No police fuel for ministerial security
Cabinet ministers and state ministers will soon be asked to find their own fuel for their security escorts and not seek them from the Police Department while senior judges will be asked to get their vehicles and fuel from the Justice Ministry, according to a decision of the Ministry of Public Security.
The move has been made to prune down the expenses of the Police Department. The decision has been conveyed to the Treasury, a senior Ministry official told the Sunday Times.
A host of politicians, including retired Governors and senior public officials no longer in the public service but continue to have police guards will also see them withdrawn under the new decision.
Thirteen former parliamentarians, 20 former governors, six former chief ministers, and 20 Buddhist monks are among those who have been provided Police security. Initial assessments have shown that more than 250 policemen were deployed as security for former politicians and retired officials.
Under the new arrangements, the Ministers will be told to get the required fuel through their respective ministries if they require the service of a backup police vehicle in the future, the official said.
He pointed out that the decision has been taken as the Ministry was finding it difficult to meet the rising fuel bills and added that the police would continue to provide the required backup vehicle, but the fuel will have to come from the respective Ministries.
The Ministry also has decided that during ministers’ overseas visits if police officers were to accompany them, the police officers’ air ticket and accommodation costs would have to be met by the ministers.
Hitherto the expenses were met by the Police Department.
He said that following the assassination of High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya in 2004, the Justice Ministry required only the services of police security for judges, but it has now been the practice that the vehicles and fuel are being provided at the expense of the Police Department.
The Ministry is also to reduce Special Task Force (STF) guards for some of the ministers.
Some of the former politicians had passed away, yet the police had been deployed as security for their homes, the Public Security Ministry revealed.
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