Sri Lanka removes police from defence control
COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's president has bowed to international pressure and relinquished the defence ministry's authority over the police department, an official said on Friday.
President Mahinda Rajapakse has created a new ministry for law and order, and placed it in charge of the 80,000-strong police which had been overseen by the defence ministry for the past nine years.
"The president has issued a gazette notification creating the ministry of Law and Order which will be responsible for the police department," the President's spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said.
There was no government explanation for setting up the new ministry, but an official source who declined to be named said the move was in line with the recommendation of a panel to improve the island's rights record.