Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe appointed a three-member panel to speed up investigations into high profile murders and other crimes during the previous regime after slow progress in the past three years.
Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne, Rehabilitation Minister D. M. Swaminathan and Prisons State Minister Ajith Perera were named into a committee where four ministers failed in May 2016.
Prime Minister’s office said the three-man committee was appointed following discussions with senior police officers at Temple Trees, the fisrt meeting Wickremesinghe had with them after assuming the Law and Order ministry in a minor cabinet reshuffle on Sunday.
Senaratne and three other cabinet colleagues – Champika Ranawaka, Arjuna Ranatunga and Sarath Fonseka — had pressed for speedy investigations and prosecutions in May 2016, but failed to secure results.
Stung by the February 10 local election defeat, Wickremesinghe is making a trade-mark attempt to appoint another committee to address an issue already well known to the government.
Wickremesinghe told the first press conference after the local election humiliation that failure to prosecute wrongdoers of the Rajapaksa regime was the main reason for the United National Party’s crushing defeat this month.
The premier said their failure to arrest suspects in the Lasantha Wickrematunga assassination, Wasim Thajudeen murder and failure to prosecute Rajapaksa brothers for massive corruption cost the UNP dearly.
In May 2016 too, the government had promised a shake up in the police and the Attorney General’s department, but there had been no appreciable change despite a new Inspector general and a new Attorney General assuming office.