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Acting IGP Tennakoon’s term likely to be extended amid ‘Yukthiya’ operation

26 Feb 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

By Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya  

Following the ongoing Island-wide “Yukthiya” operation against underworld criminals and narcotics, President Ranil Wickremesinghe is likely to extend Deshabandu Tennakoon’s appointment as Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Daily Mirror learns.  

Tennakoon was initially appointed Acting IGP on November 29, 2023, for a three-month term.  

Sources said that the President is likely to propose a service extension to the Constitutional Council. However, sources said that Tennakoon could be permanently appointed as IGP bypassing the temporary extension route.  

Tennakoon, who joined the police in 1998 is due to retire in 2032.  

His potential extended or permanent appointment comes on the heels of the nationwide “Yukthiya” operation launched in December 2023. This initiative led by the Public Security Ministry and Sri Lanka Police aims to crack down on drug trafficking, peddling, and other criminal activities.  

However, the operation faces criticism from various quarters. Human rights groups raise concerns about alleged arbitrary arrests, excessive use of force and insufficient transparency. Some legal experts question the legality of certain procedures, while community leaders express anxieties about potential profiling and targeting of minority groups.  
Despite criticism from several organizations, the Public Security Minister and Acting IGP assured that the operation ’Yukthiya’ has no personal agenda, focusing solely on eradicating the underworld and apprehending drug smugglers.  

Minister Tiran Alles expressed confidence in dismantling organized crime and drug trafficking networks by June 2024.  
Acting IGP Tennakoon said that there was significant success in the operation’s first two months and pledged its continuation until the ultimate goal of dismantling narcotics networks is achieved.