Colombo, April 29 (IANS): Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday named a new police chief and appointed a new advisor to the Defence Ministry.
Senior Deputy Inspector General C.D. Wickremeratne, the second-in-command in the police force, has been appointed the acting Inspector General and former Inspector General N.K. Illangakoon has been appointed an advisor to the Defence Ministry, the President’s office said.
Sirisena last week blamed intelligence failures for the April 21 Easter Sunday bombings that killed 253 people and promised a major shake-up in the country’s security apparatus, Efe news reported.
He had sought resignations from Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jayasundara amid growing public outrage over the government’s apparent failure to act on intelligence reports indicating that Islamist groups were planning to target churches in the island nation.
The Defence Secretary resigned on April 25, saying he had systematically “disseminated the intelligence information received about the attacks on the competent officials and departments” and that he had complied with his duties.
Meanwhile, Jayasundara has been sent on compulsory leave, the Daily Mirror quoted sources as saying.
The Defence Secretary occupies the third position in the chain of command of office after the country’s President, who also holds the post of Defence Minister.
Last week, Sirisena said that there were as many as 140 Islamic State suspects in the country and 70 of them had already been apprehended.
The recent bombings were the worst attacks since the Sri Lankan civil war between Tamil guerrillas and the government ended in 2009.