SL Police go beyond their call of duty to fight Covid-19 | Sunday Observer

SL Police go beyond their call of duty to fight Covid-19

As the Covid 19 virus grips Sri Lanka, the country’s essential services have stepped up to fight in the frontlines against the pandemic. Among these is the Sri Lanka Police which has put its untiring efforts to curb the disease and its spread in the country. Nearly 55 000 Police Officers have been deployed islandwide to maintain law and order as the country faces one of the toughest challenges in recent times. But the nature of the pandemic has demanded the Police to go over and beyond its duties and the traditional role of policing.

According to Police spokesman SP Jaliya Senaratne, the Police considers the welfare of the public as its foremost priority at this crucial juncture. As a result since March 20 when an islandwide curfew was first declared the Police have been carrying out their duties under difficult circumstances. All leave and rest holidays have been cancelled for the 58,000 strong force due to the situation. Maintaining order during curfew has been one of the main duties as well as obstacles faced by the Police.

But since the beginning of the lockdown, various Police divisions and Police stations also took up more humanitarian efforts. Police Officers distributing food to street dwellers and those in difficult circumstances due to the lockdown is now a common sight. Some Police stations distributed dry rations to the needy in their respective areas while they also joined hands with Municipal Councils to organize the sale of rations for those who are able to purchase the provisions. Despite their many responsibilities the Police in areas such as Colombo, Kandy, and Ratnapura did not forget to feed the starving street animals either.

Understanding that long term confinement in housing schemes can be distressing the Police band also visited these areas in Maradana, Dematagoda, Borella among others to not only create awareness about Covid 19 but also entertain and lift their spirits with music, a move which earned the commendation of the general public widely on social media. They have also been actively involved in disinfecting public spaces. Last week, street dwellers in Colombo were provided meals, disinfected, and moved to safer locations by the Police.

Amidst all the duties relating to combatting Covid 19, the Police have also had to grapple with the increasing production of illicit liquor and other criminal activities during the time. There were also reports of Police Officers in several police stations being put into self-isolation after being exposed to the risk of contracting Covid 19 in the line of duty. But according to DIG Ajith Rohana despite the difficulties and struggles the Sri Lanka Police will carry out its duties till Covid 19 is eradicated from the country.