Political bigwigs trip STF Commandant

18 August 2016 08:12 am - 17     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Two weeks after the decision by the National Police Commission to appoint SDIG M.R Latheef as the Commandant of the Special Task Force (STF), moves are afoot at a very high level to override the recommendation the Daily Mirror learns.

Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police M.R. Latheef was appointed as the head of the STF upon recommendation by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundera on August 4.

Latheef, who was a member of the 1st batch of STF officers since its creation in 1984, had reportedly come under severe pressure from various quarters to voluntarily step down, sources told the Daily Mirror.

The Daily Mirror learns that the son of a very high ranking politician is behind the move to stall the appointment.

“He had in-fact been called by someone who is an arms dealer, who shares the same surname as a former President and, and was asked not to take up the appointment. That is the sort of pressure that is being exerted on him,” the source said.

Latheef’s appointment was to come into effect on August 9.

“The appointment was made following the recommendation by the IGP but his hands also seem to be tied as the political forces at work are ranked very high. His racial background also seems to be playing more than a small part in this issue,” sources at the Presidential Secretariat told the Daily Mirror.

The Police Commission has on August 4, released a statement to the Press announcing the appointment of Latheef, after which moves were afoot to prevent the appointment.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror the Secretary and the Spokesperson for the National Police Commission said the Constitutional power of appointment rests with the Commission.

“We have appointed Mr. Latheef but he has yet not been released for duty. We will discuss this issue at the meeting tomorrow. Constitutionally the Police Commission is the only body, which has the power to make these appointments and we have made the appointment,” he said.

When asked as to the reason for the delay on the appointment Mr. Cooray refused to speculate.

“We cannot pin point a single reason nor should we speculate. All we are aware as to now that the appointment has not been executed despite our appointment and this will be taken up for discussion today,” he said.

According to sources within the Special Task Force, the Daily Mirror learns that many vehicles and personnel used by politicians for private purposes have been returned to their stations and garages following the news of the appointment.

“The STF garages have seen an increase in the return of vehicles since the news spread about the appointment. Officers who were stationed to look after coconut and rubber estates of politicians have also returned to their normal posts,” STF sources told the Daily Mirror.

SDIG Latheef following his operational duties in the Special Task Force was attached to the National Intelligence Bureau as counter-terrorism specialist during which time he was trained by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the British MI5 and the Special Air Services (SAS).

He was also attached as a counter-terrorism specialist as First Officer in various stations including Paris, London, Bangkok and Geneva during the height of the operations of the LTTE.

Reports said that he was the only security specialist from Sri Lanka to advice security for major events including the Beijing Olympics in 2008. (Hafeel Farisz)


IGP ratifies STF Commandant appointment

  Comments - 17

  • ziyard Thursday, 18 August 2016 09:07 AM

    it is now crystal clear wijedasa rajapakse aka dealdasa is behind the move....

    General Rommel Thursday, 18 August 2016 09:11 AM

    An officer, a GENTLEMAN, a fearless commando, a heroic commander and a Royalist who deserves to be appointed not only commander of the STF but the secretary of defense. We solute you my son and will bury those political hoodlums who block this appointment.

    TONY Thursday, 18 August 2016 09:16 AM


    Premalal Thursday, 18 August 2016 09:21 AM

    The sum total of all this is the definition of the Sri Lankan politician. Whether it is "yahapalana " or "Yahapalana" does not make any difference. The only salvation for the country is to throw the whole corrupt system out.

    A W Abdulkany Thursday, 18 August 2016 10:02 AM

    Members of the NPC should resign if Mr Latheef is not appointed.

    Asanka Thursday, 18 August 2016 10:24 AM

    he seems to be well trained expert. and his religion should not be a issue as he is a counter-terrorism specialist and trained by CIA and MI5, as in my option we should treasure him,

    C.K.Lankaputhra Thursday, 18 August 2016 10:25 AM

    Does it mean that there are forces above the executive head of the country? This is a hell of a joke. Who runs the country?

    Cricy Thursday, 18 August 2016 10:33 AM

    If so why did they implement the so called Independent Commissions? Or are they really independent?

    dingimahattaya Thursday, 18 August 2016 11:12 AM

    President and PM, must take an immediate decision on this issue, otherwise they will be the loser. the son of this politician might be a member of MR and company;Dingi

    nandapala Thursday, 18 August 2016 11:22 AM

    This newspaper is lying. It cannot happen under the yahapalanaya !!!!. Specially sons of the leaders have no powers now.

    Thomas Ranger Thursday, 18 August 2016 11:27 AM

    This SDIG seems to be a highly trained and respected officer. Mr. President, if the question of revoking his appointment should reach your table, please reject it outright. We need more of Lateef's calibre if this Government must prove its worth.

    Perera Thursday, 18 August 2016 11:28 AM

    What is wrong with this officer? It seems he is fully qualified and he is a straight guy. Why not appoint him. The police commission has decided. Who is stopping it? Unless someone wants to get their dirty work done through the police. Come on Yahapalanaya, do what you promised! Be impartial!

    Christian Thursday, 18 August 2016 12:12 PM

    He is a Muslim .Why do you Buddhist want him there best guy for this would be BBS Gandasara thero

    Shelly Thursday, 18 August 2016 12:38 PM

    This reporting is very ugly. Names must be made public. Make sure by double checking. If facts are available give them to readers. After all Gota type people are no more in action. via DM Android App

    Mohamed Thursday, 18 August 2016 12:48 PM

    Well said Asanka, am living in a neighborhood surrounded by all communities, in fact we celebrate sinhala Tamil new year, Christmas and Eid, the foods get exchanged and we are there for each other. Really wish an united Sri Lanka like that.

    STA Thursday, 18 August 2016 12:51 PM

    Dealdasa should be picked out of the Yahapalanaya for people to witness real benefits.

    Buddhist Friday, 19 August 2016 07:16 AM

    Excellent choice .

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