Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament today the Government was hoping to increase the percentage of Tamils in the Security Forces, the Police Service and the Prison Service.
Responding to a question asked by EPDP leader Douglas Devananda, the Prime Minister said Sri Lanka's first Army Commander Anton Muthukumara was a Tamil. He said there were Tamil-speaking officers in Police Service, but the situation changed after 1978.
He said the LTTE started killing Tamil police officers and this hindered recruitment because it resulted in Tamils being discouraged from joining the service.
"Specially after 1983, recruitment of Tamils became much less. There were not enough educated Tamils to be recruited from the estate sector. Even those with educational qualifications joined other services," he said.
The Prime Minister said 216 personnel were recruited to the police service from the North and the East and this was only the beginning. Besides, he said 409 others were recruited as prison officers.
"Now we have must increase the percentage in the Security Forces, Police Service and the Prison Service,” he said. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)