Sagala insists police now free to act independently


Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said yesterday that the Police had been given ‘professional freedom’ to act independently and take action against election law violators. 

"If the Police fail to take action that is a weakness on their part. I reiterate that the Police must take action against wrongdoers irrespective of their party affiliations," Ratnayake said addressing a meeting in the Deniyaya electorate

"The Police have been depoliticized. They don’t have to take instructions from political authorities. We have resolved their salary issues and given better infrastructure. So the Police must now step up and deliver," the Law and Order Minister stressed. 

He said those who conducted election campaigns in accordance with election laws should not be harassed by others. 

Commenting on the Gin-Nilwala project affecting the Matara district, Ratnayaka asserted that the project was started by the previous government without a proper feasibility study. 

"There were allegations in the past that there were some underhand deals behind the implementation of the project. After the current government came to power, we came to an agreement that the project should not be resumed without a proper feasibility study. If the feasibility study suggests that the negatives of the project outweigh its positive aspects I will certainly oppose the project," he added.

"There is no point in carrying out development projects jeopardizing lives of the people in the area. At the same time, there should not be any room for bribery, corruption and underhand deals," Minister Ratnayake said, adding that he would personally look into the developments with regard to the Gin-Nilwala project. 

The Gin-nilwala project was initiated by the previous government mainly to provide water for cultivation in the Hambantota district. There were allegations that Rs. 4 billion had been paid to a private contractor for the construction of the project, although the project is yet to be started. It was also alleged that the private contractor was selected bypassing standard tender procedures

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