Sri Lanka Police chief battles HQ women

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Inspector-General Pujith Jayasundara has scuttled a charity drive organised by women at the police headquarters in the latest in his growing list of controversial moves.

Jayasundara stopped trucks transporting food and dry rations that were due to be distributed among low-income families at Ambanpola on Thursday. The Seva Vanitha (women) unit of the police headquarters had organised the event.

Senior DIG, Nandana Munasinghe is reported to have been admonished by Jayasundara who had questioned why his (Jayasundara’s) photo was not included with the food parcels that were to be distributed.

Munasinghe’s wife was reduced to tears when Jayasundara ordered her husband to stop the event. Police headquarters in a statement on Wednesday night said the event was cancelled "due to unavoidable circumstances."

The conversation between Munasinghe and Jayasundara was reported in a popular Sri Lanka-focused website operating out of Britain.

Sources at the police headquarters said Jayasundara was livid that he was not getting any publicity from the charity event organised by women of police headquarters to mark the 151st anniversary of the department.

Jayasundara is already in trouble after taking on a senior minister of the government and criticising him publicly in front of hundreds of officers of the CID last week.

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Jayasundara accused the minister of leaking a video of him roughing up staff who had failed to comply with his order to meditate in April.

The leaked video showed Jayasundara flying into a rage and lifting the lift operator by his collar and making intimidating gestures towards a police woman.  The police chief on Friday denied he threatened to rape her and insisted that all he said was: ‘kelawanawa’ (I’ll fix you).

Both the President and the Prime Minister as well as Speaker Karu Jayasuriya were extremely unhappy with Jayasundara’s conduct and had already put him on notice.

Speaker Jayasuriya, who is the chairman of the Constitutional Council which suggested Jayasundara for the top job in April last year, had also asked the IGP to stop making a fool of himself.

He was upbraided for attempting to sing on a public stage during a nationally televised ceremony.

Since then, he had stopped singing, but earlier this month, got a Deputy Inspector General to sign a play list chosen by him and broadcast over Rupavahini. (COLOMBO, October 19, 2017)