The Portuguese who controlled certain areas of the maritime provinces of Sri Lanka did not effect any serious changes to the existing system of civil administration of the Country. The Dutch, who arrived in Sri Lanka in 1602, were able to bring the Maritime Provinces and the Jaffna Peninsula under their rule by 1658.
The concept of policing in Sri Lanka started with the Dutch who saddled the Military with the responsibility of policing the City of Colombo. In the year 1659 the Colombo Municipal Council adopted a resolution to appoint paid guards to protect the city by night. Accordingly, four fat and slow soldiers were appointed to patrol the city by night. Hence they could be considered as the fore-runners of the police in the country. It was the Dutch who established the earliest police stations. Three Police Stations were initially opened: one at the northern entrance to the Fort, second at the cause- way connecting Fort and Pettah and a third at Kayman’s Gate in the Pettah. In addition to these the “Maduwa” or the office of Disawa of Colombo, who was a Dutch official at Hulftsdorp, also served as a Police Station for these suburbs.