The Special Task Force (STF) of the police which is under the direct purview of the Inspector General of Police, has been taken over by the Defence Ministry, informed sources said.
The Cabinet has given the approval for the Cabinet paper in this regard put forward by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. According to the Cabinet paper, the STF now comes under the direct purview of the Defence Minister with effect from May 12 this year, sources said.
This decision has been taken to ease the relationship with the STF and the ministry, the paper said.
The STF unit of the Sri Lanka Police specializing in Counter-Terrorist and Counter-Insurgency operations, was formed in 1983 not as a military force but rather as a highly-specialized police unit by then President J.R.Jayawardane.
The STF heads Counter-Terrorist missions and – as the most highly trained police organisation in Sri Lanka. The STF is mainly trained to provide VIP security.
In 1996, the STF was taken over by the IGP. Subsequently in July 2006, the unit was taken over by the Defence Ministry. Again in 2007, the STF was taken over by the IGP until May 12, this year.