The post of IGP has remained vacant since 26 June, 2023, when IGP C.D. Wickremeratne retired, having completed a three-month extension granted by President Ranil Wickremesinghe with the approval of the Constitution Council.
The Public Security Ministry yesterday (03) said that a decision hadn’t been taken so far to fill the vacancy.The three most senior officers now serving the Police Department are Senior DIG (Administration) Nilantha Jayawardena, Senior DIG (Central Province) L.S. Pathinayake and Senior DIG (Western Province) Deshabandu Tennakoon. The No. 02 in the Police Department always holds the post of SDIG Administration.
Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has requested President Wickremesinghe not to consider Senior DIGs Jayawardena and Tennakoon for the top post due to their failure to prevent the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks. The Cardinal has also found fault with Tennakoon for bungling an investigation into the recovery of a hand grenade inside the All Saints Church in Borella.
The other senior DIGs, according to the seniority list, are W.L.A.S. Priyantha (SDIG/Crimes and Traffic), P.P.S.M. Dharmaratne (SDIG/Sabaragamuwa) who acts as SDIG/Uva, S.C. Medawatte (SDIG/South), W.K. Jayalath (SDIG/North Western), R.L. Kodituwakku (SDIG/Support Services), M. D. R.S. Daminda (SDIG/North Central), who also acts as SDIG East, K.A. Rohana (SDIG/Police Headquarters), L. K.W.K. Silva (SDIG/Medical Services, Welfare and Field
Force Headquarters) and K.P.M. Gunaratne (SDIG/North).Of the three senior most officers, two, namely Nilantha Jayawardena and Deshabandu Tennakoon, have been named by the five-member Presidential Commission of Inquiry (P CoI) that investigated the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks. P CoI, in their final report to the Attorney General to consider criminal proceedings under any suitable provision in the Penal Code against SDIG Jayawardena, who had served as Director State Intelligence Service (SIS) at the time of the Easter bombings.
P CoI has recommended a disciplinary inquiry against SDIG Tennakoon. Tennakoon is also in the centre of legal actions and counter actions pertaining to the 09 May, 2022, violence and related incidents in the run-up to the then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s ouster, two months later.
The Bar Association, in a letter addressed to President Ranil Wickremesinghe, dated 17 March, 2022, requested that an officer facing fundamental rights or criminal cases or allegations of unlawful activity not be appointed as Wickramaratne’s successor.
Urging the urgent need to take tangible measures to restore public confidence in the police, the Bar Association has said: “The Sri Lanka Police has had a practice that the promotions of police officers who are named as suspects or accused in criminal matters or are respondents in Fundamental Rights applications, such as those relating to illegal arrests and torture, are withheld during the pendency of such applications. Similarly, promotions of officers who have a blemished record in the Sri Lanka Police are regularly withheld. The BASL is of the view that the same or higher standards must be adopted by the Executive in appointing the Inspector General of Police.
The BASL added that prior to the approval of the appointment of the IGP that the procedures to be followed in regard to recommendations or approvals for appointments under Article 41B or 41C should be determined by the Constitutional Council as provided for in Article 41E(6) of the Constitution. “The BASL is of the view that such procedures and processes should be in the form of rules relating to the performance and discharge of the duties and functions of the Council as provided for in Article 41G (3) of the Constitution.
The BASL also urged that the appointment of the IGP (and all other appointments to key offices) be done in a transparent manner so as to establish public confidence in the appointment and the department (SF)
Train services on coastal line delayed
The Railway Department has announced that train services on the coastal line will be delayed due a derailment between Kollupitiya and Colombo Fort this morning (27).
It also said that trains bound to Colombo will be given priority and requested South bound passengers to make use of alternate modes of transportation until the situation is rectified.
Chinese ship visit: Sabry contradicts Defence Ministry
India consulted, concerns raised by US
Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, PC, has denied that the government granted permission for Chinese research vessel Shi Yan 6 to visit the Colombo port late next month.
Sabry told the media in New York on Monday (26) that Colombo had not given permission for the Chinese vessel to dock. He said India’s security concerns were important for Sri Lanka.
The Defence Ministry on 27 August announced that approval for the Chinese ship to dock in Colombo had been granted
The media quoted Sabry as having said there was a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and the government consulted many friends including India.
“That’s a conversation going on for some period of time. India has expressed its concerns over a long time, but we have come out with the SOP. When we were making it, we consulted many of our friends, including India. So, as long as it complies with the SOP, we have no problem. But if it doesn’t comply with the SOP, we have a problem,” Ali Sabry told ANI.
“So, therefore, as far as I know, we have not given permission for the vessel to come to Sri Lanka during October. Negotiations are going on. Indian security concerns, which are legitimate, are very, very important to us. We have always said that because we want to keep our region a zone of peace,” said Ali Sabry.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe, too, has said that an SPO was worked out for foreign vessels.
The Chinese research vessel was expected in Sri Lanka in October to conduct research along with the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA).
US Under Secretary Victoria Nuland, during her meeting with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, had raised concerns regarding Shi Yan 6’s visit.
Taking to X, formerly Twitter, Victoria Nuland stated, “The US supports a strong and prosperous Sri Lanka. Our work together continues at #UNGA. I met with @MFA SriLanka Minister Ali Sabry to discuss U.S. economic assistance, human rights, and our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Sabry told Nuland that Sri Lanka had worked out the SOP to be followed by foreign ships and aircraft in carrying out any activity in Sri Lankan territory, according to a Daily Mirror report.
Last year, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, while commenting on Chinese vessel Yuan Wang-5 which had docked in Sri Lanka, said that any developments that have a bearing on India’s security are “obviously of an interest to us”.
“What happens in our neighbourhood, any developments which have a bearing on our security obviously are of an interest to us,” Mr. Jaishankar said at a joint press conference after the 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting.
India had expressed its security concerns over the docking of the vessel at the Sri Lankan port as it was shown as a research vessel with the capability of mapping the ocean bed, which is critical to anti-submarine operations of the Chinese Navy. The Chinese research ship had docked at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port.
Court bans Thileepan commemorations in Trinco
The Trincomalee Magistrate’s Court yesterday (26) prohibited the commemoration of LTTE cadre ‘Thileepan’ who died on 26 Sept., 1987, during a fast against the IPKF. The court order came as several events were scheduled to be held in Trincomalee yesterday.
The Trincomalee Court banned any sort of celebrations, demonstrations, parades or protests commemorating Thileepan in the Kulakottan Hall and the Gandhi Roundabout within the Trincomalee Harbour Police division, and within the Trincomalee police division.
The relevant order was issued against several activists, including
President of the Trincomalee District Tamil People’s Forum R. F. Jerome, Ramesh Nicholas, Suhirdha Priya, Krishna Pillai Sri Prasath, Kandaiyya Kandeepan alias ‘Pamaparasan’, Karthik Kalkiriyan and others.
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