‘Former President interfered with Police transfers’

Former President Maithripala Sirisena interfered with the transferring of senior police officers, although an Independent Police Commission was appointed through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundara told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing the Easter Sunday attacks.

Former IGP Pujith Jayasundara further stated that the Security Council Heads had discussed about the arrest of then Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Ravindra Wijegunawardena and certain inquiries conducted by the Police against some Army officers at the Council meetings.

“During a Security Council meeting, they were convinced that Inspector Nishantha Silva attached to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) was attempting to arrest the then Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) and several other Army officials arbitrarily. Accordingly, the former President informed me to transfer IP Nishantha Silva from the CID,” Jayasundara said.

Former IGP Jayasundara said that he had also informed the former President that there were no prior disciplinary action taken against Nishantha Silva.

“Former President Sirisena then went for an overseas visit, and a few days later former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando informed that the President wanted to remove IP Nishantha Silva immediately. Accordingly, I had transferred him to the Negombo Police Station. Meanwhile, I submitted a report to the Police Commission attaching the National Security Council references,” Pujith Jaysundara said.

Jayasundara said former President Sirisena later called him again and asked who had given instructions to transfer IP Silva. “I told the former President, it was him who gave the instruction. He got very annoyed and said he never gave such an instruction and disconnected the line,” the witness said.

“Former Defence Secretary Kapila Waidyarathne asked me not to take part in the Security Council meetings. I was aware that a Council meeting was to be held on October 23, 2018. Normally, I am informed about the Security meeting the day before or on the morning of that day. But, I didn’t get a call from them,” former IGP Pujith Jayasundara added. Former President Maithripala Sirisena arrived before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing the Easter Sunday attacks as an observer to listen to the evidence given by former IGP Pujith Jaysundara yesterday.

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