NEWS

Sri Lanka police chief refusing to quit despite president's request - sources

Reuters

Published
Modified 27 Apr 2019, 2:19 pm

Sri Lanka's police chief has refused a request by President Maithripala Sirisena to step down following suicide bombings on churches and hotels, two sources at the president's office said on Saturday, deepening the rift at top levels of government.

Sirisena, facing criticism over the failure to thwart the attacks, blamed the inspector general of police Pujith Jayasundara and defence secretary Hemesiri Fernando for not sharing advance warnings of the attacks with him.

Fernando resigned earlier in the week, but Jayasundara was holding on, the two officials said.

"He has refused to resign despite the president's request," one of the sources said. 

Under Sri Lanka's constitution, only parliament can remove the police chief through a lengthy process designed to shield officers from political interference.

The attacks in which more than 250 people were killed have exposed the divisions between Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, with both saying they had not seen warnings given by India's spy service about impending strikes on churches and the Indian embassy including one just hours before the attacks.

Jayasundara, the police chief, was handpicked for the job by Wickremesinghe. The first source at the president's office said Sirisena was still expecting him to turn in his papers. The second source confirmed the situation.

Both sources declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak with media.

Jayasundara did not answer his phone or email seeking comments. An officer at the police department said the police chief had not resigned but did not come to work on Saturday.

- Reuters

Share this story

Comments

By posting a comment, you agree to our Terms & Conditions as stipulated in full here

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Foul language, profanity, vulgarity, slanderous, personal attack, threatening, sexually-orientated comments or the use of any method of communication that may violate any law or create needless unpleasantness will not be tolerated. Antisocial behaviour such as "spamming" and "trolling" will be suspended. Violators run the risk of also being blocked permanently.

REPORT VIOLATORS

Please use the report feature that is available below each comment to flag offending comments for our moderators to take action. Do not take matters in your own hands to avoid unpleasant and unnecessary exchanges that may result in your own suspension or ban.

Advertisement