President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (17) afternoon reinstated C.D. Wickramaratne as the police chief less than an hour after the Constitutional Council scrapped his service extension.
From Beijing, China, where he is on an official visit, the president has given orders for Wickramaratne’s reinstatement, with public security minister Tiran Alles too, abroad.
A senior government minister has told ‘Lankadeepa’ that it was a serious blunder by the CC to remove Wickramaratne at a time when both the president and the subject minister were out of the country.
He suspected a conspiracy behind it, noting that removal of the IGP in such a situation is similar to the close down of the entire police force.
The police chief was given a three-week extension after he completed his second extended term.
The CC that met yesterday disapproved his extension as per the government policy not to extend the service of state officials upon completion of 60 years of age.
The CC meeting was chaired by speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywaradena and attended by opposition leader Sajith Premadasa, MP Sagara Kariyawasam and civil members.
But, the president’s representative Nimal Siripala de Silva was absent, as he is on a tour of India.