- PM as new Law and Order minister appoints high profile committee to fast track anti-corruption measures
- Rajitha, Swaminathan and Ajith Perera to spearhead fresh efforts to bring high profile cases to justice
- Progress on steps taken so far reviewed during Temple Trees meeting
- New ministerial committee to establish university on criminal justice in Sri Lanka
- Renewed focus on stamping out drug smuggling, violence against women and all forms of organised crime
- Police urged to promptly appeal if major suspects acquitted
- Committee to probe complaints of political revenge against police officials
In what could have far reaching changes in the law and order sphere, the Government yesterday redoubled its efforts to fast-track anti-corruption measures, appointing three new high-profile ministerial committees and reviewing progress on ongoing investigations.
The fresh measures were made yesterday by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who appointed a new commission made up of Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Prison Reforms Minister D. M. Swaminathan and State Minister of Prison Reform Ajith Perera. The new appointments, made just a day after a partial Cabinet reshuffle on 23 February (Sunday), was the strongest indication yet that the Government is attempting to double down on the anti-corruption efforts that were a major part of its elections platform in 2015.
This decision was taken during a high-profile meeting of top law enforcement officials and Ministers held at Temple Trees, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. In his first act as Law and Order Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe headed the discussion during which progress reports that former Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake had compiled were also perused by the participants.
A separate committee made up of Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala and Youth Minister Sagala Ratnayake was appointed to look into establishing a university on Criminal Justice in Sri Lanka. A third committee to look into complaints of political revenge that police officials were subjected to was also set up with Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, Public Administration and Management Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara and Minister Sagala Ratnayake as members.
The statement went onto say that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had emphasised on the need to have continued focus on curtailing drug cartels and organised crime during the meeting. He had also stressed on the need to implement laws on protecting women against all forms of violence, and in the event of a suspect of serious crimes being acquitted, had urged that the police file appeals immediately so that justice would be served.
The discussion was attended by top officials including Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga, Law and Order Ministry Secretary Padmasiri Jayamanne, IGP Pujith Jayasundara, STF Commandant Senior DIG M. R. Latheef, CID Deputy Inspector Ravi Seneviratne, and FCID Senior DIG Ravi Waidyalankara.