STF withdrawn from 10 camps in East

Sweeping changes in Police Dept., new chiefs appointed to CID, STF

By Sunil Jayasiri

With heightened military activities in the North, the Defence Ministry has decided to withdraw the Special Task Force from more than ten camps in the East and Mannar, in order to deploy them in LTTE threatened areas in Welioya, police sources said.

A top Police official said that the Army would take over those camps in the East and Vavuniya areas. “The Ministry has decided to withdraw the STF from some camps in the Ampara and Akkaraipattu areas and deploy them in LTTE threatened villages in Welioya, including Kebithigollewa, shortly,” the police official said.

He also said that the Army would take over security in the Ampara and Akkaraippatu areas, where the STF was present. “The process will start next week,” he added.

Meanwhile, confirming the report, Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said that the Ministry had taken a decision to withdraw STF personnel from camps certain areas in the East as well as the Vavuniya area.

“The decision has been taken in order to facilitate future military operations,” Brigadier Nanayakkara said. He added that the STF personnel would be deployed in some areas in the Welioya sector.

“Only the STF camps in some areas will be withdrawn, others in the Eastern region will remain,” he added.

At present there are several STF camps in the Mannar and Vavuniya areas in addition to those in the East. Following the recapture of the entire Batticaloa District by the military, STF personnel had taken over the control of the district in order release the Army for the operations in the North.

The STF are responsible for the recapture of the Kanchikudichchiaru area from the LTTE after launching several military operations.

Meanwhile, days after appointing ten new Deputy Inspectors General, sweeping changes have been made in the Police service, including yesterday’s removal of the STF Commandant and the CID Chief.

According to the new orders, approved by the National Police Commission, CID Chief D.W. Prathapasinghe has been transferred to Sabaragamuwa and DIG Sisira Mendis appointed as the new CID Chief. DIG Mendis will be also in charge of the Terrorist Investigation Department and the Disappearance Investigation Unit.

Deputy Inspector General Nimal Lewke, who was the STF Commandant, has been replaced by Senior DIG K.L.M. Sarathchandra. DIG Lewke will continue as DIG Operations of the Western Province.

The other new appointments are as follows: DIGs A Gunatilake as DIG Moneragala Operations Range, P. Nanayakkara as DIG North-Western Range, Puttalam, R.P.S.K. Rajapaksa as DIG Ampara, H.M.D. Herath as DIG Eastern Range Central, Batticaloa, A Jayasinghe as DIG Training and Exams, S. Michel as DIG Recruitments, W.P. Dayaratne as DIG Ombudsman, J. Abeysiri Gunawardane as Central Range, East Nuwara Eliya, U. Hewagae as DIG Crimes, Police Headquarters.

Early last week, ten SSPs were promoted as DIGs.



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