Police officers attached to Colombo city limits expressed their dissatisfaction over Colombo Mayor’s decision to allow pavement hawkers to conduct their businesses on certain streets in Pettah.
Police officers who wish to remain anonymous told the Daily Mirror that this decision would lead to violation of several statutory laws of the country including the Penal Code, the Police Ordinance and the National Thoroughfares Act.
Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil had told that he had given permission for the vendors only along the by-roads of First Cross Street, Second Cross Street and Third Cross Street in Pettah to carry out their businesses and their stalls would be given an identification card to operate.
An OIC attached to a key police station in Colombo stated that this situation would allow politically motivated gang members to operate back in the Colombo city. He stated that police have found that there were several instances that drugs and pornographic materials were being sold under the guise of pavement hawkers. He stated that if this situation continues it might lead to rapid theft and other offences in the Colombo city after victimising the locals and foreigners who visiting the Colombo C ity.
“Under Section 63 (f and k) of the Police Ordinance, the police officers are empowered to exercise their duties to prevent obstructions and nuisances on roads. It is the prime responsibility of the politicians to adhere with laws and make necessary arrangements to provide sophisticated places to the vendors,” a Police Inspector who wants to remain anonymous said.
A Police Constable assigned to undercover duties told that it was apparent that villagers visiting Colombo City are especially vulnerable to being victimized by wicked vendors.(Lakmal Sooriyagoda)