Sri Lanka police chief ticked off over insulting minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s new Inspector-General Pujith Jayasundara has been ticked off by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe over two incidents where he is alleged to have embarrassed political authorities.

Jayasundara, who was appointed in April by a divided Constitutional Council, was called in for a meetig with some of his senior officers to Wickremesinghe’s Temple Trees residence on Wednesday for a pep-talk, official sources said.

Wickremesinghe was irked over the omitting of minister Sagala Ratnayake and Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Vigneswaran from a plaque marking the opening of a new police complex in Jaffna on September 9.

While leaving Ratnayake out at a function graced by President Maithripala Sirisena was embarrassing to the president who pointed out the shortcoming to the police chief.

More than that, what really upset the administration was the police chief leaving out the northern CM’s name at a time when the government was working closely with the provincial administration to push reconciliation.

Raising the level of police presence in Jaffna had been a request of Vigneswaran and leaving his name out was seen as crass at best and hostile at worst. Either way, the police action showed insensitivity.

Both the President and the Prime Minister were also upset that Minister Ratnayake was relegated to a seat next to Jayasundara’s wife at the 150th police anniversary celebrations in Colombo.

Protocol dictated that the minister be placed next to the President, but that was not the case. The government was also angered by Jayasundara’s plan for lavish spending for catering and other matters relating to the anniversary celebrations.

Jayasundara’s remarks that he could bend the law had also upset the cabinet which has discussed his conduct in an uncomplimentary manner, a senior minister said.

However, the government is unable to get rid of Jayasundara, 56, who could in theory continue for another four years unless he on his own decides to step down.

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The Prime Minister had summoned Wednesday’s meeting ostensibly to discuss the rising level of crime in the country, but the thrust of his message was the displeasure with the police chief over alleged snubbing of politicians. (COLOMBO, Sept 15, 2016)
 

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