Minister Tiran Alles has affirmed his support for present President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the presidential polls, declaring him as the preferred candidate.

He was responding to queries about rumours on his candidacy in the upcoming election when he spoke to the media at the President’s Media Centre yesterday (21).

Alles praised President Wickremesinghe’s efforts to uplift the country and end long-standing issues.

He also said the value of seized drugs in the ongoing ‘Yukthiya’ anti-narcotic operation exceeds Rs 7.8 billion, with nearly 60,000 suspects arrested.

The Minister disclosed that 58,234 individuals have been arrested in 58,562 raids conducted as part of the operation.

Additionally, he noted that since the commencement of the ‘Yukthiya’ Operation on 17 December 2023, the Police have seized vehicles and properties valued over Rs 725 million.

Minister Alles stated that he and the Acting Inspector General of Police have faced continuous pressure from various quarters demanding the termination of the ‘Yukthiya’ Operation.

However, he emphasised his commitment to continue the operation unabated, citing its crucial role in crime prevention.

Addressing concerns about funding sources for illicit activities, he mentioned intelligence indicating that individuals associated with drug networks are funnelling money into such operations.

On the administrative front, Minister Alles announced plans to introduce the e-Passport service to alleviate queues at the Department of Immigration and Emigration.

Further, arrangements are in place to issue new identity cards through the Department for Registration of Persons (ID Office).

AIGP Deshabandu Tennakoon addressed challenges in Police promotions, citing petitions filed in the Supreme Court by disgruntled officers.

He assured that discussions are underway with relevant authorities, including the National Police Commission and the Attorney General’s Department, to resolve these issues.

Tennakoon committed to ensure fair promotions, particularly for lower-grade Police Officers at all times.



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