Sep 13, 2018

President strongly criticizes police at emergency cabinet meeting Featured

President Maithripala Sirisena chaired an emergency cabinet meeting this afternoon (13) at the presidential secretariat, just two days after the weekly meeting of the ministers took place.

It came in the absence of prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is on an official visit to Vietnam.

The cabinet meeting that began around noon lasted for more than an hour and discussed many matters, according to BBC Sinhala Service.

Reports say it has been agreed there not to reveal anything they had discussed, to the media.

However, government sources say president Sirisena strongly criticized the police over its arrest of members of the armed forces.

Noting that the law should take its course against anyone accused of wrongdoing, he censured the authorities for detaining armed forces members without filing court cases and subsequently releasing them without any charge.

Minister Rajitha Senaratne has reportedly objected to the president’s insistence that the police should not inconvenience the armed forces and their commanders.

The cabinet meeting discussed a reported move to arrest chief of defence staff Ravindra Wijegunaratne as well.

No firm decision taken

A minister said on condition of anonymity that no firm decision was taken.

It is expected that details of the meeting will emerge when the president meets heads of media institutions tomorrow.

Meanwhile, former minister S.B. Dissanayake alleged a conspiracy within the government to weaken the defence authorities and the president.

He mentioned the move to arrest Wijegunaratne and minister Sarath Fonseka’s targeting of the Army and its commander as cases in point.