Feudal Forces : Reform Delayed
Moving from Force to Service in South Asian Policing
The horrific state of police governance in South Asia has been a pressing concern for decades. Deeply entrenched into the nations composition, the echoes of their former colonial dominance are apparent to date. In 2008, CHRI had published a report – Feudal Forces: Reform Delayed – Moving Force to Service in South Asian Policing. It provided a detailed account on the pace and state of police reform in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
In 2010, a follow-up report was published, which addressed similar issues, but went further to assess the progress and offer recommendations from hereon. It also encompasses an analysis of the Maldivian Police Service, which was formed in 2004, and is still in its nascent stage. The transition towards democratic policing has been a tedious one; whilst some nations have seen progress on this front, countries like India and Pakistan seem to be further diluting the concept of democratic rule.
Due to an internal dichotomy in the case of Pakistan, or the increased war on terror in India – reforms are only presenting themselves in more repressive formats. By enacting new legislation and amending laws to provide the police with more arms, impunity and less accountability, these nations are further suppressing the rights of citizens. Conversely, Bangladesh elected a new democratic government in 2008 and Sri Lanka saw its long-awaited victory against the LTTE. Maldives, which has a nascent police force, witnessed the defeat of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who governed for over 3 decades. Fulfilling the objective of both spreading awareness and catalyzing accountability-centered reform, the report and work of CHRI strives to strengthen regional networks work in this faction.
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