News Features

Who will be the next IGP?

Police Chief Chandra Fernando’s extension ends on October 11 and President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to appoint the IGP. It was former President Chandrika Kumaratunga who granted the one year extension to Mr. Fernando, but the current government policy is against extensions.
Among the Senior Deputy Inspectors General, the following names have been mentioned. Senior DIG Bodhi Liyanage, is the most senior and has 18 months to retire while next in line is Senior DIG Sirisena Herath who has 16 months before retirement. Two senior DIGs Kumarasiri Gamage, who has a year to go, and Victor Perera, who has two years, are being spoken of as the more favourable candidates from whom the President has to decide. Snr. DIG Jayantha Wickremaratne is the next in line of seniority and has two years before retirement.
Senior DIG Bodhi Liyanage has a Bachelor of Arts (General Degree) from the University of Colombo and has been a DIG since 1992.
Senior DIG Sirisena Herath joined the Police Force in August 1974 as an Assistant Superintendent of Police. After being promoted to the rank of DIG in 1993 he was posted as Commandant, SLPR Headquarters DIG.
Senior DIG K.G. Kumarasiri joined the Police Force in 1974 as an ASP. He is a Graduate from the University of Peradeniya where he studied Geography and Colombo where he studied Law. He took oaths as an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court in 1997. Kumarasiri was in charge of Sri Lanka Police Training College in 1996. He is the only remaining gazetted officer to receive the Vadamarachchi medal.
Senior DIG Jayantha Wickremaratne joined the Police Force in 1974 as an ASP and promoted to the rank of SP in 1983. He was promoted as a Senior SP in 1989 and as Deputy Inspector General of Police in 1993.
Senior DIG Victor Perera, a Graduate from the University of Colombo (BA Economics) in 1971 joined the Police Force in 1974 as an ASP along with Senior DIG Bodhi Liyanage. Following the LTTE bomb blast in 1999 December during the Presidential election Victor Perera was also injured along with President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.


Human Rights Commission findings on the “orphanage” bombing

By Sarath Malalasekera
The Human Rights Commission has drawn the following conclusions on the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) attack on Sencholai in Mullaitivu:

* There was evidence both from the three injured girls as well as Provincial level education authorities that the centre concerned was utilized for the motivation and training of children and young adults for LTTE recruitment.
* The trainees did not have any idea of the training content or any other details but were coerced to attend because of the compulsory requirement of a training card by the LTTE without which they could not proceed with their studies.
* It will be very difficult to prevent such incidents as long as child recruitment and training of children and youth as combatants goes on as has occurred during the entire two-decade period of the conflict.
* The evidence of the three girls reveals a vital bit of information that the state supported education system is being exploited for child recruitment and combatant training as it provides a ready made “pool” of vulnerable children.
* A “Training Card” system is being used to force children to attend such classes.
* Until the evidence of the girls was obtained, there has been no reporting of such activities in schools particularly in LTTE controlled areas by the UN, INGOs or NGOs functioning in such areas. In fact, fairly substantial funds have been poured into the school infrastructure by both the international community as well as the GOSL. There has been no recognition of such violations which appear to be occurring with the support of the Principals of such schools who are probably intimidated to do so. Such practices must be monitored and reported on a regular basis. It would be advisable under child rights violations for an independent group to assess all the schools in conflict affected areas particularly those which are in LTTE controlled areas, in terms of child recruitment activities.
* This investigation reveals how important it is to look at reports of child rights violations in depth, a point emphasized in the TOR of the recently established TFMR on Resolution 1612 (2005) which mentions the need for the vetting and confirmation as well as integrity and quality of the information received.