The Sri Lankan military has announced that they have received information that certain politicians are attempting to divulge names of intelligence units and pin blame on them for the Aluthgama debacle in an obvious effort to create distrust and bring further chaos. It smacks memory of Aturugiriya and reminds us of how UNP for cheap publicity ended up exposing the entire intelligence of the army and killing 44 intelligence personnel. Are we to see another betrayal of men who have sacrificed their lives for the nation by some unworthy politicians is what the country must now ask and it should not be too difficult to guess who the culprits may be or the political party they belong to either. While, politicians are welcome to sling mud at each other, wherever and whenever they like making a spectacle of themselves, they should leave people who are committed to serve the nation from being exposed. These intelligence officers who are both serving military personnel as well as people belonging to the minority community have given their lives to serve the nation. The politically motivated Millenium City raid compromised HEROs of our time. We do not need traitors in Parliament to make petty political gains by exposing their names in a bid to create dissent within the intelligence.
Let us not forget what the UNP did in exposing intelligence officers.
- December 2001 the UNF led by Ranil Wickremasinghe wins Parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka.
- On 2nd January 2002, Kulasiri Udugampola of the Sri Lanka Police raided a safe house kept by the Directorate of Military Intelligence, arrested the intelligence officers and immediately invited 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. The safe house was presented to the public as a hideout from which the army purportedly planned to assassinate high-level leaders of the United National Party, including then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.
- The allegation was first made by Charitha Ratwatte (UNP Chairman) and Daya Pelpola (UNP Vice Chairman) in November 2001.
- The Sri Lanka Army Commander was Lional Balagalle. IGP was Lucky Kodituwakku. Defence Minister Tilak Marapana. Defense Secretary was Austin Fernando. Minister of Internal Security was John Amaratunga
- President Kumaratunga appointed D. Jayawickrema, a retired Judge of the Court of Appeal to inquire into and report on the raid. The report, released in December 2003, labelled Udugampola’s action “illegal and immoral”. He was demoted to the rank of ASP.
- A Supreme Court judgement delivered in January 2004 stated that the fundamental rights of the soldiers had been violated and ordered ASP Udugampola to pay a sum of Rs. 50,000 LKR each to five of the LRRP operatives, S. H. Nilam, P. Ananda Udalagama, H. M. Nissanka Herath, I. Edirisinghe Jayamanne and H. Mohamed Hilmy. The State was ordered to pay Rs. 750,000 each to them as well.
- In March 2005, ASP Udugampola was interdicted and arrested – In the eyes of the public, Kulasiri Udugampola stood accused of compromising State secrets.
Excerpts from the report
- “..ASP Kulasiri Udugampola backed up with political patronage stopped these covert operations and betrayed this gallant unit and allowed the LTTE to go on a killing spree of the Army operatives and informants who were involved in covert operations. It was total betrayal and absolute treachery to the nation,”
- “…the Government, the Prime Minister and the ministers concerned, the then IGP Lucky Kodithuwakku, his successor T.E.Anandarajah and all other senior police officers are responsible for the illegal act of ASP Kulasiri Udugampola,”
- “On the totality of the evidence, this commission finds that there were no compelling reasons whatever for ASP Kulasiri Udugampola to raid the Safe House at Millennium City, Athurugiriya or to take further action in the manner he did in taking into custody of the Army personnel.”
- With the exposure of the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol unit of the Sri Lanka Army the LTTE hunted down each name and killed them mercilessly one by one with UNF Government offering them NO protection for the service they had rendered to the nation.
None of the UNF heads tendered an apology for helping to bump off 44 officers endangering national security falling prey to rumors. The UNF stands guilty of not only exposing these patriotic and daring officers but subjecting them to humiliation and torture by policy thugs headed by Udugampola. They were treated as common criminals and pleas by even the army chief had been rejected. Does John Amaratunga remember any of these unpardonable acts, we wonder. What was UNF leaders thinking in giving away vital information just to please the LTTE and what did they get in return?
It calls to mind how over 600 police officers were asked to give themselves up to the LTTE and one by one each were massacred by the LTTE. This occurred again under a UNP Government.
With the announcement by the Sri Lankan military we now wonder what other mischief this same party is up to.
Its vote base of course must now arise for no UNP voter would wish to expose the nations intelligence unit again knowing the debacle that happened after Aturugiriya raid. It is unpardonable that politicians would even consider making a similar expose. This is not what the UNP voters expect of their politicians and the voters must make this known.
When the country is facing numerous threats we demand that our politicians enjoying plush lives at the expense of the tax payer do not jeopardize the nation and its citizens once again. We do not wish to subject another set of people’s lives to ruin and reverse the hard won peace gained. We expected much from the politicians after our brave war heroes gave us victory over the LTTE. We do not wish to have that hard won peace reversed by petty good for nothing politicians.
Voters must ensure that support for politicians is given on the basis that they do not betray the nation, its armed forces and the people. The National Security of the Country must Come First.
– by Shenali D Waduge