In a letter to President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has urged that the appointment of the Inspector General of Police be done in a transparent manner so as to establish public confidence in the appointment process.
The BASL urges that no officer who has pending Fundamental Rights or criminal cases against him or any allegations of involvement in unlawful activity be appointed to the office of the Inspector General of Police.
The BASL observed that Sri Lanka Police has a practice that the promotions of police officers who are named as suspects or accused in criminal matters or are respondents in fundamental rights applications such as those relating to illegal arrests and torture are withheld during the pendency of such applications.
Similarly, promotions for officers who have a blemished record in the Sri Lanka Police are regularly withheld. The BASL is of the view that the same or higher standards must be adopted by the Executive in appointing the Inspector General of Police.
The BASL is also of the view that, prior to the approval of the appointment of the Inspector General of Police, the procedures to be followed in regard to recommendations or approvals for appointments under Article 41B or 41C should be determined by the Constitutional Council as provided for in Article 41E(6) of the Constitution.
“During the last few decades, there has been a serious erosion of public confidence in the Sri Lanka Police. The lack of independence, politicization, police brutality, custodial deaths, and lack of professionalism have all contributed to the erosion of public confidence in the police. The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is of the view that public confidence in the police is vital for the administration of justice and the rule of law,” the BASL statement added.
This letter had been issued under the signatures of BASL President Saliya Pieris PC and its Secretary, Isuru Balapatabendi, and copies of this letter had also been sent to the members of the Constitutional Council.