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The Serjeant-at-Arms is responsible for the overall security of the Parliamentary Estate and for ensuring that it is free from the risk of violence, accident, fire etc. He is assisted in his task by the Parliament Police division consisting of 235 officers.
The Sergeant-at-Arms also organizes explosive detection and fire fighting workshops and drills for the staff, from time to time in consultation with the relevant authorities.
Admission of Visitors
Admission of visitors to the Precincts of Parliament is controlled by the Serjeant-at-Arms. Visitors undergo security screening prior to entering and they must agree to abide by certain rules while in the galleries. Distinguished visitors are admitted to the Speakers Gallery and they are subjected to minimum security checks. The Public Officers have a special Box adjoining the Chamber where they are able to follow the proceedings of the House and assist the respective Ministers when necessary.
Members of the Media are accommodated in the gallery behind the seat of the Speaker. They are issued passes if they carry recommendations from the Director of the Department of Government Information.
Apart from these categories a large number of people, particularly school children, come to witness Parliament when it is in session as well as on non-session days.
Allocation of Accommodation
The Serjeant-at-Arms is responsible for the allocation of office rooms, committee rooms, interview rooms, facilities and their administration. If any Member wishes to have a committee room or an interview room, such a facility could be obtained from the Serjeant-at-Arms.
Supervision of Galleries
It is the duty of the Serjeant-at-Arms to ensure that persons entering the galleries are issued with passes, are properly dressed and conduct themselves with dignity. He should ensure that visitors refrain from disturbing proceedings and causing obstruction to the Members. He should also ensure that visitors do not loiter in unauthorized areas within the Parliamentary premises.
The Serjeant-at-Arms is a Member of the Association of Serjeants-at-Arms in the Commonwealth Parliaments and attends its sessions regularly in order to familiarize himself with modern developments in the management of Parliaments.
||M. Ismail, MBE
||1947 - 1961
||A. J. R. De Silva
||1961 - 1970
||1970 - 1996
||1996 - 2006
||Anil P. Samarasekara
||2006 - to date
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