Sri Lanka police faces major internal revolt

ECONOMYNEXT – Simmering tensions within the top leadership of Sri Lanka’s police came to a head at a meeting called by Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka this week with senior officers demanding action against the Inspector-General.

A dozen Senior Deputy Inspectors of General (SDIGs) were summoned by Ratnayaka to his ministry to discuss the grievances they had raised earlier with the Police Commission. The latest dialogue ended up being a bigger litany of complaints against the IGP.

In an unusually candid talk, officers poured their hearts out listing the alleged intimidation and interference as well as insulting behaviour of their boss.

The minister was miffed that the entire top leadership of the police department had gone before the commission to complaint against IGP Pujith Jayasundara without first informing the political leadership.

However, seniors pointed out that they had been called by the Commission at a time when the IGP was visiting Australia on a private visit and they had been asked to be candid with their complaints.

At Wednesday’s meet with Ratnayaka, a senior DIG said the IGP was making disparaging remarks about him to subordinates officers. The IGP allegedly made racial slurs against a senior DIG from a minority community.

"If he said it to my face, I will pull down his epaulet," the officer is reported to have told his colleagues after being told how the IGP allegedly made the racial slur.

Two heads of the CID and the FCID has also made allegations against the IGP and also noted that Jayasundara could be prosecuted for intimidating a woman constable at the CID headquarters.

Officers pointed out that Jayasundara now faced two serious charges of causing racial hatred and sexual harassment and the authorities should at least initiate a preliminary inquiry to salvage confidence in the system.

In April, Jayasundara flew into a rage when he discovered that several men and women at the CID were not following his orders to meditate every morning as a way of improving spiritual development and discipline in the force.

The Constitution Council which appointed Jayasundara in April last year had warned him to uphold the dignity of the high office following several transgressions. (COLOMBO, December 8, 2017)