Public security minister Tiran Alles has stressed the need for commitment by the entire police force to eradicate drugs and the underworld.

Giving into the money of criminals will be a sin that could visit your children, he said and told mainly the OICs and seniors upward to immediately stop receiving gratifications from drug traffickers.

Addressing a seminar for OICs on January 23, he said,




“I would like to first and foremost commend all Police officers who have received fresh appointments as OICs. Also, at the outset I would like to extend my gratitude to General Suresh Salley for joining us and then sharing with us data that he has gathered. What prompted us to organise a meeting like this was our intention to share data that all of you have with those present here and then the new OICs, ASPs being apprised of it and then spreading it across to the Provinces via their colleagues.

Hence, I entreat you to take back something meaningful from a gathering like this and then to utilize that information to better your output and serve the public even more expeditiously.

I say this because I spotted a few officers upon my arrival here who were taking forty winks. I also have identified who they are. Please understand that we incur money to hold meetings of this scale for your own benefit and to help you to improve your service.




"Restore respect for the Police"


I think a short while ago the IGP explained in detail what sort of performance is expected from those attached to the Police Department. You are aware as to the trying circumstances under which I assumed this Cabinet portfolio. What the country went through in the wake of the 9 May anti-Government riots is only too fresh in your memory and it has only been eight months since I took over this particular Ministry.


During this past period one of my main concerns was how to revive the Police Department from the sorry depths to which it had plunged. That was my main priority. Before I took over this post I saw on TV the vicious attacks directed at the Police Department both physical and verbal. They were treated in a most shabby manner and it was truly indescribable. At the time the Police Department had lost its self-respect. But, I am glad to say that due to the bold decisions taken by both the President and me we were able to regain the self-respect that was lost by the Police Department.


"Increase benefits"


That was what we did initially. But, by and by, I realized that if we intend to get the best out of the Police then we ought to look into problems they too encounter and resolve them gradually while uplifting their work environment. Later, the IGP held talks with me in this regard. One of the pressing issues they had faced since 2019 had been the food benefit. The Police Department had not been able to resolve it but we managed to increase the batta (allowance) from 14 to 21 days.


Relief fund for legal support


Another pressing issue was Police officers tangling in legal cases having gone to Courts for certain cases. When some officers get lawsuits filed against them they had been forced to incur their personal money to stand trial. I recall some officers had even told me that they had been compelled to sell their own house to fight certain cases.

We later held talks and decided to commence a legal relief fund to provide support to officers who get enmeshed in legal cases. The Government has already allocated Rs 100 million towards this fund. If I am not mistaken it was begun by the IGP with the money being channelled back to the State. These are only some of the things that we had done during this past eight -month period.


Degree programme


Also, I think it had been discussed for years with regard to providing access for the Police to obtain Degrees.

The IGP and Mr. Medawatta had looked into this aspect in detail. And in the end we managed to address that successfully having reached an agreement with Sri Jayewardenepura University.


500 Jeeps


T 255

Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay symbolically handing over the jeeps to Public Security Minister Tiran Alles.


After that, the Police Department had a nagging issue concerning vehicles. In fact, it had been going on for the past five years. We somehow managed to obtain 500 jeeps for the Department and the first 100 has already arrived. Another vexed issue for the Police Department was bulk promotions.

It had been dragging on for some time, and 9,400 promotions had been held up. Even the IGP was quite keen to grant promotions to deserving junior officers after they had been overlooked for years and decades. I also managed to get Cabinet approval for bulk promotions and then I can remember having rung the IGP to convey that the issue had been settled. I recall the appreciation the IGP gave regarding the solving of the issue and that alone gave an indication to me as to how strongly even the IGP had strived to grant promotions to his qualified and deserving junior officers.


Appointment of OICs


The next problem we faced was the appointment of OICs. I think I do not need to enlighten you with regard to this topic because you all are aware as to how these officers were appointed to these posts to date. You also know as to how these OICs came to be transferred. But, this time around we managed to overhaul the previous system of appointing OICs. They were selected via interviews and given a 14-day period to lodge appeals and after taking 64 of these appeals, the list was made. But, some of those who had been close to me fell out with me as I had not appointed their close pals as OICs.

But, I did not budge and maintained that this process should be carried out in a transparent manner. Hence, the new OICs will know as to how they came to assume their posts. We did all of this somehow or the other. But, some disgruntled officers spread a canard saying that certain OICs had been appointed in an underhand manner. However, no charges were directed against me. But, still a rumour did the rounds. However, I would like to mention here today that if any officer had offered even a packet of biscuits to become an OIC then it should be brought to my notice.

You have my telephone number and you can inform me. If you do not follow this advice then I would like to tell you that you will not be able to perform your duty in an unbiased or impartial manner. Therefore, I urge you once again to bring such instances to my notice promptly 24/7.

Furthermore, I must also thank the contribution made by the President in all these endeavours during this time. If not for his input and support I do not think either I or the IGP would have been able to revive the Police Department to its present status in the aftermath of last year’s 9 May carnage in this country.


I have to say this boldly that if the President had not stood by me since I took over this Ministry, I do not think for a moment that any of the things that I had implemented on behalf of Police officers would have ever been possible. Especially, where allowances and the legal relief fund are concerned. We launched them at a time when even 5 cents could not be obtained from the Ministry of Public Security. Now I would like to remind you that as we have done our part on your behalf, we expect something tangible in return from you.


"Don't maintain links with drug dealers"


Two of the burning issues in our Provinces are the rapid spread of illegal or dangerous drugs and the ugly head raised by the underworld. We need to formulate plans to overcome the spread of dangerous drugs and it should be a 24/7 exercise. I am determined to end the menace of illegal drugs here and I expect you to back me in my endeavours to that effect sans fear or favour. If we do not put an end to it now, our future generation will be at the crossroads and they will curse us even after we are no more.

I am not afraid to call a spade a spade or even take the bull by the horns. I am only too aware that certain Police officers are also involved in these big time vices. We know the action we were forced to take against certain officers who were involved in such rackets.


Therefore, as a first step in this exercise I implore you not to maintain links with those engaged in trafficking of illegal drugs, if not, you will not be able to end this scourge as you too are a part of it. I know it for a fact that certain officers who are involved in these rackets tend to send meat, fish and vegetables to houses of certain OICs. You need to end that sordid culture via your own initiative.


Therefore, I would like to advise you, especially the newly appointed OICs, that if someone sends you a hamper, look into the sender’s name. Do not accept gifts of that nature and if you do so it will not augur well either for your own personal growth or even that of your Department.


"Finish the underworld for good"


The other concern is the raging internecine warfare of gangsters of the local underworld. The spread of illegal drugs no doubt has exacerbated the issue.

The underworld activities are taking place quite prominently in the Western and Southern Provinces. We are discussing this matter round-the-clock and we seek your support to finish the underworld for good. Even the President has instructed me to end the underworld either by hook or by crook. Therefore, I request your backing towards this endeavour as well. I would like to call upon around 600-odd OICs countrywide along with the DIGs to join hands and effectively dismantle the local underworld and get rid of illegal drugs and demolish that network and this should be your number one target from today.

If we do not tackle this issue head on, it will be futile for us to expect the crime rate to dwindle as crimes are only part of the culture of illegal drugs and the underworld. Also do not maintain any kind of contact with those engaged in trafficking of illegal drugs. If you do so it will be brought to my attention as I intend to obtain the services of intelligence units towards these tasks. I will be right behind you and do not underestimate me as this is not a joke anymore. Those who are not willing to toe our line then they need to seriously think twice whether they are in the right field or the right profession.


Do not strive to earn a living via illegal channels. Because, I firmly believe that if I am not doing something right then its consequences will be felt by my family and my children. If you truly treasure your family and your kids then refrain from resorting to such measures. What I mention here might only be connected to a few officers from the Police Department. But, the actions of a few could tarnish the image of the rest and therefore I instruct you not to transgress while on duty. I have even mentioned this to the IGP.


If the OICs work in a transparent and unbiased manner it will filter through to the lower ranks as well and that is how this system works. If the top brass transgress then the juniors too tend to follow in their footsteps and that is why the Police Department is beset with so many problems. I would like to advise the Senior Officers as well that they too need to be wary of their performance henceforth. Inspections have to be conducted expeditiously from here onwards. If complaints are brought to my notice I will be taking stringent action and do not come to me in future and cry like babies.

I will be checking all inspections to the very dot. The impression the people have of the Police Department is not impressive. We need to work diligently to change that impression. All will need to work as a team rather than trying to cut one another. The public will only give their respect to the Department based on the conduct of its officers 24/7. Therefore, I once again advise you to consider what I have put forth today and also would like to remind you that any officer could contact me without any hitch as my phone is available at your beck and call. You can either call me, the IGP, Senior Officers and DIGs. By 30 July, I intend to evaluate the work performance of all newly appointed OICs.

There are six more months for it and I will be analysing the work of all Police Stations. During this process if I receive any negative report from any station I will not hesitate to show the door to such OICs and HQIs. I do not intend to talk further as I feel I have uttered what I need to state today. One other point I would like to highlight before I forget is subversive activities. I think Mr. Suresh Salley enlightened it lucidly to you all. Try to bear in mind all of these things. You need to be aware of all activities taking place in your area or in your Division. If you are on the ball, then you must deploy your Junior Officers to tackle pressing issues in your Province, area and Division. I will not accept excuses no matter how pertinent they may be or not.”


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