President Sirisena Consolidates Power Over Defence Apparatus: Police Department Gazetted Under Defence Ministry

A gazette extraordinaire has been issued bringing the Department of Police under the purview of the Ministry of Defence, held by President Maithripala Sirisena. 

The Department of Police previously remained under the Ministry of Law and Order and was overlooked by a Minister other than the President. 

With the new gazette, the Police Department has been placed alongside the tri-forces under the direct supervision of the President, consolidating Sirisena's powers over the defence apparatus of the country. 

Sirisena recently appointed his former Chief of Staff and close ally Hemasiri Fernando as the new Defence Ministry Secretary, replacing Kapila Waidyaratne who held the position for just over a year. 

Political observers, however, said the move was aimed at circumventing constitutional barriers barring the President from holding multiple ministries. 

The recent amendments to the Constitution bar the President from holding more than three ministries. However, there is no constitutional restriction on the number of state institutions the President can keep under his purview. 

© 2017 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd