With just a few more hours to go for a crucial Constitutional Council meeting to select the country’s 34th Inspector General of Police (IGP), Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka, who is a member of the Constitutional Council is coming under increasing pressure to sit out of the meeting.
Highly placed sources said that the decision would be an inherently personal decision on Ranawaka’s part, even though there was no clause to demand him to sit out of Monday’s meeting.
Minister Ranawaka is currently embroiled in a conflict of interest issue with the police as police is currently investigating his alleged recent hit and run case in Rajagiriya, which comes directly under the purview of DIG Pujith Jayasundara, one of the contenders for the top IGP position.
Several members of the Constitutional Council, including those nominated from the opposition have been pressuring Ranawaka to sit out of the meeting, which is scheduled to decide between Jayasundara, Chandana Wickramaratne and acting IGP S. M. Wickremesinghe for the position of police chief. Wickremesinghe has the backing of President Sirisena, although it is learnt that Jayasundara is the front runner for the position. However, a final decision will be taken by the Council after interviewing the three DIGs.
The Constitutional Council comprises of ten members, including Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan, Champika Ranawaka, Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, W. D. J. Seneviratne, Vijitha Herath, Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy and Shibly Aziz. Ranawaka is President Maithripala Sirisena’s nominee to the Council.
Meanwhile, the Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that Ranawaka met with the Prime Minister late evening on Sunday for a meeting.
On Saturday, Member of the Council, W. D. J. Seneviratne said that if Ranawaka had any ‘credibility and integrity’ he should sit out of Monday’s meeting.