Ex-Royal athlete Roshan Fernando in new combative mission | Sunday Observer

Ex-Royal athlete Roshan Fernando in new combative mission

Senior Deputy Inspector General Roshan Fernando
Senior Deputy Inspector General Roshan Fernando

Former Royal College athletic captain and public schools meet record holder, Senior Deputy Inspector General Roshan Fernando has been appointed by the National Police Commission (NPC) as the new Senior DIG of the Southern and Sabaragamuwa Provinces and assumed duties yesterday.

Having successfully completed a two-year period as Senior DIG of the Northern Province and was instrumental in further restoring peace in the area after dealing with the notorious Awa group. He won the hearts and minds of the people in the North for his untiring efforts taken to strengthen ethnic harmony among all communities.

Senior DIG Fernando has an impressive 37-year career as one of the senior most officers in law enforcement. Apart from his brilliant career as a senior Police officer, he has been a versatile sportsman, accounting for many athletic records during his school career at Royal College, Colombo.

Beside his record breaking career in track and field, Fernando represented Royal in four other sports - cricket, rugby, volleyball and boxing. Captaining Royal’s champion athletic team in 1979, he guided the Reid Avenue school to emerge champions in all three major schools championships held in that year - Junior John Tarbat meet, Senior John Tarbat meet and Relay Carnival.

Royal set a new record of 249 points to win the title with a convincing margin to win the Senior John Tarbat Championship under his dynamic leadership. Beside Royal colours in athletics, Fernando was awarded Public Schools colours in athletics for his outstanding feats that included anchoring Royal to two Public Schools records in 4x100m Relay and Medley Relay in the Under-19 age group.

His brilliant school career at Royal was also glorified as a Senior College Prefect and Head Prefect of the Royal College Hostel, at which he was better known as ‘ERL’ after his initials. At the 1980 annual prize giving of Royal he was bestowed with the Best All Round Hosteller Award.

Senior DIG Fernando had his primary education at St. Mary’s College, Negombo before he joined Royal. His Under-11 long jump record in athletics at St. Mary’s College, Negombo still remains unbroken for 46 years. As an Under-16 athlete at Royal, Fernando had accounted for five records, including the long jump record which still remains intact after 41 long years.

After an illustrious school career as an outstanding sportsman, young Fernando joined the Police in April 1982 as a sub inspector. Since then, he served the Police Department in various ranks in all parts of the country.

A pioneer founder member of elite Special Task Force (STF) in 1984, Senior DIG Fernando has made a worthy contribution during the nation’s battle against terrorism.

He was promoted as ASP in 1994. During his 37-year exemplary career, Senior DIG Fernando has also served as the Commandant of Police Marine Division and Director of Thambuttegama and Pahalagama Police Training Schools. Countering three decades of terrorism, he mostly served in operational areas and was in-charge of the Jaffna Division at the time the country was liberated in 2009.

For his fearless leadership on the battlefield, Fernando was also awarded the Northern Humanitarian Operations Medal and was promoted to the rank of SSP in 2005 and as a DIG in 2013. Prior to his promotion as Senior DIG, he was in charge of the Police Special Protection Range. His outstanding contribution to the Police Department has been especially commended on seven occasions by successive IGPs. He was also awarded the Excellency Award in 2007.

He is one of the few highly trained officers in the Police with special training in Israel, Japan, Singapore, Nepal and Iran on anti-terrorist combating, community policing and cyber crimes.