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 Post subject: Kulasiri Udugampola - A traitor of the nation and the state
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:06 pm 
Kulasiri Udugampola - A traitor of the nation and the state

"A total betrayal and absolute treachery to the nation"
Military secret sacrificed on the altar of politics

Sources: The Island / CDN / Sunday Times


Raid of the Army Safe House

on January 02, 2002, a police team led by a pro-UNP police officer named Kulasiri Udugampola raided a Army safe house at No. 844, Kaduwela road, Athurugiriya without a court order to search the place. The safe house was used by Army intelligence personnel (Directorate of Military Intelligence) for covert action to infiltrate LTTE cadres and eliminate some of the LTTE leadership.

Udugampola seized a booty of military hardware - Light anti tank weapons, anti tank mines, land mines, assault rifles, claymore mines, thermo baric weapons and green stripe uniforms. He arrested a Captain and four regular soldiers of the Army's Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI). Also arrested was a former Tiger guerrilla cadre who surrendered and was helping the Army.

The goods and the men were brought to Cinnamon Gardens Police Station.
Whilst the men were detained in a room, the media were allowed to view and photograph all the military items displayed inside the Police Station. Thereafter the Army men and their helper were driven in a vehicle to Kandy guarded by two armed policemen. In the wee hours of the morning, they were thrust into remand cells where common criminals were kept. Detention Orders to hold them in custody were issued under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

Inviting electronic and other media Udugampola showed the whole country the weapons of the army unit and published the names of the military operatives and informants attached to the unit. Further he wrongly alleged it was part of a conspiracy to kill the newly elected Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. It was made out that premises No 844 at the Millennium City was a secret hide out from where military men had planned to carry out assassinations on United National Front (UNF) Government leaders. The Police raid had busted their plans, or so it seemed.

The Safe House fiasco was a colossal blunder. In fact, the arrested men, far from being suspected terrorists, were those hunting them down during top secret operations.

The Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) team

The Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) team, housed at the Kohuwala Army Camp and was relocated to Athurugiriya in December 2001. When the safe House was raided the LRRP team led by Captain Nilam had conducted a number of Deep Penetration operations in the North and had accounted for nine LTTE high rankers including Mano and Ganesh. They have also killed another 10 regional level leaders.

Just before the raid, the LRRP team's most accomplished task was the assassination of Thambirasa Kuhashanthan alias Nizam, guerrilla Military Intelligence leader for Batticaloa. It was Nizam who had been directing all suicide and other attacks in the City at that time. One of his prize targets then was former Cabinet Minister, C.V. Gooneratne.

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry

A Presidential Commission of Inquiry to inquire into the disclosure of the existence of and the raid on the safe house operated by the Sri Lanka Army found that "the action taken by ASP Udugampola in the manner he did in taking into custody several Army personnel was illegal, immoral and in violation of all the rules and regulations of the police".

The Commission to probe into the incident was appointed in August 16, 2002 by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. The Commission sat from August 2002 to November 2003 and heard 69 witnesses. The report was released to the media by the President's Office in December 2003.

The one member Commission chaired by retired Supreme Court judge D. Jayawickreme in his report had said that the ASP had rejected the statement of the Army Commander about the safe house functioning under his approval and had proceeded on a non-existent Court Order.

It further says every one including the Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and the Minister of Interior, the Inspector General of Police and the Senior Police Officers seem to have been impotent or have purposely avoided preventing Udugampola proceeding further in respect of this raid. Therefore, the Commission concludes that to this extent "the Government, the Prime Minister and the Ministers concerned, the then Inspector General of Police Lucky Kodituwakku, his successor T.E. Anandarajah and all other senior Police officers responsible for the illegal act of ASP Udugampola."

"The evidence before this Commission further discloses the fact that Lt. Col. Padmasiri Udugampola, SLCMP, brother of ASP Kulasiri Udugampola, Major General Ivan Dissanayake and Colonel K.H.N. S.S. Dharmaratna, Major A.C.A. de Soysa, SLCMP, Major A.S.P. Podiralahamy, SLCMP, Major K.U. Jayanetti, SLCMP, Major B.M.A.N.S.K. Karunaratne, MIC, Corp, J.H.A.P de Silva, JHAT-MIC, Corp. M.P.A. Pieris, JHAT-MIC, were all aware of the impending raid and have directly and indirectly assisted ASP Kulasiri Udugampola in raiding the Safe House.

"If these officers had any doubts about the Safe House they should have brought it to the notice of the Army Commander and moved the Military Police to investigate. But these officers, without doing so, have conspired with Kulasiri Udugampola to raid this Safe House for their own personal benefits. Moreover, none of these officers have informed Army Commander (Lt. Gen. Lionel Balagalle) or the Director, DMI (Brigadier Kapila Hendavithana) about the raid before the raid."

The Commission also notes that the presence of Retired Deputy Inspector of Defence Lal Ratnayake, Private Secretary to Interior Minister John Amaratunga at the Military Police on the night of the raid on the instructions of the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Interior contacting the Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Communications and the Secretary to the Defence Ministry and ASP Udugampola contacting the Minister of Interior on the telephone leads to the conclusion that due to political patronage ASP Udugampola has behaved as if he was above the law and that he can act the way he wanted to.

The arbitrary action of the police has jeopardized the security of the estate and the Military strategy of the Armed Forces and exposed the personnel engaged in the duties entrusted to them by the Army, concludes the Commission.

"Since this raid 23 operatives and informants have been killed and some have been seriously injures," observed the Commission.

The Solicitor General on behalf of the Attorney General had directed the IGP to take disciplinary action against him. The Commission has also made several recommendations to prevent interference by officials or authorities in the military strategies of the Armed Forces.

Foremost among the Commissions recommendations is a call to depoliticalise the Police and the Army and placing them in the hands of capable men. The Presidential Commission Report also said that the arbitrary action of the police had jeopardized the security of the State and neutralised the Military strategy.

Statement of Elle Gunawansa Thera

In a strongly worded statement to the press the Venerable Elle Gunawansa Thera said, the betrayal of the country’s national army by the Ranil Wickremesinghe government was one of the biggest betrayals of the nation’s history. He said those responsible including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should be brought to justice according to the country’s laws. He said the former Minister John Ameratunga and both Udugampola brothers who were at the bottom of it and all other police and army officers connected to it should be punished irrespective of the positions they held.

The Supreme Court Judgement

On 30th of January 2004, The Supreme Court declared the fundamental rights of five officers of the Sri Lanka Army, who were arrested and detained by Superintendent of Police, Kandy K. Udugampola and four of his subordinates, had been violated when the police raided the Army Safe House at Athurugiriya, on January 2, 2002.

The petitioners were S. H. M. Nilam, P. Ananda Udalagama, H. M. Nissanka Herath, I. Edirisinghe Jayamanne and H. Mohamed Hilmy.

The judgement said they had been subjected to inhuman, arbitrary treatment, illegal arrest and illegal detention by Udugampola and his subordinates. The state was directed to pay each petitioner a sum of rupees seven hundred and fifty thousand (Rs. 750,000) as compensation and costs. The first respondent Udugampola, to pay each petitioner, personally a sum of Rs. 50,000/- as compensation. Each petitioner would be entitled to a sum of rupees eight hundred thousand (Rs. 80,000) as compensation and costs. The amount was to be paid within three months.

Udugampola’s subordinates were R. A. P. Dharmaratne, Sub-Inspector of Police, Kandy, M. A. E. Mahendra, Head Quarters Inspector Kandy, Ashoka Ratnaweera, S. S. P. Kandy, M. M. M. B. J. Mohottigedera, OIC Katugastota.

The judgement said that the counsel for the petitioners had submitted that as a result of the conduct of Udugampola, and his subordinates, several patriotic intelligence operators had already been murdered. The covert operation that was being conducted by the petitioners, was exposed, and their lives and those of their families were exposed to the greatest of risk. It was therefore submitted that the petitioners, are entitled to very substantial compensation. The predicament of the petitioners, and the deaths of so many intelligence operators, resulting in irreparable damage to national security, was due to the conduct of Udugampola, and he should be personally responsible for what had taken place, counsel for the petitioners had submitted.

The judgement was delivered by Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, with the Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva and Justice P. Edussuriya agreeing.

Justice Edussuriya had said, the manner in which Udugampola had acted, without paying any heed to Brigadier Hendawitharna, the Director of Military Inte-lligence and Major Sally, without taking the trouble to ascertain the truth of what they said from their superior, exposing the petitioners to the press and, his subsequent conduct, with utter disregard to the rights of the petitioners, it was apparent that he acted so with some ulterior motive whilst being engaged in this despicable exercise, and his conduct must be condemned in the strongest possible manner.

To put it mildly, it was deplorable Justice P. Edussuriya further said that, in the alternative that is, if he did not act with any ulterior motive then, he has acted like an over enthusiastic blundering schoolboy, and has thereby displayed his incompetence.

The registrar of the court was directed to send a copy of the judgement to the IGP.

Kulasiri Udugampola on compulsory leave

The Police Commission headed by President's Counsel Ranjit Abeysuriya on 10th February 2004 approved the request made by IGP Indra de Silva to send ASP Kulasiri Udugampola on compulsory leave until the completion of the ongoing investigation into the Athurugiriya Millennium City Army safe house raid.

The IGP empahised that if ASP Udugampola was found guilty, he would be charged under the normal law of the land, he would be interdicted and action would be taken according to the law.

The IGP earlier declared that the Army and police personnel found guilty by the Presidential Commission in the Athurugiriya millennium city Army safe house raid would be prosecuted. The IGP said he would be consulting the Attorney General before instituting legal proceedings against the offenders. He said a special police team headed by a Senior Police Officer, had been assigned to commence investigations based on the report released by the Presidential Secretariat.

Arrest of Kulasiri Udugampola

On 23rd of March 2005 Kulasiri Udugampola was arrested by a special police investigation team in Kandy.

Udugampola was on compulsory leave. The Attorney General will indict Udugampola on 20 counts including instituting false charges against former Army Commander Lt. General Lionel Balagalle and several Army officers and wrongful confinement of Army personnel in police custody.

He was taken into custody on the IGP's orders on investigations of Senior SP Asoka Wijetilake who probed the Police raid on the Army safe house at Athurugiriya on January 2, 2002.

The special investigation team commenced investigations eight months ago. They were concluded in December 2004. The Attorney General will file indictment in the High Court of Kandy charging Udugampola for offenses under Section 26(1) of the Official Secrets Act and instituting false charges against Army personnel.

Following his arrest, Udugampola was produced before Kandy Magistrate Harsh Setunga and released on surety bail in a sum of Rs 500,000. He was directed to surrender his passport and ordered not to leave the country without Court permission.

He was also directed to appear before the OIC Kandy Police every Sunday and to appear before the High Court of Kandy on March 29.

The prosecution had listed 70 prosecution witness including the IGP, Army and police officials both in service and those retired.

Killing of operatives and informants of the LRRP unit by LTTE

Subsequent to the exposure of the safe house in Athurugiriya, a special unit was created by the LTTE to hunt down and kill Army informants. Allegations were made that, exposing the activities carried out from the safe house, have exposed covert intelligence operations and operators enabling the LTTE to identify the informants.

Several informants were killed in Batticaloa, Trincomalee and even at Dehiwala, Pepiliyana and Mount Lavinia.

There was one man who was mainly responsible for all LRRP team actions in Batticaloa and Amparai districts. His name was a closely guarded secret. Only the head of the LRRP team, Captain S.H. Mohamed Nilam dealt with him. He knew the man only as Mike. It was Mike who in turn liaised with a network of operatives as well as informants, including one time guerrilla cadres, in the Batticaloa and Amparai districts.

On January 16, 2002 guerrilla intelligence cadres launched a secret operation in the Batticaloa town. They abducted V. Vidyarathan. He was taken to a hideout in the guerrilla dominated Kokkadicholai area. He was subjected to torture and intense interrogation for four days. The man cracked under heavy pressure and pain. He confessed he was Mike and had been helping Captain Nilam and his LRRP team. He was shot dead on January 20.

It saw the beginning of a campaign of arrest, interrogate and kill. On February 10, Lance Corporal "Clarry" was abducted in a secret operation in Chenkalady in Batticaloa. Soon, details of how agent Mike worked with Captain Nilam began to unfold. LTTE Intelligence cadres and pistol gangs fanned out from Batticaloa to mount surveillance on the names of the operatives and informants that had emerged. Similar exercises were also carried out in Batticaloa and Amparai districts.

By July, 2002, Tiger guerrillas had obtained a fuller picture of the LRRP operations and how they were conducted with the help of Mike. On July 3, 2002 guerrilla cadres abducted Lance Corporal Saundrarajan, a key operative who had taken part in an abortive attack on "Jim Kelly," an LTTE cadre. He had also taken part in the attack on guerrilla area leader Babu on September 17, 2001 and the abortive attempt on Karikalan. He had also later taken part in the ambush and attack on two other guerrillas, Swarnaseelan and Devadas on November 26, 2001.

By December, 2002, LTTE intelligence cadres had tracked down some of those assisting the LRRP and were moved from the East to Colombo. On December 11, 2002, the first informant, Ganesha Moorthy alias Thilakaraj was shot dead by a pistol group. This was followed by the murder on January 3, 2003, of Lance Corporal Pulendrarasa. He was an operative who had worked closely with Mike. Another close associate of Mike, Kadirgamathamby Ragupathi alias Ragu was shot dead on March 18, 2003.

Neither the Security Forces nor the Police were able to launch any cordon and search operations to track down the Tiger guerrilla intelligence operatives or the pistol gangs. They had not only infiltrated the City but were operating with impunity. The UNF Government did not to want to order any crackdown on their activity for fear that the Ceasefire Agreement with the LTTE would be affected.

The LTTE continued their witch hunt. On April 2, 2003, Sinnathambi Ranjan alias Varadan, who worked closely with Mike was shot dead. On April 26 of the same year, Lance Corporal Devarasa, an operative who took part in LRRP operations and worked closely with Mike was shot dead. He had left a military camp where he was living for reasons of security to visit his family in Dehiwala when the incident occurred.

A guerrilla pistol gang, who had conducted surveillance and kept following Lance Corporal Paramanthan Ravindrakumar trapped him at a City intersection. They poured six bullets into his body on July 15, 2003, wounding him seriously. He survived after surgery and was moved to a safe location thereafter.

The LRRP men who paid the ultimate price

The Sunday Times ( February 01, 2004 ) reveald details of intelligence operatives and civilian informants who were closely associated with LRRP operatives by the Directorate of Military Intelligence. They were all tracked down and assassinated by Tiger guerrillas after the existence of the Safe House became public.

January 20, 2002
V. Vidyarnthan alias Vidya alias Nidhi -
Informant - Abducted on January 16, 2002 and killed on January 20, 2002.

February 09, 2002
Clary alias Gadaffi
Ex- guerrilla cadre - abducted from Chenkallady town and killed.

July 22, 2002
Saundarajah A alias Arinjan
Ex-guerrilla cadre - abducted from Batticaloa town on July 3 and killed at Vakarai.

December 11, 2002
Ganeshmoorthy alias Thilakarajah Samithambi
Informant - killed by LTTE gun-men in Colombo.

January 03, 2003
Pulendrarasa alias Cashier
Ex-guerrilla cadre - abducted in Kallady and killed.

March 18, 2003
Kadiragamthambi Ragupathi alias Ragu
Informant - killed by the LTTE gun-men in Colombo.

April 13, 2003
Sinnathambi Rajan alias Varadan
Informant - to be enlisted to the Army shot dead by the LTTE pistol group in Colombo.

April 26, 2003
Devarajha L. alias Ashok
Ex- LTTE cadre - killed in Colombo.

May 21, 2003
Kumar Perumal Perimban alias Master
Ex-PLOTE cadre - killed in Batticaloa town.
Besides the above, among intelligence operatives, soldiers, para military troops who were not connected to LRRP operations but were killed after the Safe House activities came to be known were:

August 14, 2002
Kanapathipillai Devadas
Tamil soldier - abducted and killed.

December 02, 2002
Aseesh SM
Soldier - abducted and killed.

April 23, 2003
Sidambarapilai Yashodaran
Tamil soldier - abducted and killed.

May 19, 2003
Sooriyan K
Tamil soldier - killed in Batticaloa.

August 03, 2003
LT Rilvan
Police Sergeant - abducted and killed in Trincomalee.

August 08, 2003
Vivekanada Sammugarasa SP
Tamil soldier - abducted and killed.

September 14, 2003
Saundanayagam Sabarathnam
Tamil soldier - killed in Palameenmadu.
Among civilian informants (not connected with LRRP operations) but killed after activities of the Safe House came to be known were:

March 11, 2002
Pulendrarajha - abducted and killed in Muttur.

July 06, 2002
Thangarajha Premadasa alias Varuman - killed with his mistress in Welikanda.

March 20, 2003
Nagoorkanee Ashish - abducted and killed.

April 13, 2003
Subramaniyam Jayadewan - killed in Batticaloa.

April 23, 2003
Sellaiya Puvendrarasa - killed in Thunnalai.

May 16, 2003
Ariyanandan Hemachandran - Killed in Jaffna.

July 17, 2003
Abdul Bahir Fauzi - Killed in Uppuveli.

August 30, 2003
Sebamalai Vimalkumaran - killed in Vavuniya.
Erambamurthi Sabanayagam - Abducted in Matale and killed in Batticaloa.

Kandiah Yogarasa better known as PLOTE Mohan joined the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) in 1983, left the group in 1994. He emerged as a key anti-LTTE operative and was closely linked to the military's Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols (LRRPs).

PLOTE Mohan was shot dead by LTTE in the heart of Colombo city on 31st of July 2004. Mohan (41) was gunned down with a 9 mm pistol around 11.20 a.m. local time on the normally busy Duplication Road, in the heart of the city.

 Post subject: charges against this traitor
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 6:12 pm 
This is a very interesting article. These are the charges against this traitor from the nation:

- Wilfully taking action on 2nd January 2002 to investigate the activities of Sri Lanka Army at 844- Millennium Complex, Athrugiriya and taking into custody the members of the Army Intelligence Unit, in spite of explanations given by responsible senior army officers, which resulted in the exposure of the activities of the Army Intelligence Unit and Army's Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol.

- Acting in a manner which has directly threatened the security of the nation and enabling the terrorist LTTE to gather information of the activities of the Army Intelligence Unit and the LRRP.

- Directly contributing to an act against the state.

- By BEING directly AND/OR INDIRECTLY responsible FOR facilitating the MURDERS BY THE TAMIL TERRORISTS of 31 army informants who were providing important and valuable information for the anti-terrorist campaign of the army. Thereby, HAVING treasonously colluded with, and assisted, the Tamil terrorists in their INVASIONARY WAR on SRI LANKA AND the Sri Lankan nation.

 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Tue May 30, 2006 3:45 am 

Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 1:19 am
Posts: 2
Location: USA
Interesting indeed!!!!

The charges sounding very political.

The above posting is from a professional spin master who goes to great lengths and effort to portray Kulasiri Udugampola as a traitor

By BEING directly AND/OR INDIRECTLY responsible FOR facilitating the MURDERS BY THE TAMIL TERRORISTS of 31 army informants who were providing important and valuable information for the anti-terrorist campaign of the army.

How come only 31 informants being killed?
Up to now, there have been thousands of informants killed by the LTTE since 1983. Who's doing the counting?

 Post subject: de silva
 Post Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 6:44 am 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 6:29 am
Posts: 4
de silva,

It is a nice try you make to whitewash the true traitors of our time. These traitors deserve nothing less that the traditional traitors punishment at a public square. May be you are one of them too. Save your moronic reasoning (BS) to somebody else. Few more doofuses like you were good enough to destroy one of the best military assets we ever had.

Last edited by Sam Perera on Wed May 30, 2007 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 9:09 am 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 6:29 am
Posts: 4
de silva wrote:
Interesting indeed!!!!

The charges sounding very political.

The above posting is from a professional spin master who goes to great lengths and effort to portray Kulasiri Udugampola as a traitor

By BEING directly AND/OR INDIRECTLY responsible FOR facilitating the MURDERS BY THE TAMIL TERRORISTS of 31 army informants who were providing important and valuable information for the anti-terrorist campaign of the army.

How come only 31 informants being killed?

Up to now, there have been thousands of informants killed by the LTTE since 1983. Who's doing the counting?

de silva,

It is a nice try you make to whitewash the true traitors of our time. These traitors deserve nothing less that the traditional traitors punishment at a public square. May be you are one of them too. Save your moronic reasoning (BS) to somebody else. Few more doofuses like you were good enough to destroy one of the best military assets we ever had.

 Post subject: The Aturugiriya Affair
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:31 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:54 pm
Posts: 192
The Aturugiriya Affair

By By Shamindra Ferdinando
@ Island Friday, 10 August 2012

(parts deleted)

In the run-up to the Dec 5, 2001 parliamentary polls, UNP leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe alleged that the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) was planning to assassinate him. He claimed that the DMI was training Tamil terrorists at the Panaluwa Army Testing Range to mount an attack on his campaign bus, as well as his political rallies. The unprecedented allegation triggered hostilities between the ruling People’s Alliance (PA) and the UNP, with the army placed in an extremely embarrassing position.
The UNP-led United National Front (UNF) emerged victorious with 109 seats, while the defeated PA managed to retain 77. The remaining seats were shared by the JVP (16), the TNA (15), the SLMC (5), the EPDP (2) and the DPLF (1). It was one of the bloodiest elections with the five-week campaign claiming the lives of almost 50 people, with the Dec. 5 massacre of a group of SLMC supporters at Udathalawinna being the single worst incident. This massacre, allegedly carried out by troops attached to the Vijayaba Infantry Regiment (VIR) caused a vindictive UNP leadership to order a raid on a safe house used by the DMI situated at Millennium City, Aturugiriya, on Jan. 2002, which changed the course of the conflict. The UNF cited intelligence reports that Anuruddha Ratwatte’s sons wanted in connection with the Udathalawinna massacre were taking refuge at Aturugiriya.

Although the UNP subsequently played down the incident, it turned out to be one of the major turning points in the conflict. It contributed to a deterioration of the security situation and thereby helped the CBK-JVP combine undermine the UNF government. President Kumaratunga took over three key ministries in Nov. 2003.

Had the UNP leadership been a little cautious, it would never have publicly accused the army of an assassination plot, Gen. Balagalle told The Island last Thursday.

Operating hit squads behind enemy lines had been a key element in the army’s strategy, Lt. Gen. Balagalle said, alleging the then Opposition had failed to grasp what was going on. He said: "Had they quietly raised the issue with us and sought a clarification without playing politics with national security, the Aturugiriya fiasco could have been averted. Even ex-LTTE cadres were brought in for operations along with a valuable input from civilian informants. We were successful due to many reasons such as training from Pakistani instructors. We also accommodated troops from other fighting battalions to engage in operations behind the enemy lines, though the Special Forces and Army Commandos spearheaded the campaign." At the time troops were undergoing training in Pakistan, he had functioned as Security Forces Commander, Jaffna, he said.

The Aturugiriya raid ruptured relations between the UNP and the Army. It caused irreparable damage to national security and giving the PA an opportunity to undermine the UNF government.

At the behest of the UNP, a section of the media, including the Colombo-based correspondents working for international news agencies, highlighted the Aturugiriya raid speculating the army’s alleged involvement in anti-government activities. Investigating officers alleged that those based at Aturugiriya had been involved in the alleged attempt to assassinate Wickremesinghe in the run-up to the Dec 5 polls. Subsequently, they were accused of planning attacks in the city and suburbs to sabotage the Norwegian-led peace process.

The UNP allegations had the desired impact in the wake of state television showing recovered items, which included 66 sets of LTTE uniforms, four thermobaric weapons, seven claymore mines each weighing 10 kgs, 10 claymore mines, each weighing one kg each, three T-56 assault rifles along with 400 rounds of ammunition, 10 anti-tank weapons, detonators, cyanide capsules, exploders, remote controlled devices and wire rolls. While a section of the media lashed out at the army, in a front-page exclusive captioned ‘Controversy over police raid on army officer’s Millennium City residence,’ on Jan 4, 2002, The Island revealed that police team from Kandy led by UNP loyalist, Kulasiri Udugampola, had raided an army safe house. The police team was backed by a team of CCMP (Ceylon Corps of Military Police). In spite of the army strongly objecting to the police action, with both Lt. Gen. Balagalle and the then Director of DMI, Brigadier Kapila Hendarawithana (currently Chief of National Intelligence) reassuring the government of the legitimacy of operations undertaken by the DMI, the police was let loose on covert operatives. In spite of Lt. Gen. Balagalle rushing Hendarawithana, who later figured in many controversies to the scene, SP Udugampola went ahead with the raid. He had obtained permission from courts to search the premises. Udugampola had the backing of the then Interior Minister, John Amaratunga. IGP Lucky Kodituwakku, though being convinced of the legitimacy of the DMI operation, was helpless.

Interestingly, Amaratunga, who authorised the damaging Aturugiriya raid was among those seated in the front row along with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the recent launch of ‘Gota’s War’ by The Island columnist, C. A. Chandraprema. ‘Gota’s War’ dealt with a range of issues culminating with an alleged US attempt to hire one-time security forces spokesman, Maj. Gen. Prasad Samarasinghe to go against Sri Lanka on the human rights front.

The Island revealed former US ambassador Patricia Butenis’s plot in an exclusive captioned ‘GR rejects testimony attributed to unnamed Gen.’ with a strap-line ‘Reveals US attempt to bribe serving officer,’ in the Jan 30, 2012 issue.
The Kandy police raided the safe house shortly after the officer-in-charge of the DMI operation had handed over part of their arsenal. Those involved in the hit-and-run operations in LTTE held-areas had returned to Colombo on Dec 27, 2001 in the wake of the Wickremesinghe administration declaring its readiness to go ahead with a Norwegian initiative to bring about a truce. The Kandy police also accused the army of planting two claymore mines targeting a UNP candidate along the Wattegama-Panwila road, in the run-up to the Dec 5, 2001 polls.

The then security forces spokesman, Brig. Sanath Karunaratne emphasised that those operating from Aturugiriya were involved in ‘army duties’ (The Island Jan 4, 2002). Regardless of protests by the army, those arrested were taken away to the Narahenpita CMP headquarters before being transferred to Kandy. They were treated like criminals and held under humiliating conditions. Six of them, including an officer were held in one room. For two weeks, the media reported all sorts of conspiracy theories.

Those arrested were held for almost two weeks before being released. The police raid would never have been possible without an influential section within the army cooperating with the political establishment to undermine a vital operation, which brought the LTTE under immense pressure.

The UNP and the police justified Udugampola’s raid. Asked whether he had used the safe house to accommodate his sons, one-time Defence chief, Anuruddha Ratwatte, candidly acknowledged that he wasn’t even among those who knew of the existence of that particular rear base, though the army kept him informed of operations undertaken by the DMI. (Feb 1 issue of The Island, 2002)
The then Defence Minister, Tilak Marapone, one-time Attorney General, to his credit, thwarted an attempt by the Kandy police to prolong the detention of DMI operatives using the provisions of the PTA. The Wickremesinghe regime didn’t even bother to consult the armed forces and police top brass regarding the provisions of the agreement. Then Navy Commander, Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri told the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) how then Defence Secretary, Austin Fernando, had bypassed them with regard to sensitive military issues.

Fernando in an article captioned ‘The Peace Process and Security Issues’ (Negotiating Peace in Sri Lanka: Efforts, Failures and Lessons) admitted that the failure on the part of the then government to consult the military had been a failing. Fernando said (page 42): "The military chiefs weren’t consulted in the drafting of the CFA. Of course, a casual opportunity was given to them to discuss the draft with Ministers of Defence (Tilak Marapone) and Constitutional Affairs (Prof. G. L. Peiris). This wasn’t considered adequate by them as they didn’t get an opportunity to discuss the CFA with their senior officers".

The UNP realised the importance of clandestine operations undertaken by the DMI when the CFA declared that ACTIVITIES BY DEEP PENETRATION UNITS should be ceased along with the cessation of all military action. The LTTE wouldn’t have demanded a ban on DMI operations unless it had been vulnerable to those hunting them in their own backyard. Obviously, the LTTE wouldn’t have bothered about the DMI had the latter been stalking Wickremesinghe in the run-up to Dec 2001 polls.

Retired Senior DIG Merril Gunaratne, who was Defence Advisor to Wickremesinghe during the CFA, exposed the UNP leadership in the recently launched ‘COP IN THE CROSSFIRE.’ The first book of its kind, written by one-time Director General of Intelligence, revealed how the top UNP leadership has taken security issues lightly at the expense of the country as well as the party. Asked whether he had been involved in the operation to move the Kandy police against the DMI, Gunaratne told The Island on Friday that he categorically opposed the move. "I was convinced the PA government wouldn’t target Wickremesinghe, thereby allowing the UNP to benefit from the sympathy vote. Unfortunately, Wickremesinghe and his top advisors felt the army was hell bent on destroying the UNP."

The Aturugiriya raid had a catastrophic impact on the armed forces, which experienced untold hardships due to miscalculations on the part of political and military leaders. Following the betrayal of the DMI, the LTTE unleashed a series of operations in the city, its suburbs and in the Eastern Province. Altogether, about 50 military personnel, Tamil informants as well as ex-terrorists, died at the hands of the LTTE as their identities were revealed owing to the raid on the army safe house. The dead included two senior military officers, both killed in Colombo. Although, the two military officials, holding the rank of Major and Colonel could have been on a hit list regardless of the Aturugiriya fiasco, the LTTE exploited the situation to demoralise the army. Daring operations directed at the DMI and police intelligence helped boost the LTTE’s image. The military was placed in an unenviable position as the suspension of the PTA effectively neutralised counter-measures directed at LTTE hit squads.

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