4 July, 2022

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S/DIG Latheef Saga; Litmus Test For The Independent Commissions

By Granville Perera

The grapevine says “Daham, the son of President Maithripala Sirisena is learning fast the tricks of the trade his fathers predecessors mastered. He has quickly learnt that protecting the corrupt and underworld is probably the best business in town”, but the truth probably is somewhat different.

Prof. Siri Hettige

Prof. Siri Hettige

The Independent Police Commission headed by Prof. Siri Hettige (Chairman) and comprising members Mrs. Savithree Wijesekara, Mr. Y.L,M. Zawahir, Mr. Anton Jeyanadan, Mr. Tilak Collure and Mr. Frande Silva appointed Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (S/DIG) M R Latheef as the Commandant of the Special Task Force (STF) on 4th August 2016. Up to date, he has not been released from his former responsibilities by the IGP to assume duties as the commandant of the STF. The delay leads to suspicion that there are political conspiracies to reject the decision made by the Police Commission. Does the constitution provide for the President or any other to over rule a decision by any one of the independent commissions? Legal opinion is that the President, the cabinet or the Prime Minister has no such powers once the National Police Commission (NPC) or any other independent commission makes an appointment.

Did we hear Mahinda Rajapaksa saying “Kawda meaka Thambiyakuta Dunne?” (Who gave this to a Thambiya?). Oh sorry, I forgot that Mahinda Rajapaksa left his palace on the 9th of January 2015, just over 20 months ago. So, from where did this voice descend? Was it the ghost of the Rajapaksas or did it come from the new tenant?

The widespread belief is that Latheef will clean up the corrupt Special Task Force that has protected the corrupt, underworld, provides favours to political thugs, provided unofficially, vehicles to the current politicians etc. It is also alleged that the former head of STF is worried that Latheef will open up the rotten can of worms that would expose the widespread corruption within STF. He was a top crime buster who was also responsible for busting up the illegal trade and transport of Ganja in the Moneragala district. Earlier, an attempt was made to tarnish his image and throw him out of his job as the top cop of Moneragala for busting up the illegal sand mining, ganja trade and treasure hunting undertaken by well connected political smugglers. He was a real thorn for the politically connected crooks. The former IGP and the police department stood by him.

This time, some heavyweights sitting in the presidential secretariat are accused of using Daham Sirisena and are trying to chew something they may not be able to swallow, because the man they are attempting to munch is a globally acclaimed bold policeman, a proud product of Royal College (my alma mater), a thorough gentleman and an officer par excellence,. Latheef or Latta as commonly known amongst royalists and friends is not a pushover. He provided security for VIPs at the peak of the ethnic war with top professionalism against the threats of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. He is also considered one of the best defense strategists in the country. He came in to international limelight when he presented his strategy to protect athletes and very important persons (VIPs) who could be targets of international terrorists at the Olympic games. Since then, there has been an attempt to get him in to one of the top United Nations positions that could assist in global security.

Latheef is a veteran special task force officer who hunted criminals and the underworld who had absolute political patronage. He brought them to justice and ensured that law and order prevailed wherever he served. His reluctance to dance to the tunes of the politicians has made his police life miserable, but he is a real street fighter who took on the high and mighty and will continue to do so with out fear or fervor.

With the controversial flux in the appointment of Senior DIG Latheef as the commandant of the Special Task Force, the police commission is scheduled to meet on the 18th of August 2016. Will the Police commission reconfirm the STF Commandant’s appointment and stand its ground or bow down to political pressure of the Presidential Secretariat. Will it discipline the Inspector General of Police for not respecting and implement its decision. More importantly, will this be another broken promise of the Yahapalanaya made during the presidential elections. The average man might tighten his belts, but will not tolerate the same song sung by the Mahinda Rajapaksa clan. It is also rumored that Minister in charge of the Police, Sagala Ratnayake is working overtime to get Latheef an appointment with the United Nations, so that he can please the President.

There has also been widespread condemnation by the Muslim community as well. They see this as a purely racial issue and the government is succumbing to the pressures of Buddhist extremists. There could be a huge protest after Friday prayers on the 19th if the Police commission doesn’t act. It is reliably understood that S/DIG persuaded the Muslims not to take any action with regard to his appointment last Friday; The Muslims may not comply this Friday. The Muslims see the non appointment as an attempt to deprive the community of any senior public service positions. A Muslim public servant told me, despite having 21 Muslim members in parliament, there is only one Muslim Secretary to a ministry; there are no Governors, Divisional Secretaries or any other senior public servant. Non-appointment of Police Commandant Latheef would be seen as succumbing to the growing racism of extremist Buddhists who continue to be led by saffron clad men assumed to be Buddhist priests. During this month alone, Buddhist extremist had attacked two places of religious worship. Two days ago, A peace vigil organized by a mixed ethnic civil society was violently disrupted by vigilante monks and thugs right in front of senior police officers. Women were abused and the posters they were carrying were snatched and torn. The same group raided a Jovah’s witness church yesterday (16/8/16) and intimidated two innocent teenage girls and the resident priest. They abused their religious practice.

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Latest comments

  • 25
    2

    If anybody deserves the job it is Latheef…however my advice to you Latta, is take the UN job if you get it My friend and don’t look back !

    I love my Country but the task facing people like you and even the writer of this article is INSURMOUNTABLE !

    • 27
      0

      My advice to you Latta, die an honourable man that you have always been. Don’t take the bribe offered by Yahapalanaya with the UN job. Die a pauper, who has stood by his noble beliefs. There are millions of Sri Lankans who will stand by you. This is not just about your job, but YAHAPALANAYA

    • 11
      0

      Granville Perera

      RE: S/DIG Latheef Saga; Litmus Test For The Independent Commissions

      Thank you for the write up and exposure.

      Expose, expose and expose, and Latheef is the Man to do it.

      That is why all the Crooks and their Cronies are afraid.

      In the police there are good honest officers, and they want a man like Lsateef. the people want that too.,

      So who is objecting? The Crooks and theit cronies.

    • 13
      0

      Granville Perera

      “Did we hear Mahinda Rajapaksa saying “Kawda meaka Thambiyakuta Dunne?” (Who gave this to a Thambiya?).”

      So, this is Thambiya. the Crooks and cronies cannot bribe.

      They would have been happy with a Thambiya whom they all can bribe.

      We need more Thambiyas, Sinhalayas, Demalas and Parangios, who cannot be bribed by the Crooks and their cronies, in this Land of Native Veddah Aethho, occupied by the Paras, Paradeshis.

      • 12
        0

        Latheef will sick any bribe offered to him through the bribers backside so that he spits it out through his mouth. He wouldn’t tolerate crime even if heaven was offered. So, Latheef should be appointed or Sirisena impeached. Malinda has confirmed his support to impeach Sirisena

      • 11
        0

        Have all of us forgotten a very Senior Police officer who was involved in arresting some mischief-makers during the Alutgama anti-muslim uprising
        last and how he was treated – being a Tamil Officer? Will the Commission
        take up his allegations, if he still in Sri Lanka?

  • 12
    2

    It appears that this Yahapaalanaya is trying to emulate its predecessor MAARAPAALANAYA. That means the future of Yahapaalanaya governance is doomed and that will open doors for another corrupt regime for the Rajapaksas and his cronies.
    Ranil will never become the head of the state. This is my prediction about Ranil.

  • 11
    0

    Every aspect of decency has been lost or dumped by society as a result of decadence politics and bribery and corruption that has become the way of life. The super luxury life we observe lived by a good many is as a result of this. The country is in a state of near collapse been trapped by debt. Those at the top do not seem to care, and are taking care of themselves while holding the country to ransom if any of their selfish demands and aspirations are denied. The constant disturbing interrupting protests we see daily, are mostly due to the neglect, inefficiency or downright insensitivity of the establishment. The core of the police is steeped in corruption where even the police hospital is virtually in a state of an abattoir. If the prime minister is harbouring the former central bank governor from prosecution, he is as guilty as the other, and both should be held to account, instead of enjoying immunity from the law.

  • 23
    0

    We should go with Latheef to end corruption

    • 16
      0

      Lateef will bust up the underworld and drug ring. Anyone objecting????????

      • 8
        0

        yes.daham according to the writer

        • 0
          0

          Then its time to bust up the Sirisena goviyas

  • 6
    28

    This is another item written by an “old Royalists” supporting his old school mate.

    “Old Royalists” appear to be jumping out of the nearest bush you kick these days and “Granville” Perera tries desperately to lather up this man called Latheef, as if there are no other honest, capable Sri Lankans exist!

    Then he extends this bullshit to start a campaign to increase Muslim representation in other government jobs.

    The increase in Muslim influence in this yahapalana government is obvious and there is no worse example than Faizer Mustapha (who was the last member to of the Hopper Betrayal to go to Singapore, return and cross over. He is designing the local government electorate boundaries to get the maximum, number of Muslims elected to all the Councils.

    “Granville” is obviously too stupid (a Royalist or otherwise) to see these dangerous trends in Sri lankan politics and society. He will probably hang by his old tie one day!

    • 20
      0

      I guess this is a comment from an ‘Old Thomian’ whom aren’t usually racists, but this one is. Life is a process and change is the outcome.

      • 6
        0

        anonymous

        The other Alternative is to appoint Anura Kumara Dissansyaka of JVP, and the Crooks and Cronies will pea in their pants.

    • 6
      0

      There is no one more capable than Lateef.. But maybe Malaka Silva???

    • 6
      0

      “Old Ties” just take your time off and remove those blinkers. Granville is not a Muslim but believes that the best man should be given the job.Do you agree with that or not thats the question on the table? If you do not agree then you are not concerned about Mother Lanka.Another Royalist our PM will endorse Granville’s view not because of “loyalty to the tie” but he too believes in such a policy.

      It maybe the Royal College background ground that they were both nurtured in makes them take this fair stance because they say at Royal no one ever looked at each other as Buddhists,Christians,Muslims but pure and simple as SRI LANKANS.

      Unless and until we all think on those lines our country will never ever progress and we are grateful to our Prime Minister for attempting to lead our beautiful Island under this slogan.If”Old Ties”you are selfish and only concerned about your comforts and privileges and dont care a damn about the future generation then carry on your tirade but dont forget that famous saying “dogs bark but the Caravan will go on” Ranil is leading the caravan and if God Wills it will reach its destination under the “We are all Sri Lankans” policy of Ranil Wickremasignhe who is not corrupt and only concerned to make Sri Lanka the true “Wonder of Asia”

    • 1
      0

      “OLD TIE” show us another honest person please. Latheef has been known for being forthright and honest.

  • 10
    0

    Someone please get rid of Daham. Problem solved.

  • 23
    2

    Old ties, it looks like you are one of those DAMN chauvinists from one the rival schools that cannot see the success Royal archives in and outside the playing fields. The discussion here is not about the school but about a decent honest police officer (he may be a Thambiya) who has served the country well and busted up the crime ring wherever he went. Are you one of those crime ring leaders to fear his appointment. Granville has done well to create this discussion and not only the Muslims but the entire nation should get out and join the Muslim community after their prayers on Friday. This is the only way we can protect the Yahapalanaya which the majority of Sri Lankans risked their lives, to bring them to power.

    • 5
      1

      wish their were more sinhalese like you.problem solved.country developed.

      alas we don’t get all our wishes in life.So country always third world.

  • 1
    12

    The same “plug” for Lathief appeared in my favourite Web paper LeN..

    Is it a coincidence?.

    Or Is this dude in Managalan’s UNP LGBT Faction rather than UNP Royal Faction?.Or both .?..

    • 7
      1

      Sumane, I will join the LGBT lot if I can play your Ba… side

      • 2
        7

        Mohamed,

        You must be the house boy who robbed Samare’s two bottles of duty free Scotch..

        Is the Missus still with you?…

        • 10
          0

          Yes, sumane, bring yours along. we can have good fun

        • 1
          0

          [Edited out] Sumane, have you forgotten, you sold that to Basil traders and got your bath packet the other day and you are going senile

  • 28
    0

    Lateef took on the mighty Shashindra and his nefarious crimes at the peak of the Rajapaksa dictatorship. Given the opportunity under a decent Prime Minister, he would clean up the country of organised crime within months. Many big heads will role, but we need a country that our children could live devoid of drugs and crime. Let us all take the long walk with Latheef.

    • 1
      10

      “Given the opportunity under a decent Prime Minister”
      You mean Batalanda Ranil!

  • 7
    4

    Police commission is a impotent organisation that safe guards the status co. Prof Hettige and his assistant ackmnowledges complaints but never replies. So there goes the yahapalanaya .It is resistant to law and order and FairPlay. SL is better off with out it and its a waste of the poor peoples money .

    • 18
      0

      If the police commission cannot take a firm decision to rein in the President and IGP, the entire commison should remove their clothes and walk naked to show their impotency

  • 15
    0

    SDIG Latheef is great person to lead the STF. He’s more experience about STF. Earlier he was in STF. Very sincere and talented person. Wait and see what will happen in yahapaalanaya…..

  • 14
    0

    Many of us risked our lives to bring Yahapalanaya. Today, we see the same bloody bloodthirsty hounds in government. The only consolation we saw was the appointment of the independent commissions. If Sobitha himi was around he would have committed suicide because of the current yahapalanaya. If we could have driven the m,ighty Rajapaksa out, it is going to be a cake walk to send these midgets home. Let us unite under the Thambi’s on Friday and show Yahapalanaya that their days are numbered

  • 14
    1

    This is a wake up call for Ranil’s Yahapalanaya. Sirisena is becoming Rajapaksa. If he is going to let Daham become Namal, its time to bring back Sobitha from his grave. Daham proved the eral ass…le when he attended the Geneva UN sessions, taking the place of capable officers, None of us undressed him at that time and he is becoming a Naml, yoshita and Chichie put together. His pony ride at Passekuddah was the begining

  • 4
    0

    Granville Perera,

    There is something missing in the profile of M R Latheef.

    He was on a foreign assignment!

    • 8
      0

      No, he is very much here at the IGPs office and who knows, there might be a police strike if this brilliant officer is denied his post because crooks and the underworld fear him. To hell with Yahapalanaya

  • 10
    0

    Sri Lanka must be blessed to have an officer like Lateef as commandant of STF. He is focused and honest. He also had great personal qualities I deeply admire. One day we were coming from the East via Kataragama to Colombo. I had an important meeting in Colombo and the time was tight. But in Matara, he told me that he has to stop the vehicle briefly near the cemetery to pay respect to his father’s toumb. This surprised me. Then he kept focus on my meeting, and we also didn’t forget to use the brief time available to talk about import things too. No wonder the underworld is shocked, and I won’t be surprised if they try to reach out to the president through Daham. Ian sure the president is mature enough to take the advice of the independent police commission.

  • 4
    0

    This person is unfit to be serve as the Chairman to Police commission because he gave full coverups for wrong doings of the most corruptive VC in the Colombo University history. So called corruptive VC’s daughter also given free sociology degree from Colombo University Arts faculty and recruited as a Lecturer to same University by dis-regarding all well qualified applications received from even Ivy League PhDs.

    • 3
      0

      Yes if that the case Chairman must be expelled from the Police Commission. Giving cover-ups for all ill doings and helping to give first class sociology degree from own dept and recruiting same girl to same dept as a Lecturer by passing all well qualified applicants are real violation of all ethics and criminal codes.

  • 5
    2

    It is indeed sad that we have come to a stage where the minorities, especially the Muslims who overwhelmingly voted them have to question our own Yahapalanaya who are accused of being racist agenda. The President, PM and the Police commission would do well to put this whole controversy by releasing DIG from his current duties so that he could assume duties as STF commandant. Failure would have lasting repercussions

  • 7
    0

    Latheef’s appointment has put the Independent National Police Commission on trail. Now, there is no way that the president can deny the recommendation of the police commission. Hetti is on trial

  • 12
    1

    SDIG Latiff – A brave soldier, an officer and a gentleman par excellence. Kudos to the Police Commission on an excellent choice.

  • 7
    2

    Yahapalanaya died sometime ago…….

    M.R.Latiff is for the Country and not for the useless U.N.
    He is a valuable asset. We must not loose him.

    He is an Officer and a gentleman with Royalty in his blood.
    That is the reason he is so upright and genuine and unscrupulously honest.
    Who is this tin pot Sagala Ratnayake? He can go to pot. We can afford to loose Yahapalanaya but NOT M.R.Latiff.

    M.R.LATIFF IS FOR THE COUNTRY………..UN can get another rotten scum bag.
    Come on Mr. Anton Jeyanathan another great son of the soil, stand up as you have always been, a person who can not be pushed around. We saw those qualities during the Non-Align Conference held in SL.
    LETS GET M.R.LATIFF CONFIRMED IN HIS APPOINTMENT AS THE COMMADANT OF THE SPECIAL TASK FORCE. That is where he belong.

  • 11
    1

    Officer like Latiff is an asset to this country a honest officer should be respected not treated like this

  • 6
    1

    Enough is enough -We thought Racial Discrimination ended with the With 2015 Election of our President and Prime Minister – Two honest to goodness. clean gentlemen. Have they changed?. this is our LAST CHANCE OF BEING A RESPECTED AND PROUD COUNTRY which can deliver on its promises and dreams. MK

  • 9
    0

    Sirisena’s days are numbered if he denies Latta what he deserves. Guys Latta has not made money from the police. If he has financial need to join the UN, let us have a hat collection.. We need this gentleman to clean up all vices. My contribution is 1 million if required

  • 2
    0

    This sounds more like another behind the scene contest between the President and the PM.

  • 6
    0

    Independant Commissions decisions must be adhered to. I remember HE The president saying that he doesnt even telephohe Police Officers.I hope he will maintain his promises.We need clean people in public service, Specially in the Police. If things goes like this The Public will start thinking that both the previous and present regimes are the same. I pray the children of H.E should not ruin his image. The Police Commission shouild stand firm for the sake of this country and for the purpose for which its established.

    Why dont the J V P look into these issues. GOD SAVE OUR COUNTRY

  • 2
    2

    With Choppe at the top only thing Latta is going to clean is his boots. The last thing the UNP will do is to clean the underworld. All the underworld heads who were out of the country during Gota’s reign is back with their guns. Latta is better off making some dosh at the UN rather than dying for a lost cause with the Yahapal naya.

  • 8
    0

    In the name of Good Governance or Yahapalanaya let the decision of the Police Commission be stood by and respected. Why manipulate? Are those in power trying to tell us that they named a person not fit for the job? Then why the hell did they enact the 19th amendment to create an independent police commission and now scuttle its functioning?

    So called independent institutions may have there drawbacks. Scuttling there decisions is not the answer. There are other fora for that. If there is something against the law then go to courts. If it is a question of improper conduct or decisions lacking good-judgement then there are Parliamentary Committees to look into and take corrective action. Resorting to third rate tactics would only loose public confidence in a Government elected to power with much hope.

    Last thing that should be done is to ill-treat minorities surreptitiously. It would destroy the amity which must be built at all costs.

  • 2
    0

    If the Yahapaalanaya President is succumbing to this kind of pressure from his cronies, we have to consider him to be a eunuch. Besides what about the decision of the Independent Police Commission ??

  • 2
    4

    Sirisena’s and Ranil’s days are numbered.

    Ranil is trying to destroy Bidhism

    Sirisena simply signers blank cheques.

    I think in our Sinhala Budhist country only Sinhala Budhist should appointed to high posts and this what Sirisena should do.

    Who wants this Thumbiya and Thumby nfluence is going to destroy us.

    See all the air travel is ithe monopoly of the Thumby airlines. As a result our airline is going bankrupt.

    These must be stopped and if not we the unofficial police force will take over the govt.

    • 0
      0

      [Edited out]

    • 2
      0

      All cowards at beggars island- go for it don’t tell.

    • 2
      0

      Gnassara you say ” Ranil is trying to destroy Bidhism” Yes Ranil is destroying “Bidhism” but not Buddhism.
      You also say”See all the air travel is the monopoly of the Thumby airlines” I do agree but the fact that 90 percent of Sinhala Buddhists are going to Thamby Land (Saudi,Kuwait,Dubai) to make their petro dollars which helps to keep our economy afloat and an almost equal amount fly the Thamby Airlines(Emirates,Ethihad,Fly Dubai) without going on our Nationl airline

  • 0
    0

    Lateef is not muslim.. great JAVA(Malay)…muslim is moors speaks Tamil.Malay has own language and culture.Present Malay DIGs are MARSO,SAMSUDEEN…

    • 1
      0

      Joe dont display your ignorance I have some expertise in the study of races in Sri Lamka so the fact is this. Malays.Moors,Sinhalese and Tamils are all races.Latheef is from the Malay race but is a follower of Islam so he becomes a Muslim.So dont mix up race with religion if you do you will also say all Sinhalese are Buddhists which is not so as there are a good percentage of Sinhalese who are Christian

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