Sri Lanka creates new ministry for police department

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has placed the police department under a new cabinet ministry, removing the law enforcement agency from the junior ministry that was previously held by his elder brother Chamal.

In an extra ordinary Gazette notification dated November 20, the president created two ministries — Public Security and Technology — and re-assigned some of the functions that were previously under him and his eldest brother.

The new Ministry of Public Security will be responsible for four institutions. They are the Police department, Civil Security department, Police Training College and the Multi-Purpose Development Task Force.

The move comes amid reports that state minister Sarath Weerasekera was likely to elevated to cabinet rank and given the new ministry. Weerasekera a retired admiral, is currently the state minister for Provincial Councils and Local Government.

The president has also nominated the senior most police officer, Chandana Wickramaratne, as the next Inspector General of Police (IGP). Wickramaratne, 57, has been acting IGP since the suspension of Pujith Jayasundara soon after the Easter Sunday attacks last year.

The new Technology ministry will have the Sri Lanka Telecommunications Regulatory Commission as well as Sri Lanka Telecom and the department of registrar of persons under it.

It was not immediately clear when the new ministers would be appointed, but government sources said they expected it shortly. (COLOMBO, November 22, 2020)

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