DIG interdicted – Prez Media calls special briefing today Assassination bid
Posted on October 17th, 2018

by Shamindra Ferdinando and Norman Palihawadana Courtesy The Island

The National Police Commission (NPC) yesterday interdicted Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Nalaka Silva.

The seven-member NPC, headed by P.H. Manatunga, by letter informed IGP Pujith Jayasundera of its decision. Secretary to the NPC Saman Dissanayake told The Island that the NPC deliberated and decided on the matter within hours after Public Administration, Management and Law and Order Ministry recommended the top law enforcement official’s interdiction.

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Public Administration, Management and Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara told The Island that his Ministry Secretary Pathmasiri Liyanage had recommended the immediate interdiction of DIG Nalaka Silva, now on compulsory leave over his alleged involvement in a plot to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and wartime Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

A senior ministry spokesperson told The Island that the recommendation in respect of the former DIG in charge of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) had been made to the National Police Commission (NPC) yesterday.

Police headquarters placed Nalaka Silva on compulsory leave on Sept. 19. Two days later, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested an Indian, national Mercil Thomas, in connection with the alleged plot.

The ministry spokesman said that Pathmasiri Liyanage called for Nalaka Silva’s interdiction on the basis of findings made by way of the ongoing investigation.

Thomas arrived in Colombo in January 2017.

The CID arrested Thomas at the Warakapola residence of civil society activist and one-time police informant, Namal Kumara, who revealed the alleged plot on Sept 13.

The Public Administration, Management and Law and Order Ministry said Nalaka Silva had been sent on compulsory leave on its recommendation.

The ministry spokesman said that the CID would be able to pursue investigations, in a transparent manner, following the interdiction of DIG Silva.

The Fort Magistrate’s Court, on Sept 27, allowed the CID to detain Thomas for a period of three months, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The CID has been directed to produce the suspect in Court next Tuesday (Oct 23).

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Chairman Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday told The Island that a thorough inquiry was needed to ascertain the truth. Prof. Peiris pointed out that the Indian, who had visited Namal Kumara at the latter’s Warakapola residence, had been arrested whereas the two antagonists – Nalaka Silva and Namal Kumara – were yet to be taken in.

Prof. Peiris said statements that had been attributed to President Sirisena, at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, should be examined against the backdrop of the alleged conspiracy, involving a senior police officer, and an informant. Responding to a query, Prof. Peiris said that a thorough investigation was required as in addition to the alleged assassination plot, allegations pertaining to deliberate moves to cause ethnic violence were in the public domain.

Presidential Secretariat said that Presidential Advisor Shiral Lakthilaka and head of Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) former Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Germany Sarath Kongahage would brief the media at Hotel Nippon on Thursday at 2 pm on the alleged assassination bid. The briefing was earlier scheduled to take place yesterday at the SLFI.

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