Three more field promotions as Deputy Inspector Generals of Police (DIGs) have been approved by the National Police Commission (NPC) on the recommendation of IGP Victor Perera.
SSPs Rienzie Perera, (Director, Administration, Police Headquarters), Prasanna Nanayakkara, (Commandant, Field Force Headquarters) and Edison Gunatilleka, (Mt. Lavinia Division), are expected to take over duties as DIGs in charge of the Ampara, Batticaloa and Puttalam Ranges, senior police officials said last week.
All three SSPs handpicked for the field promotions are very senior officers with more than three decades of service. In fact, Rienzie Perera and Prasanna Nanayakkara top the list of SSPs, they said.
Apart from these three DIG field elevations, three others have been granted so far this year -- Y. G. R. M. Lafir (City Traffic) M. J. Savanghan (Batticaloa Range) and W. F. U. Fernando (Northern Range).
With Savanghan`s retirement this month, DIG Nanayakkara is expected to take over the reins in Batticaloa shortly.
Except for Lafir, all other SSPs granted field promotions as DIGs have been transferred to operational areas of the North and East. This includes two SSPs, H. N. B. Ambanwela and Upali Gunasekera, who were the first to be elevated as DIGs under this dispensation some years ago and transferred to Jaffna and Trincomalee, respectively.
Field promotions are given to police officials in the North-East theatre of conflict to facilitate co-ordination with senior officers in the three armed services.
As a DIG is on par in rank with a Major-General in the military or an equivalent rank in the Navy or Air Force, it is easy to co-ordinate operations, a high-ranking police official explained.
With several DIGs retiring this year, the Police Promotions Board is expected to conduct the second round of interviews for this year for SSPs for elevation to the next rank of DIG. They are expected to be held next month (December).
`The objective of field promotions is to fill the existing DIG vacancies in the North and East`, the police official explained.
`We can tide over this situation after the regular promotions are finalized by the Board`.
Meanwhile, SSP Ranjith Gunasekera has been appointed Director, Police-Public Relations (PPR) following SSP Rienzie Perera`s transfer to the top slot as Director, Police Headquarters.