President Maithripala Sirisena said that under his rule he would ensure that Security Forces personnel will never be used as political pawns. The President addressing a large gathering of Civil Security Department (CSD) personnel assured that he would never allow them to be used for political propaganda in the future. The President made this assurance at an event held at Medirigiriya, Polonnaruwa to mark the nearly 40,000 CSD personnel being absorbed to the permanent government service.
While accusing his main opponent at the last Presidential election of deployment of CSD personnel for his polls campaign, President Sirisena said that 15,000 CSD personnel had been forcibly taken to attend his opponent's inaugural polls campaign meeting held at Anuradhapura.
Making CSD members (who earlier worked for a daily wage), permanent members of the government service with pension and other privileges enjoyed by state sector workers, was a pledge made by President Maithripala Sirisena in his election manifesto.
The President said the CSD personnel were now permanent employees of the government service and thus it was illegal for anyone to use them for political propaganda in future. He said the CSD in addition to their role in supporting security, development and education related activities will also play a major role in combating illicit drugs, alcohol and the government efforts to bring lasting reconciliation among the various communities.
"The CSD in this endeavour will work in close collaboration with the Tri-Forces and the Police," he added.
The President also assured that his government is always committed to providing the necessary assistance and social welfare measures to the Tri-Forces, the Police and the CSD who paved the way for the re- establishing of peace and freedom by defeating the scourge of terrorism.
The CSD which was initiated as the Home Guard service was initially set up to provide security for border villages which lay in the immediate outskirts of terrorist controlled areas. The National Home Guard Service was established as a Voluntary Service in the mid 1980's to protect the border/ threatened villages. They were issued with 12 bore shot guns and brown colour uniforms.No allowances were paid, but some rations were issued through co-operative outlets. Subsequently, they were paid a daily allowance and placed under the Police Department.
The President in line with his election pledge submitted a Cabinet memorandum to bring the CSD under permanent government service on March 172015. It was approve on April 23.
The Government Services Commission under the instruction of the Ministry of Defence absorbed nearly 40,000 CDS cadres as permanent government employees on May 5.
CDS Director General Chandraratne Pallegama and North Central Province Chief Minister Peshala Jayaratne also addressed the gathering.