Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday (April 29) appointed CD Wickremaratne, Senior Deputy Inspector General, as acting police chief.
The appointment came in the backdrop of suspending police chief Pujith Jayasundara after the defiant Inspector General refused to quit taking responsibility for the intelligence failure that led to the massive Easter Sunday bombings. The police chief can only be removed through a parliamentary procedure and Sirisena’s action is the first step towards that, officials added.
Jayasundara has steadfastly refused to heed Sirisena’s call to resign following April 21 coordinated blasts on three churches and three luxury hotels. The attacks carried out by suicide bombers came in spite of early warnings and the security establishment’s failure to take preventive action has come under severe criticism.
Sirisena, who also keeps the defence portfolio with him, said he wanted to revamp the security system and his defence ministry secretary Hemasiri Fernando resigned promptly on his request on Thursday (April 25).
Deputy Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Nalin Bandara said a motion to remove the police chief will be tabled in Parliament within this week, Sri Lanka Mirror reported. Noting that the motion will be tabled on the agreement of all government MPs, he hoped to get the backing of opposition MPs as well, it said.
Meanwhile, the police chief has said that he has done nothing wrong and that he would resign if the defence minister resigns as well.