The Government responding to the controversy surrounding the transfer of DIG M.R. Latheef said today the establishment of an Independent Police Commission as recommended by the LLRC would be referred to a Parliament Select Committee.
Government spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella while admitting that it would be wrong for any public servant to exert pressure on the Police to release their supporters said the country’s law would be implemented against those who do so.
The Minister made these remarks after journalists questioned the Minister regarding the controversial transfer of DIG M.R Latheef from the Moneragala District.
“If anyone exerts pressure on the Police, demanding the release of people involved in illegal activities its wrong. No one can exert pressure on the law enforcement authorities and if they do so the country’s law will apply,” he said.
The Minister, however said that his Cabinet colleague Minister Sumedha Jayasena had categorically told him after the Cabinet meeting, that she did not exert any pressure on the Police.
“She admitted that she called the IGP, but she denied exerting any sort of pressure on the Police,” the Minister said.
However, Minister Jayasena has not retracted nor sent any form of clarification to the Daily Mirror story published in this regard quoting her “seeking relief” from the IGP and that she called the IGP only because “He (DIG Latheef) had instructed everyone not to listen to politicians and to only take orders from him.”
When journalists questioned the minister as to the morality and legality of a politician calling the Police and requesting “relief” for those involved in illegal activities the Minister said it would depend on the circumstances. Minister Rambukwella went on to state that an elected member has a right to speak to the Inspector General of Police, but agreed that the issue could not be confined to a single incident.
“Of course I understand the issue,” he said when journalists pointed out the depth of the issue, whereby a brother of a Pradeshiya Sabha member and a Cabinet Minister could exert pressure for the transfer of a Deputy Inspector General of Police. (By Hafeel Farisz)