While emphasising that the rule of law cannot be preserved without the Police and an independent Judiciary, President Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed that the two institutions should be protected while moving forward.
The President also pointed out that the country’s democracy and the rule of law must be established in order to succeed in the country’s economic recovery programme.
He was addressing the ceremony held at the Bambalapitiya Police Field Force Headquarters on 3 September, on the occasion of Sri Lanka’s 156th Police Day.
The President was received at the ceremony with a Police Guard of Honour.
The President also presented the ‘Presidential Police Valour Medal’ for Officer Jayantha Gunawardena, who died while on duty and symbolically presented certificates of appreciation to 30 Police officers who were on parliamentary security duty.
The Police website and ‘E News’ newspaper were also launched and a sum of Rs 100 million, from the Police Reward Fund, was presented to the newly established ‘Legal Relief Fund’. The cheque was presented to the President by Inspector General of Police C.D. Wickramaratne.
A Police Western Band performance and a live kennel show added colour to the event.
Addressing the event President Wickremesinghe said that in order to protect the democracy of a country, the Constitution must be protected. He said that if the protesters occupied the Parliament, then, democracy in the country would end and the rule of law would also be violated.
The President pointed out that the Police protected the rule of law and the Constitution at that time and that he would take this opportunity to pay tribute to the entire Police Department.
He also said that despite the media accusing the Police of attacking their photographers, the friendship between the two groups were evident at this celebration.
Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles, Chief of Presidential Staff and Senior Advisor to the President on National Security Sagala Ratnayake, Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security S. Hettiarachchi and the officers of the International Police, representing many countries and senior officers of the Sri Lanka Police Department attended the event.