Crackdown after The Morning’s Kataragama exposé
Following an exposé by The Morning concerning various illegal activities and malpractices taking place around the Kataragama Devalaya Complex, the Civil Defence Force (CDF)/Civil Security Force (CSF) is taking action at the highest level.
Speaking to The Morning, CDF/CSF Director General Rear Admiral U.I. Serasinghe said that they have identified the officers involved in these malpractices, and are interrogating them. According to Serasinghe, the CDF/CSF would be able to make an official statement regarding these officers soon.
“I will take the highest possible action against this. I definitely believe that this is something to be addressed and corrected. We would not shy away from punishing the officers who try to destroy the image of the CDF/CSF,” said Serasinghe.
The CDF/CSF is not a corrupt place and 90% of the officers are clean, he further added.
The Morning carried out an undercover investigation regarding the hotbed of criminal activity at the Kataragama place of worship where organised gangs with links to the area’s local government political leadership are operating in broad daylight, fleecing pilgrims and tourists, extorting vendors, and carrying out a racket involving the trafficking and sale of narcotic drugs.
During the investigation, a CDF/CSF officer took The Morning’s investigation team to the Kataragama Devalaya without any vehicle pass, for a payment of Rs. 500.
According to Kataragama Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) Chairman Chanaka Amil Rangana, vehicle passes issued to devotees can only be obtained at the Kiri Vehera, the Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya, the Kataragama PS, and the Kataragama Police.