At what seemed to be a crisis meeting held at the Temple Trees yesterday, Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka had berated IGP Pujith Jayasundara over the Police Department’s failure to bring the Kataragama issue under control.
The Minister, at the meeting, said he gave clear instructions to senior Police officers to “work with the villagers” to quell the situation. Ratnayaka had said he was shocked to see a video footage where a Police officer was seen mercilessly attacking a villager.
“Strict action should be taken against all these people. And I want you to report the progress back to me,” an angry minister had said. He had also directed Secretary of the Law and Order Ministry, P. Jayamanne to actively engage with the process and ensure that directives are properly carried out.
He had also strongly criticized the Police officer who opened fire at a civilian over a traffic violation. “This is utter madness! The incident must be properly investigated and the culprits should be punished. The IGP must take prompt action to discipline the Police force in meaningful ways. I don’t want to deal with this kind of problems in the future,” the Minister had said.
IGP Pujith jayasundara came under fire recently for conducting meditation classes for the Police force, without making necessary efforts to uplift the professional standards of the service.
The Minister had told the IGP to report back the progress of the action taken against Police officers responsible for the ‘mismanagement’ of the tense situation in Kataragama.
A commotion took place near the Police sttaion in Kataragama in the wake of a death of a motorcyclist following a Police shooting. Soon after the incident, protests broke out in the area against the Police.
The situation exacerbated when the Police assaulted protesters and used teargas to disperse them.