Arundika defends request to transfer cop; Minister says not politically motivated

Arundika defends request to transfer cop; Minister says not politically motivated

Arundika defends request to transfer cop; Minister says not politically motivated

Written by Zulfick Farzan

01 Apr, 2021 | 7:33 pm

Colombo (News 1st); State Minister Arundika Fernando on Thursday (01) defended a controversial letter he had written to the Ministry of Public Security over the transfer of a senior police officer from Chilaw.

“I wrote the letter last year,” said the State Minister adding he only requested for an investigation on the conduct of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Eric Perera

ASP Perera, who was attached to the Wennapuwa police station at the time the letter was written, is now with the Negombo police as a result of the transfer.

“I requested the officer to be transferred only after an investigation,” the State Minister of Coconut, Kithul, and Palmyrah Cultivation Promotion and Related Industrial Product Manufacturing and Export Diversification claimed at a press conference held at the ministry premises yesterday.

The letter which went viral on social media claimed that State Minister Fernando had requested the Minister of Public Security to hold an inquiry on the conduct of the Police Officer and subsequently transfer him out of Chilaw.

“I have no personal issue with the Police Officer. But, there were continuous concerns raised by the people against him and that is why I called for his transfer,” Fernando added.

A recording of a conversation between the State Minister and the ASP was also leaked on social media recently.

In the recording, Fernando is heard saying that those who used live in Wennappuwa and Dankotuwa decades ago used to earn a living through illegal spirits, and went on to request Sri Lanka Police to take an easy approach on small-time moonshine peddlers.

He is heard telling the Police Officer to take action against those engaged in the illegal spirit trade on a large scale.

The Assistant Superintendant of Police is hear saying, “as per government policy, moonshine peddling is not permitted and cannot be allowed to operate as a form of self-employment.”

Those in the trade cannot be categories as small scale or major, he said, adding that such classification will be exploited by those in the trade.

It is reported that Eric Perera is now serving as the Assistant Superintendent of Police for Negombo.

Rear Admiral (Retd.) Dr. Sarath Weerasekara, the Minister of Public Security speaking to News 1st the Police Officer was transferred while the allegations were being looked into.

“ASP Eric Perera was transferred as per his wish,” said the Minister adding the inquiry is ongoing and stressed the transfer was not politically motivated.

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