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Emergency Regulations and inconvenience to householders

by S. Thambyrajah

(January 01, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Confusion prevails in respect to complying with Section 23 of the Emergency Regulations. I am writing from my own experience as a chief occupant. Quite often the above form is personally handed by a police officer at the premises, with a request to fill same and keep it till it is collected by the police officer himself.

At the time of collecting same, the request for an acknowledgement is refused. Therefore for my own records, I make a photocopy of same for my file.

Quite happy with this arrangement, I was under the impression that the matter ended there. But that was until over a period of time the main water supply to a section of Inner Flower Road diminished. At present it is nil and bowser water is supplied regularly.

This involves the presence of one of the inmates to run up and down and assist in holding the hose etc. A government pensioner of advanced age and the only one at home during daytime, I am physically unable to cope with the prevailing situation. I therefore engaged an able bodied man from Nawalapitiya as a domestic aide.

He obtained the ‘Certificate of residence and character’ issued by the grama niladhari and is also in possession of a NIC. Then I produced him at the Kollupitiya Police Station for registration and was found fault with for not having registered all the occupants in the form.

I explained that I had already filled that form and was told that no forms had been given out by the Kollupitiya Police and was asked to fill another form. Then I set about complying with the requirements.

The procedure connected with the Householders’ List is very cumbersome. First the NICs of the inmates have to be surrendered at the police station. An acknowledgement is given on a photocopy of the NIC. The NIC is checked with the Department of Registration of Persons regarding its genuineness and then returned. Thereafter the names of all occupants have to be filled in the above form and two photocopies of the NIC of all persons, the original and photocopy of the grama niladhari’s certificate have to be given. The last phase, which is the most difficult one, is for all the inmates to be present at the same time before the OIC, when he is available.

The time taken and the tedious process is making the police-public relations bitter. But there is no justification in blaming the police or the householder. Both are under severe strain.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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