By M Edwards
Ceylon Observer 18/05/1963

Submitted by Sdr. Geoffery Meedin

Halaldeen was the muscle man of the Police. He had mastered the art of wrestling and self defence having for sparring partners “Afgans” and the well known exponents of wrestling in his time.

It has been said that Halaldeen had lifted things off their feet with his bare hands and packed a nasty punch which had his opponents knocked out cold.
Promotions came to him rapidly and when he bowed out of the Force after 41 years of service he was Chief Inspector of Police.
In 1911 Rubin a Malay thug terrorized the mudalalis of Slave Island who paid him protection money through fear of danger to their lives and property.
Rubin carried a rope in the style of a rustler from the Wild West and he lassoed his victims who paid up before they got tossed up!
Halaldeen clashed with Rubin at the Rifle Green, when the thug was brazenly demanding kapan from a helpless boutique keeper.
Rubin was armed with a sword too, but that did not deter Halaldeen
the China-Footing expert who had his man pinned to the ground in a flash,before the fellow could realise what had stuck him he was
relieved of his sword and title of “Chandiya of Slave Island"
Single-handed. Halaldeen raided a gambling den using the element of surprise to trap his victims,
As his huge body stood framed in the doorway the man, at the point of shuffling the pack , froze to a standstill and his companions who followed his gaze crumpled up in a heap.
They were marched in single file to the Slave Island police station while the urchins gaped in dumb silence.
The thugs of Maradana once laid siege at the old Olympia Theatre. They came in large numbers and occupied even the arms of chairs.
The juggernaut of the force strode in and spotting a rather shady character comfortably parked in a reserved chair, he called for his ticket. “ No ticket” came the reply and Halaldeen went into action. Like ninepins the squatters went scattering in the free for all that ensued and Halaldeen’s own brother got hurt despite the fact that he was armed with a “ticket”.
It was good fun while it lasted and the great pioneer of cinema business was so pleased with the cleaning up operations of the Inspector that he presented him with his gold watch.
Late one night weary of a long spell of duty Halaldeen rested his massive body on a bench near the Public Hall and fell into a reverie, which was broken by a delicate perfume that tickled his nostrils.
Handsome Halaldeen turned Romeo, raised him to his feet hoping to see a ravishing beauty go by. But instead he saw a suspicious character, who turned out to be a midnight prowler who had cleaned the neighbourhood of silver, cutlery and of course perfume!
At Mihirigama he encountered a curious phenomenon, the walking arsenal. This was Helakanda Ralahamy who was a proud chief of a gang of robbers evading arrest. He had commandeered a house of a baker and installed himself with the man's pretty wife.
The Ralahamy habitually wore a palr of shorts under his sarong. ln the pockets were distributed death. A six-chambered revolver, a kris
knife, a clasp knife in his hip pocket and the loaded shotgun cradled in his arm, made him a walking arsenal.
He boldly visited fairs and helped himself to anything he fancied.
Halaideen and a cop went in search of the Ralahamy but their quarry was not at home, This woman already tormented by the man agreed to play ball with the police and Halaldeen and the cop waited in the next room for the walking arsenal to show up. At three in the morning when they had already given up hope, a dog barked at a distance heralding the approach of a stranger. A few minutes later the man strode into the house and leaving the shotgun against the wall sat at the table whilst the demure and attractive woman tendered to his needs.
He was eating away without any care in the world when Halaldeen stealthily moved behind him and tapped him rudely on the shoulder.
Ralahamy swiftly turned his head and when he saw the towering Inspector his courage and appetite vanished. His reign of terror had come to an end.
In a gambling raid Halaldeen accompanied ASP Henessy a plucky diminutive man. At the approach of the police party some of the gamblers fled and Henessy jumped on the back of a six footer, who continued to run with the puny ASP riding pick-a-back. Halaldeen had to fell the thug in saving his superior Officer from being kidnapped!
At Minuwangoda a gang nearly 100 strong led by a desperado of a depressed class carried on cock-fighting near a village fair. Armed men patrolled the area and was on the look out for the police which made it impossible to raid the place.
Halaldeen had an ingenious idea. He had six constables ride on a bullock cart in the fashion of Muslim ladies and the gamblers were surprised to see the constables spring out from what appeared to be a harmless bullock cart. Their leader surrendered with the prized cock birds.
At Paranawadiya, Pedro the thug had a way of stopping apron covered rickshaws in which purdah clad Muslim ladies travelled.
Pedro got the surprise of his life when he tore aside the apron of a rickshaw and Halaldeen’s boot connected with his jaw.
Halaldeen ‘The Lion of the Force’ whiles away his time at his country home in Hunupitiya. He remembers vividly his clashes with Mutwal Steven who collected Kappan from the fishermen of Colombo North.
Halaldeen’s deeds could form a book if only he could be made to talk.
The man who has collected nearly ten thousand rupees in rewards believes that ‘silence is golden’.
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