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Sri Lanka police chief stakes rise after AG appointment

By Our Political Correspondent

Feb 12, 2016 15:24 PM GMT+0530 | 7 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - President Maithripala Sirisena overlooking the senior most state legal officer in choosing the attorney general has fuelled speculation that the same criteria -- ability over seniority -- will decide the next police chief.

President Maithripala Sirisena had initially suggested three names -- Suhada Gamlath, Kapila Jayaratne and Jayantha Jayasuriya -- and wanted the Constitutional Council to pick a candidate.

However, the Council sent the names back to the President saying it would be a violation of the constitution if they choose a new Attorney General. The council only has powers to veto a nominee of the president.

President Sirisena then suggested Jayasuriya who is junior to Gamlath despite strong backing from several ruling party seniors, including Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapaksha.

A council member said they had no hesitation in ratifying Jayasuriya who was seen as an upright individual. Government spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne and several others had accused Gamlath of holding up high profile cases.

With the leadership struggle at the Attorney general's department out of the way, attention is now on the police department with Inspector General N. K. Illangakoon due to retire in April.

Under Illangakoon's watch the department was accused of violating international law when he tried to invoke the UN human rights charter as a defence in assaulting protesting university student in Colombo late last year.

Blatant cover ups such as the Thajudeen murder as a traffic accident was also under Illangakoon and the senior most officer to replace him was a key figure heading former president's security unit, Senior DIG S. M. Wickramasinghe.

At a time when several Presidential Security Division men have been implicated in the alleged Thajudeen murder that is still under investigation, appointing Wickramainghe could lead to a conflict of interest.

The Financial Crimes Investigations Department of the police have already begun probing the wealth accumulated by several body guards of the former president and a comprehensive investigation should inevitably include Wickramasinghe.

Seniors in the police speculate that there are at least two Senior Deputy Inspectors of General who may be in contention. (Colombo/Feb12/2016)


 

7 Comments

  1. DS February 16, 04:39 AM

    IGP Cyril Herath and not IGP Sirisena Herath as written in my previous post

  2. DS February 15, 08:51 AM

    This Ability over Seniority is not a new phenomena as implied by the EN political correspondent. In fact it had been practiced by successive leaders to their political advantage. Highly respected IGP Sirisena Herath sent in early retirement papers in silent protest over the promotion of Premadasa Udugampola as SSP by JR by overlooking many other eligible seniors.
    Well respected Justice Mark Fernando was the most senior Supreme Court Judge to be appointed as the CJ, but Chandrika decided Ability Counts over Seniority and instead appointed Sarath N Silva. Prior to this Mark Fernando had delivered judgements unfavorable to CBK govt. in power. Shirani Bandaranayake's premature appointment to the Supreme Court by CBK is another example of this phenomena. Both these 2 appointments had disastrous consequences. SHirani B. was disgracefully impeached and was forcibly removed from office.
    Sarath N Silva though he delivered some stunning and populist judgments escaped impeachment twice. The damage done to our legal system by these 2 Ability over Senority appointments are colossal. Then MR who learnt a bitter lesson by appointing SB as CJ on seniority grounds was once bitten twice shy. MR ignored Justices Shirani Thilakawardane and Sathya Hettige for the CJ position and instead made a mockery by appointing his legal advisor as CJ. Mohan Peiris too ended up being disgracefully removed from office by MS/RW unconstitutionally.
    Another classic example is Maj Gen. Janaka Perea who was denied Army Commandership because CBK practiced to the letter this Ability over Seniority criteria. Janaka Perera was known to be a UNPer. Maj Gen Sarath Fonseka almost became a victim of this criteria of CBK if not for the election of MR as President and Gotabhaya as Defense Secretary. CBK govt suspected SF to be a UNP sympathizer. Finally Justice Raja Wanasundera, was the senior most Supreme Court Judge to become CJ. He had earlier delivered some judgements which were unpalatable to JR.
    So this Ability over Seniority criteria was applied by JR and appointed Justice Parinda Ranasinghe instead. I must mention Parinda Ranasinghe was a well respected figure but the most senior Judge was overlooked for political reasons

  3. Chrissy Abeysekera February 13, 08:36 AM

    Your EN Correspondent has got one of the names of the contenders for the AG's post, wrong. It is Kapila Waidyaratne, not Jayaratne. Apart from that, let us not have wildly unrealistic expectations from this new appointment.

  4. Shani de Alwis February 13, 08:06 AM

    DS: don't give us this st about Suspects arrested for Terrorism are released whilst advice is given for the arrest of those who fought against Terrorism under Prevention of Terrorism Act. That is utter nonsense. Who is the biggest terrorist leader pampered by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The man who replaced terrorist Prabhakaran is Kumaran Pathmanathan. He was granted safe passage and treated as a VVIP and given security etc to run an NGO. Who did all that. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. And how that previous regime treat the real war hero Sarath Fonseka. he was thrown in jail for over two and a half years. Even the body guards who protected gen. Fonseka was marched onto Parson's road, opposite Cinnamon Lakeside, and ordered to kneel by the Rajapaksa regime. What a humiliation for war heroes. have you forgotten that episode DS or you have selective memory loss. s you should know very well it was Suhada Gamlath who removed Dilipa Peiris, the state attorney from the Eknaligoda case. He was reinstated only after a public outcry. Now who was trying to bail out Gotabhaya Rajapaksa? Indeed it was Suhada Gamlath who had been given many positions, inclduing special leave to work as a judge in Fiji and return to the AG's department without losing seniority. Is that fair by the others. Actually, the political correspondent has got it wrong. Gamlath is not the seniormost because his service was broken when he went to Fiji.

  5. Rohan Perera February 13, 07:53 AM

    Dear DS, as you should know very well it was Suhada Gamlath who removed Dilipa Peiris, the state attorney from the Eknaligoda case. He was reinstated only after a public outcry. Now who was trying to bail out Gotabhaya Rajapaksa? Indeed it was Suhada Gamlath who had been given many positions, inclduing special leave to work as a judge in Fiji and return to the AG's department without losing seniority. Is that fair by the others. Actually, the political correspondent has got it wrong. Gamlath is not the seniormost because his service was broken when he went to Fiji.

  6. Sharman Jayaratne February 12, 10:05 AM

    DS. Sorry, you got it wrong. It was dst Navaratne Banda who gave an opinion suggesting that Gota should be arrested in connection with the avant grade case. The new AG has not given an opinion, nor was he consulted. The gay club is unhappy cos Gamlath did not land the job.

  7. DS February 12, 08:12 AM

    I think it is Jayantha Jayasuriya who opined that Gota' can be arrested over Avant Garder case under Prevention of Terrorism Act. EN Political Correspondent is openly displaying his political affiliations are with the RW MS govt when he is justifying the appointment as Ability over Seniority.
    Certainly not. It is the new appointee's ability to take orders from the govt and interpret the law accordingly when they want something done. Suspects arrested for Terrorism are released whilst advice is given for the arrest of those who fought against Terrorism under Prevention of Terrorism Act. And some Political Correspondents term appointments of such officials as Ability over Seniority

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