President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said he disapproved of bringing in top officials, including intelligence officers, before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to investigate into the Easter Sunday attacks, and said he will not allow serving officers to be called for testimony.
The President expressed these views during the monthly meeting with top Police officials held at the Presidential Secretariat. During the meeting, he noted only retired officials have been summoned before the PSC so far, but President Sirisena said he will not allow active officers to be summoned before the PSC, and that he will take full responsibility over the decision.
“The Attorney General has informed me in writing that the sittings of the PSC, while five petitions on the Easter Sunday attacks are pending before the Supreme Court, could adversely affect the court proceedings,” the President was quoted as saying, in a statement released by the President’s Media Division.
The President had said the he had informed Speaker Karu Jayasuriya in writing of the concerns raised by the Attorney General, but the Speaker has refrained from presenting the President’s letter to Parliament. The statement also expressed Sirisena’s displeasure that the Speaker did not make Parliamentarians aware of his letter.
During the meeting, the President said necessary steps have being taken to promote Police officers, and the proposal has already been sent to the National Salaries and Cadre Commission for its approval. He noted Police officers will be promoted in three stages.
Recruiting new personnel for the Special Task Force (STF) and proposals to purchase new weapons were also discussed at the meeting, and the progress of drug prevention activities were also briefed at the meeting.
Meanwhile, financial compensation of Rs. 2.5 million each was given to families of the three Police officers who were killed on 21 April in Dematagoda, and Rs. 1 million each was presented to three Muslim people that gave security forces the tipoff of the safe house in Sainthamaruthu.
Meanwhile, the President had also ordered the Industry and Commerce Ministry Secretary to hand over the land where the Salusala main office is situated in Jawatte to the Police Department, for the construction of a new headquarters. He had also ordered that the Salusala Board of Directors be dissolved, as they are a loss-making State enterprise.