Although an independent Police Commission appointed through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, former President Maithripala Sirisena had politically interfered with the matters related to transferring of senior Police officers, former IGP Pujith Jayasundara yesterday informed the PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks.
Testifying before the Commission Mr. Jayasundara said that there were serious matters at National Security Council (NSC) meetings pertaining to the arrest of then Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Ravindra Wijegunawaradena and certain inquiries conducted by the Police against some Army personnel.
"During an NSC meeting, then CDS lodged a complaint against former CID officer IP Nishantha Silva alleging that the latter was attempting to arrest him arbitrarily. Then former President Sirisena informed me to remove IP Nishantha Silva from conducting investigations," he said.
Mr. Jayasundara said that he had also informed the former President that there were no disciplinary action taken against IP Silva.
"However, after a few days later, former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando informed me that President Sirisena wanted to remove IP Nishantha Silva immediately. Accordingly, I transferred him to Negombo Police station and I even submitted a report to the Police Commission along with the NSC meeting reference," he said.
Former IGP said that later former President called and asked me from whom I had got the instruction to transfer IP Silva to Negombo.
"I responded saying that it was he (Maithripala Sirisena) who instructed and the message was delivered by Hemasiri Fernando to me to do so. He became furious and said he never gave such instructions and abruptly ended the conversation," he said.
When the Commissioners questioned as to why he was not attending to the NSC meetings, former IGP said that in November, 2018 when he contacted former Defence Secretary Kapila Waidyaratne, and he said that President Sirisena had asked not to invite him for future NSC meetings.
"It was a very emotional situation. I couldn't attend to any NSC meeting and I was not aware what they had discussed at these meetings. Then I asked Kapila Waidyaratne, whether I could send a representative from the Police to the NSC meeting, there was no response from him," he said. (Yoshitha Perera)