Sri Lanka appoints decorated Naval officer as new public security minister

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Colombo, Nov 26 (PTI) Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday appointed Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera as the Minister of newly created Public Security Ministry.

Weerasekera, who is also the state minister in-charge of provincial councils, was sworn in before President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat here.

His appointment comes days after the publication of gazette on Sunday on the establishment of the Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Technology.

The minister will have control over the island's 88,000-strong police force with responsibility to ensure internal security according to the subjects.

He will be in-charge of eliminating drug menace, preventing extremism and terrorism and ensuring the implementation of the highway code by revamping the traffic police. The Department of Civil Security will also function under him.

A much-decorated former senior Naval officer, Weerasekera’s elevation to Cabinet rank is the first change to the Cabinet affected by Rajapaksa since the adoption of the 20th amendment to the Constitution in October.

The 20A restored sweeping powers of the presidency by reversing the 19A of 2015 which empowered parliament over presidency. PTI CORR ZH ZH