In a rare press conference held in Kandy, yesterday, by one of the anti-graft social activists Namal Kumara, director operation of a social movement called, Anti-Corruption Force (Dushana Virodhi Balakaaya) has disclosed an ugly part of the ongoing internal rift within the Department of Police in Sri Lanka, one of the largest state entities in the island.
According to the alleged audio records of the telephone conversations played during the press briefing, the activist was ordered by a senior police officer who is heading the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID), to tarnish the reputation of certain highly regarded officers in the department.
“What you have to propagate is that it was not the senior DIG Kandy but the director of the State Intelligence Service (SIS) is the one who instigated the mayhem in Digana, Kandy, [where the tension between Sinhalese and Muslims were taken place by the following assassination of a Sinhalese unarmed driver by a group of Muslim youth],” Director of the TID ordered.
Excerpts (translated from Sinhala) of the telephone conversation played during the press briefing follows;
DIG Nalaka de Silva: Can’t you instigate Buddhist monks against him?
Namal Kumara: You meant, against SIS Boss?
DIG Nalaka de Silva: Yes
Namal Kumara: No problem at all; what I need is accurate information.
DIG Nalaka de Silva: I shall pass the information to tarnish his reputation. Especially, the case of Amith Weerasinghe, [who is heading the Mahasohon Balakaya, main responsible party for the ethnic tension in Digana]. What you have to propagate is that it was not the DIG Kandy but DIG SIS is the one who played the pivotal role in motivating him against Muslims.
Namal Kumara: What was his name, I don’t remember
DIG Nalaka de Silva: Nilantha Jayawardene
Namal Kumara: Ah… Nilantha Jayawardene
DIG Nalaka De Silva: Yes
Namal Kumara: Does Prime Minister trust him?
DIG Nalaka de Silva: Not only Prime Minister but also the President trusts him
Namal Kumara: Ah… they trust him
DIG Nalaka de Silva: But if you spread these rumours then the Prime Minister will drop him
Namal Kumara: Ah…
DIG Nalaka de Silva: Whether information is correct or wrong it doesn’t matter
Namal Kumara: No worries, give me anything
Namal Kumara: I came to know about Mr Latheef. (Head of the STF Senior DIG M R Latheef )
DIG Nalaka de Silva: He must be removed from the STF then all power accumulated by him will be demolished. He has power as long as he is with the STF. I must sit on his chair, so then I can exercise all my duties without hesitation. There is another man called Nandana Munasinghe.
Namal Kumara: Yes, DIG Nandana Munasinghe, he was DIG Colombo; but now, I guess, he is in the East.
DIG Nalaka de Silva: Yes, he is the main troublemaker. He is the one who helped Buddhist monks to get bail.
DIG Nalaka de Silva: It is known that the President and Prime Minister are having a sort of internal crisis.
Namal Kumara: Yes, That’s true.
DIG Nalaka de Silva: In this situation, we must extol the Prime Minister. We can’t praise President because no one close to him is trustworthy. All those who are with the President is working for Gotabaya (Former Secretary to the Ministry of Defense)
By concluding the media briefing, Namal Kumara says, “I decided to come forward as I believe the media is the only way to protect the outspoken voices and defend them.”
“ DIG Nalaka De Silva was introduced to me by the incumbent Inspector General of Police, Pujith Jayasundara, introducing him as a good man. Therefore, I don’t think I can trust Police in this instance,” he further claimed.
It is clear; this exposure indicates the ongoing serious internal crisis within the Department of Police.
According to the media reports, “the National Police Commission is investigating the qualifications of DIG Nalaka de Silva.”
The investigation “follows a written complaint by DIGs Ranmal Kodithuwakku and Priyantha Weerasuriya and ASPs Nihal Thalduwa and Prasanna Alwis to the commission that there were questions with regard to the TID director’s educational qualifications and his height,” reports added.
Meanwhile, reliable sources in the Department of Police told the Sri Lanka Guardian, that immediate investigation against these type of pathetic and destructive practices of the certain officers must be conducted and those found to be guilty must be prosecuted to the maximum.