SC sets hearing for Cardinal Ranjith’s bid to oust Deshabandu

Tuesday, 23 January 2024 00:34 –      – 102

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The Fundamental Rights petition filed by the Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, aiming to oust top cop Deshabandu Tennakoon from the role of Acting Inspector General of Police and secure an interim order preventing Tennakoon’s confirmation as the Inspector General of Police, is scheduled for consideration on 31 January by the Supreme Court.

The decision was made when the application was brought before Judges Prithi Padman Suriyasena, Achala Vengappuli, and Mahinda Samayawardena yesterday.

Additional Solicitor General Nerin Pulle, representing the Attorney General, requested that two other petitions related to the same issue, filed by different parties, be scheduled for 31 January along with the petition submitted by His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith.

Shamil Perera PC represented the petitioner, while Romesh De Silva PC represented the respondent Acting IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon. The Constitutional Council, led by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, and Deshbandu Thennakoon have been named as respondents in the petition.

The Archbishop has vehemently opposed the appointment of Tennekoon to the top post in the Sri Lanka Police. Issuing a statement at the time he condemned and rejected the appointment with deep disgust calling the appointment the greatest insult to victims of the Easter Sunday attack.

He highlighted that the President’s Commission of Inquiry into the Easter Sunday attack has recommended disciplinary action against Tennekoon for not preventing the attack, despite having the capability to do so.

“If those such as Deshabandu Tennekoon had carried out their duties 275 innocents would be alive today,” he said. The Archbishop said that appointing an officer like Tennenkoon, who neglected his duties and allowed hundreds of innocent people to die, as the Inspector General of Police was barbaric.

He also noted other allegations against the senior cop including failing to prevent the attack on the protestors at Galle Face Green on 9 May 2022.

“It seems that the President, who appointed such an individual, is indifferent to the safety of the people in the country,” he remarked at the time.

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