Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the main Government Party, will not be holding any inquiry against the Party Colombo District Parliamentarian Jagath Kumara Sumithraarachchi over controversial remarks recently made by him concerning the post of the Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of the Padukka Police Station, Sumithraarachchi claimed yesterday (20).
This comes in a backdrop where the Public Security Minister and fellow SLPP member Rear Admiral (Retd.) Dr. Sarath Weerasekera has requested the SLPP to conduct a disciplinary inquiry against Sumithraarachchi regarding said statement made by the latter that Weerasekera’s appointment of a new OIC to the Padukka Police Station was politically motivated and that this new OIC is a close associate of Power Minister Gamini Lokuge. However, Sumithraarachchi said, in a press briefing yesterday, that he has been informed by the SLPP Leaders that the Party has decided to not hold any such inquiry against him.
Charging that Weerasekera’s appointment of a new OIC to the Padukka Police Station was politically motivated and that this new OIC is a close associate of Lokuge, Sumithraarachchi has resigned in protest from his post as the Padukka Regional Co-ordinating Committee Chairman. He had informed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of his decision to resign from the Committee in a letter dated 17 September 2021.
In the letter, he had claimed that Weerasekera holds a personal grudge against him for criticising an incident where the Police had forcibly taken away participants of a recent protest in Colombo and directed them to quarantine.
Commenting on this recently, Weerasekera told the media that he denies the allegation made by Sumithraarachchi and claimed that the latter is making these allegations as he (Weerasekera) had not appointed an officer Sumithraarachchi wanted as the OIC.
“I, as the Minister in charge of the Police, strongly condemn this allegation. The OIC of the Padukka Police was transferred based on a charge against him. It was done by the Public Security Ministry Secretary on the recommendation of the Inspector General of Police (IGP),” Weerasekara noted.
Speaking further, Weerasekera claimed that after the transfer of the Padukka Police OIC, Sumithraarachchi had, orally and in writing, requested that a person close to him be appointed to the said post. However, he added that according to the prescribed procedure of the Public Service Commission, the Public Security Ministry Secretary has the power to appoint the OIC on the recommendation of the IGP. He further claimed that there was no political connection to the incident and that it was Sumithraarachchi who was attempting to exert political influence.
He also stated that the SLPP has been informed in writing to take disciplinary action against Sumithraarachchi in this regard.
Meanwhile, speaking to the media recently, Lokuge said that he was concerned over Sumithraarachchi’s allegations.
“There was no conflict between him and me,” Lokuge stated, adding that he hopes to respond to the allegations made by Sumithraarachchi at a forum where Weerasekera is also present.
“Then, Weerasekera can present facts with the required documents as to who has requested the transfer of a Police officer and who has not. All I have to say is that I feel sorry for Sumithraarachchi. I have seen a lot of people like that,” he added.