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Controversial Sri Lanka IGP retires with pension and tax free permit

ECONOMYNEXT – Inspector-General Pujith Jayasundara who retired after a 35-year chequered career today was granted his full pension and a tax free import permit that car dealers say is worth at least 15 million rupees in the grey market.

Pujith Senadhi Bandara Jayasundara who turns 60 on Sunday is currently on bail after being accused of murder for failing to prevent the Easter Sunday bomb attacks that claimed at least 271 lives and left 500 others wounded.

Official sources said the authorities had given the green light to grant Jayasundara his full pension rights although he is facing criminal charges.

A permit with a duty waiver of 22 million fetches about 15 million rupees from vehicle importers.

At his grade, a police chief is entitled to car permit from which 22 million rupees of taxes had been waived. Car dealers say similar permits are worth at least 15 million rupees in the grey market.

Even as Jayasundara formally leaves the police, no replacement has been made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Under the 19th amendment to the constitution, the Constitutional Council must ratify any nomination to the post of IGP. Senior DIG in charge of administration, C. D. Wickramaratne, has been holding an acting position since Jayasundara’s suspension in late April.

Jayasundara was suspended by former president Maithripala Sirisena after he refused to accept responsibility for the security lapses that led to the April 21 attacks.

Jayasundara and the then secretary to the ministry of defence, Hemasiri Fernando were charged with murder despite investigators insisting that there was no grounds to support such a charge.

Both men were initially granted bail, but it was revoked on a request by the Attorney General.

Both Jayasundara and Hemasiri were later granted bail on February 5 after spending about four months in remand custody.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has said that he was not satisfied with the investigations into the Easter attacks that were blamed on a home-grown Jihadi group.

The Cardinal is on record that those responsible for the security and intelligence failures have not yet been brought to book.

The Cardinal had suggested that the then president and prime minister should have been held responsible. (COLOMBO, March 15, 2020)