Sri Lanka Civil Security Force
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|Civil Security Department|
|Active||January 1, 1986 - Present|
|Part of||Ministry of Defence|
|Motto(s)||Protect the Nation with Self-Sacrifice|
|Engagements||Sri Lankan Civil War, Sri Lankan Humanitarian Operation Against LTTE|
The Sri Lanka Civil Security Force (also known as the Civil Defence Force, originally the National Home Guard Service) is a paramilitary force which is tasked as an auxiliary to the Sri Lanka Police. It is directed by the Civil Security Department.
The activities relating to the Home Guard Service were established under the Mobilization of Supplementary Force Act No. 40 of 1985. The local home guards came under the command of the local police. They are all volunteers deployed in their home towns and villages, to protect the civilian population from attacks by the LTTE. With the establishment of Civil Security Department, the Home Guards were re-designated as the Civil Security Force and came under the purview of the Ministry of Defence. The force is distinct from the Sri Lanka National Guard, which is a volunteer reserve regiment of the Sri Lanka Army.
The current Director General of the Civil Security Department is Mr Chandrarathne Pallegama (BSc, PGD, MAAT, MA).
The functions to be performed by Home Guards are listed below:
- To serve as Auxiliary to the Police and generally help in maintaining internal security.
- To serve in static defensive duties such as man check points, guard low priority buildings, installations, guard villages etc.
- To function as an Emergency Force intended for special tasks directly or indirectly connected with the defence of the country.
- To help the community in any kind of Emergency—such as any natural Calamity.
- Providing security to centers of economic importance.
- Protecting main supply routes
History and establishment
Following the start of Sri Lankan civil war many villages were attacked by LTTE which resulted in the deaths of many civilians. Due to these attacks the villagers began to organize themselves to protect themselves. The original Home Guards were local volunteers, who were initially armed with shotguns by the government to protect themselves. National Home Guard Service was established as a Voluntary Service in the mid 1980s to protect the border/ threatened villages. They were issued with 12 bore shot guns and brown coloured 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. Training was carried out at Kumbuka camp, Horana
In 1986 the Home Guard Service was created by the then Minister of National Security the late Hon. Lalith Athulathmudali with a strength of about 5000 personnel. They were issued uniforms and weapons (mostly shotguns) and were under the command of the local Sri Lankan Police units. In 1988 female guardswomen were joined to the force. Since 1993 they have been issued with automatic rifles. In April 2006 the Home Guard was renamed as the Civil Defence Force followed by the establishment of the Department of Civil Security on 1 January 2007. Since its consumption its members have been deployed outside their home villages to maintain public security even in Colombo.
His Excellency the President Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse by gazette notification No. 1462/20 dated 13 September 2006, re-structured the whole Home Guard Service and established the Civil Security Department. Numbers employed increased to 41,500 and one-month military training was introduced. Further, two types of uniforms similar to military uniforms were issued. A reasonable salary was paid for the employees.
Functions of the Civil Security Department as per Gazette notification No 1462/20 dated 13 September 2006 are as follows:
- Taking actions as a Supplementary Force for aiding and assisting Armed Forces and Police Service, as per the case of the existing security situation within the country.
- Taking action to safeguard the villages, properties and cities where terrorist threats are present.
- Assisting the Police and Armed Forces for the function of protecting Law and Order within the country.
- Engaging with the Security on instances of National Events and any other important occasions.
- Assisting to the activities of mitigating various disasters (such as floods, landslides and Tsunami) occurred within the country.
- Assisting with Social Welfare activities.
- Engaging with special functions ordered by the President, Minister (in charge of the subject) or the Government.
- Establishment of Civil Security Department Headquarters
At present the CSD personnel continue to uplift the livelihood of the communities of respective villages through undertaking many projects in spheres of agriculture, archaeology, culture, spiritual, social welfare development, animal husbandry, sport development, construction and brick production projects.
The Director Generals who have served before are Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekare (MA, MPhil) and Rear Admiral Ananda Peiris (RSP, VSV, USP, NDC, PSC, DISS). Approximately 75 officers from the Armed Services and Police were attached for better administration. The current third Director General of the Civil Security Department is Mr Chandrarathne Pallegama (BSc, PGD, MAAT, MA), an administrator from the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS).
Over 39,800 serve in all districts and provinces, but are mostly deployed in villages affected by attacks from the LTTE, in the Northern and the Eastern provinces. They are also deployed in major cities and towns to assist the police in maintaining public security.
- District Officer
- Sub Warden
- Home Guard
Training is provided in two stages. Basic training is provided by the Sri Lankan Army at various army training centres, usually for 2–4 weeks. Additional training is carried out from time to time by mobile training units in the areas where units are deployed.
- "President not to allow Sri Lanka Civil Security Force members to be used for political activities". news.lk. Department of Government Information. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
- "Secretary Defence Declares Open New Civil Defence Force Facility". Sri Lanka Army. 19 July 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
- Official website of the Civil Security Department
- Official website of the Ministry of Defence
- Official Army website
- Homeguard page
- The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva