Recently the vehicle of Deputy Minister of Wildlife Palitha Thevarapperuma had to be recalled to Colombo while the Deputy Minister was engaged in a visit to the Yala National Park.
Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma stated that he was stranded in the Yala National Park as the Ministry had recalled the vehicle back. Adding to this he noted that the Ministry has a duty to notify or ask him whether the vehicle can be taken back. An order had been given to return the key before 4:00 PM and the secretary had been reprimanded according to Deputy Minister Thevarapperuma. He was ambiguous as to whether the vehicle was recalled on the request of Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka.
Minister for Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, commented on the incident today stating that there are two security details assigned for his protection; 14 from the police and 04 from the STF. He stated that the STF does not travel in the police vehicle and therefore the Ministry has two vehicles. Elaborating he went on to state that when the Police vehicle is not functioning they use the Defender SUV and that the Deputy Minister had requested for it on two occasions, which he had refused.
Minister Sarath Fonseka noted that the Police had informed of the malfunctioning of the brakes in the vehicle and he did not approve of it to be used. However, the Minister stated that when he was informed that the Defender SUV had been taken out, he had requested the Ministry Secretary to inform the vehicle to be returned to the Police.