Sub Inspector Bandujeeva Weerasingha Bopitigoda
was released from LTTE captivity yesterday but police defiantly
kept him away from journalists, whisking him away amidst tight
security, moments after his arrival home.
"We donít know what the hurry is," Bopitigodaís
mother-in-law Kanthi Muthukuda was heard commenting. "We are
seeing him after eleven months and they are rushing him away
without letting him spend some time with us."
Meanwhile, the Tigers claimed that they were
responding to a request for a "goodwill gesture" from outgoing
SLMM chief Ulf Henricsson.
The LTTE had earlier promised to release
Bopitigoda in July, when the state facilitated the transport of
Tiger media coordinator Daya Master to Colombo for "urgent and
essential medical treatment".
At the time, the Secretariat for Coordinating
the Peace Process made a request through SLMM for the release of
Bopitigoda. A pro-LTTE website subsequently published a news
item indicating his imminent release but it never transpired.
The captive was handed over to the SLMM at
Kilinochchi yesterday morning and arrived at his brotherís home
in Katana amid tight police security. Journalists spotted him
inside the grey double-cab, wife by his side and daughter on his
knee. However, police prevented him from leaving the vehicle due
to media presence. Consequently, Bopitigodaís relatives crowded
around the vehicle and chatted eagerly with him through the
"We were given orders that he should not be
photographed or interviewed by the media," one policeman told
journalists. When contacted, IGP Chandra Fernando denied that
such a directive had been issued.
Shortly afterwards, Bopitigoda was escorted to
his wifeís residence in Negombo. Here too, no photographs or
interviews were permitted. He was then whisked to police
"He will be handed over to us after his meeting
at police headquarters and following an examination by the
police hospital," said Padma Wettewa, NCPA chairperson.
Bopitigama was detained on 9 September 2005 when
he and other investigators from the National Child Protection
Authority pursued a suspected