Public Administration and Management Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara received his appointment letter as the new Law and Order Minister from President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday morning at the President’s official residence.
Two weeks after assuming duties as the Minister of Law and Order, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe relinquished the post and vested it in Public Administration and Management Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara. yesterday.
The Prime Minister when taking over the ministry stated that a new Minister of Law and Order would be decided on within two weeks.
Maddumabandara assumes leadership of the Police at a time when it has been accused of being slow to act in preventing the communal clashes which took place in Kandy over the past couple of days.
Within hours of taking over office however, the Prime Minister yesterday directed the newly appointed Law and Order Minister to submit a report on the workings of the National Police Commission (NPC). The PM had insisted that this be his first order of duty after assuming office.
This follows complaints made to the Prime Minister by the police hierarchy stating the Commission had not taken steps to provide the Police with an overall practical plan of action but instead questioned them of shortcomings when things went wrong. This they stated created issues when implementing the law and resulted in overall confusion.
For example, though the NPC Secretary had asked the IGP to submit a report on the incident in Rajanganaya, the Chairman of the NPC had informed the Prime Minister’s office that such a report was not needed. The Prime Minister thus directed the Minister to find out as to why the Secretary had asked for a report in the first place.
Minister Maddumabandara who took his oaths as the new Minister of Law and Order before President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday morning later visited the Hunupitiya Gangaramaya to participate in religious observances.
The Mahasangha led by Gangarama Viharadhipati Ven. Galboda Gnanissara thera chanted seth pirith and thereafter Ven. Kirinde Assaji thera placed the casket of Sacred Relics on Minister Maddumabandara’s head and invoked blessings on him. Speaking to the Media, Minister Maddumabandara said he would endeavour to safeguarded unity among all communities and transform Sri Lanka into a land where everyone can live in peace, freedom and unity. He was thankful to both the President and the Prime Minister for placing trust and faith in him and handing over this vital Ministry to him under the present crisis situation.
He observed that a minor incident had gone this far because some people had been sowing the seeds of communalism for the past several years.
“The country has lost thousands of lives in a senseless war. We should all learn lessons from our past wrongs and misdeeds and work towards diffusing the present tension,” the new Law and Order Minister said.