By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW): President Ranil Wickremesinghe has reappointed current police Chief C.D. Wickramaratne despite the Constitutional Council unanimously vetoing the service extension given last week.
The Constitutional Council had taken an undivided decision at its meeting yesterday (Oct. 17) to reject the third tenure extension granted to Wickramaratne, who was appointed as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) in November 2020 and was supposed to retire from the police service on March 26, 2023.
President Wickremesinghe had extended his tenure by 3 months on two occasions – on March 26 and July 09 – by way of special gazette notifications.
The second tenure prolongation came to an end on October 09. IGP Wickramaratne was, however, granted yet another service extension of 3 weeks on October 13.
President Wickremesinghe, who is currently on a four-day official visit to China, has reportedly been given instructions from Beijing to make the necessary arrangements to reappoint IGP Wickramaratne.
The Constitutional Council has declined to grant a third service extension to IGP C.D. Wickramaratne, citing the Government’s policy not to extend the service of State sector employees over the age of 60, sources said.
The Constitutional Council had met in Parliament under the Chairmanship of Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena yesterday afternoon.
Also in attendance were Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, Member of Parliament Sagara Kariyawasam, and civil representatives.
President’s representative to the Council, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was absent from the meeting as he is currently visiting India.
Wickramaratne was due to retire on 25 March this year. Currently, both the President and Subject Minister Tiran Alles, are overseas.
A final decision regarding the position of the Inspector General of Police will be made upon their return, according to sources in the President’s Office.
According to sources from Police Headquarters, Senior DIG Administration Nilantha Jayawardena, Senior DIG Western Province Deshabandu Tennekoon, and Senior DIG Central Province Lalith Pathinayake remain the top contenders for the coveted position.
However, allegations of dereliction of duty over the Easter Sunday attack have been levelled against all three while various parties including the Catholic Church of Sri Lanka have urged the President to refrain from appointing either of them to the position.