rule of the law,” he said.

The MP also said that some might be happy with involving military in civilian matters, “but remember police has received training with regard to handling civilian matters, police have received training with regard to controlling traffic.” (Colombo/Feb25/2020)

-Imesh Ranasinghe

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