PCoI on political victimisation during UNF Govt.: High-ranking cops to play victim card? 

  • Concerns over possible misuse of PCoI recommendations 

  • Cabinet to deliberate on recommendations this week  

Allegations have been levelled that several high-ranking officials in the Sri Lanka Police are tipped to misuse the investigations conducted by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) appointed to probe incidents of alleged acts of political victimisation of public officials during the period from 8 January 2015 to 16 November 2019, by making false claims and attempting thereby to rise up through the ranks. 

The Sunday Morning reliably learnt so through concerned officers in the police force who allege the impending misuse of the recommendations made by the PCoI, by several high-ranking officials that filed grievances with the PCoI. 

“These officials have not been involved in any high-risk operations that had been carried out and were never subjected to any political retaliation, concerning which they made claims to the PCoI. Should the recommended actions come into effect, it will discriminate against many of the hard-working and honest officers of the police force by allowing these corrupt officials to receive benefits through the PCoI,” an officer told The Sunday Morning on condition of anonymity. 

Meanwhile, when The Sunday Morning inquired from Minister of Public Security (Retd.) Rear Admiral Dr. Sarath Weerasekera about the recommendations that would be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers tomorrow (22), he responded: “The recommendations that were submitted by the Commission that conducted the inquiries have only been made concerning certain police officers that had filed their grievances. There are several other high-ranking police officials who are yet to receive the recommended concessions, which we will take up during the cabinet meeting.” 

Weerasekera also added that there had been observations made by the PCoI where they had noted that certain police personnel were promoted on multiple occasions without any qualifying examinations or reasons, during the tenure of the United National Front (UNF)-led Government. 

Dr. Weerasekera said that the Cabinet during their meeting tomorrow will take an informed decision on the approvals of promotions or salary increments that the officers have requested through the PCoI that held the inquiry and that the decisions will in no way hinder the present administrative structure that is established within the Police. 

“We will look into these incidents and take necessary action after our deliberations. No officer will be given such promotions if the grievances that they have filed have no grounds for consideration,” Weerasekera explained. 

According to the list in question, it was initially recommended that 72 persons be promoted, but with additional directives received through President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the number increased to 84. 

The concerned officials pointed out that many officers who were to be promoted on the basis of seniority are at risk of losing promotions, should these recommendations be given effect by means of special salary increments. 

They also point out that the majority of the high-ranking officials currently recommended for promotions had not even served in high-risk operational zones or served in rural settings, but were confined to security divisions that provided guard to ministers and very important persons in Colombo. 

The majority of this list includes senior deputy inspector generals of police (SDIGs), deputy inspector generals of police (DIGs), and senior superintendents of police (SSPs). A group of chief inspectors of police have also been promoted to the rank of assistant superintendents of police (ASPs). 

It has been revealed that an officer who was promoted to the post of ASP in 2010 and promoted to the post of superintendent of police in 2014 will be promoted to the post of SSP with effect from 2020 and will then be promoted to the post of DIG by this PCoI. 

The aggrieved officials say that the majority of promotions are based on political affiliations.