Appointment of IGP
Posted on April 21st, 2016

Retired Police Officer Courtesy The Island

The recent decision to appoint an officer of the Police Force to fill the vacancy created by Mr. N.K.Illangakoon when he retired on April 11th has drawn much flak from various quarters.

The selection of Senior Deputy Inspector General, Mr. Pujitha Jayasundera, to be the next Inspector General of Police is being criticized by some whilst others seem to support it.

My endeavour is not to counter their arguments nor to support a particular line of thinking, but to correct a mistake in a TV programme yesterday morning. On several occasions, the male telecaster reading the headlines, referring to the previously adopted procedures in appointing the IGP as erratic, claimed that only now, under the 19th Amendment, the Head of State was prevented from appointing a person of his or her choice, disregarding seniority etc.,


Insofar as we are aware, the system introduced and that prevailed till the late S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike took over as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), was to have the next most Senior Officer appointed as the Inspector General of Police, when a vacancy occurred.

During that time, late Osmund de Silva was Inspector General of Police. He had been requested by Mr. Bandaranaike to perform a duty which the former believed was not lawful. According to Sec. 56 of the Police Ordinance, a Police Officer is duty bound to carry out only lawful orders issued by a competent authority. Mr. de Silva had refused to accede to the request. As a result, he had been asked to step down and Mr. M.W.F.Abeykoon was brought in from outside the Force and installed as Inspector General of Police. What happened? When Mr. Abeykoon was playing bridge at the Orient Club, his subordinates were planning a coup d’état!

Once again, the procedure that existed was restored and continued until Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga became the Executive President of Sri Lanka. Instead of appointing the next most senior Officer as the Inspector General of Police, she preferred to appoint late B.L.V. de S. Kodituwakku, who was a confidante of her mother’s, the late Sirima Bandaranaike, as the Inspector General of Police. Unlike the earlier occasion, disaster did not strike because he was from within the Force.

Coming back to the erratic situation the telecaster chose to repeatedly announce, what he thought was correct, it would have given a wrong impression to the public who watched the program.

Further, may I also remind the television channel concerned that in this instance, which he repeatedly said was correct; it is not the most senior who had been selected but the second most senior!

Retired Police Officer


4 Responses to “Appointment of IGP”

  1. douglas Says:

    I think the writer missed one more appointment of an outsider to the post of IGP. That was the appointment of Late Mr. D.B.P. Siriwardane, (hope I got name correct) an EXEMPLARY, Senior Civil Servant.

  2. dingiri bandara Says:

    If I remember correct the late Mr Siriwardane was appointed as DIG administration and not the IGP. As he was not within the department, not everyone was happy.

  3. Nimal Says:

    Since the colonials left, likes of SWRD ushered all the stupidity and problems that had led to the sorry state of the country today.
    He along with other two bit thieving politicians seems to have not learned from their stay in Oxford and other British institutions. They seems to have ignored the orderly and civilized way, the day to day business that was carried in GB.Taken to Ambude, dragged the country to the gutter level gave an unreasonable voice to people who never contributed to the country’s welfare and progress and sidelined the country’s intellectuals by bringing in religious and racial issues thus opening up a honest nest, never gave a thought the almighty India that one day would find a reason to intervene or bully us.He should have noticed the overenthusiastic involvement of the Indian forces during the floods in the North while ignoring other parts of the island.
    He created a such a mess the patriotic people in the arm forces decided to take the law into their hands with the coup.They were all decent people who wanted to save the country.I had an uncle(from Mirihana) in the police who was locked up for the coup because he thought it was the PROPER THING to do for the country while is own brother locked him up with the others because it was the RIGHT THING.One has to have a colonial English mindset to figure out the difference.
    After decades I met another Ex Army Officer(another relative) who came to the rescue of the government with his armoured battalion told me in London, after the parippu drop that the coup was the proper thing, should have succeeded to put the country right.
    We should have SL like Taiwan and Singapore where the threats are similar from the neighbouring big bullies.
    Therefore selecting IGPs to civil servants should be on merit and nothing else is proper. We must let the departmental set procedures select an official. That is the proper thing to do.

  4. douglas Says:

    dingiri bandara: Thank you.You must be correct. I did not see Mr. Siriwardane’s name among the previous IGP list. Thnks for correcting.

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