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Sri Lanka’s PSD buried, STF takes full control

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s elite Special Task Force of the police today assumed complete responsibility for the security of President Maithripala Sirisena calling it curtains for the controversial Presidential Security Division (PSD).

Deputy Inspector General Ranjith Perera assumed duties as the head of the STF unit in charge of VVIP security this morning, police sources said.

The move came after government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne announced that three members of the PSD were responsible for the murder of national rugger player Wasim Thajudeen, whose death in May 2012 was initially brushed aside by police as a road accident.

There had been nagging complaints over President Sirisena’s decision to retain the PSD of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa without making any changes soon after his January 8 election victory.

Even the head of the PSD, S. M. Wickramasinghe was retained.

In April, an army officer, who was from the former president’s security unit, was caught with a weapon inside the "sterile" area and free of any weapons. The army officer was said to have accompanied Namal Rajapaksa to the meet and the police PSD officers had failed to check him for weapons.

Under the revamped system, the entire VVIP security will be handled by the STF. They will have a new uniform and new colours that will be different from the dark blue safari suits of the PSD.

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