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A couple of weeks back I wrote about the pernicious impact of our current electoral system on female representation in political bodies. The last week has convinced me more than ever that this system is the root of many of the evils that beset us, and that inhibit good governance.

An obvious example of this was an article that referred to political interference with the police, which obviously also contributes to abuses with regard to human rights. At the same time I should note that I have been very pleasantly impressed in recent months, in my frequent visits to the North to meet with Grama Niladharis and other local representatives at Divisional Secretariat level, by the generally positive impressions of the police. This was not the case a couple of years back but, particularly after the instruction issued recently by the IGP that there should be one or two policemen attached to every Grama Sevaka Division, levels of consultation and collaboration seem to have improved. By and large there seems to be much greater confidence than previously, and if there were more concerted efforts to ensure that at least half the policemen in the North spoke Tamil, I suspect we would have very few social or civil problems in the area that could not be readily resolved.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

September 2012
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