The Sunday Leader

DIG Sisira Mendis — An Officer And A Gentleman

The retirement of Sisira Mendis recently from the Police Department, after a brilliant career of 36 years left a void which will be felt by his colleagues both in the Police and all others who had the privilege of knowing this unique police officer.
I recall the day I met him for the first time just before his marriage when my son’s band had the privilege of performing at his wedding and since then Sisira has been a close family friend. His charming wife Shamalee was my contemporary once and our friendship thus became stronger. Sisira by sheer grit and hard work rose to the position of Deputy Inspector General of Police in quick succession and held several important positions until retirement both in Colombo as Director, CID and Head of the Narcotic Bureau and subsequently as DIG Vavuniya during the height of the war against the terrorists.
He was a dedicated public servant who gave his best to the concepts of loyalty and integrity. Sisira  was indeed an officer and a gentleman par excellence who was an epitome of class and finesse and was ever unassuming and unpretentious. I do remember with gratitude how Sisira made all arrangements within minutes when my wife was desperately trying to obtain my blood group when I suffered a heart attack a few years ago and was critically ill.
He was a unique professional and a symbol of honesty and integrity and believed in professional ethics. Sisira never compromised his position to obtain favours as a police officer. He was always forthright in all his dealings and wore the mantle of  the coveted office with dignity, decorum and elegance.
He was loved by his superiors and subordinates alike and was held in high esteem.
At a time when mother Lanka needs people of the calibre of Sisira, his absence from the Police service will be felt by the law abiding citizens of this country and others who had the privilege of knowing him as a Police officer with rare qualities who always held the scales evenly irrespective of any political leanings.
F.R. Tony Silva

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