The Millennium City raid

Reader ‘KG’ had queried in his letter, with the above title in the Island of 6 January, as to, ‘What the government had done about the Millennium City raid. At a time when our valiant armed forces are on the verge of liberating our motherland from Tiger terrorists, it is opportune that we identity the traitors who had played into the hands of our enemies in the past.

Like the Black July holocaust during president JRJ’s regime and the massacre of 700 policemen when they were ordered to surrender to the LTTE by President Premadasa, the Millennium City raid remains another black dot in the history of fighting LTTE terrorism in our country.

ASP Kulasiri Udugampola, a police lackey, was brought down from Kandy to raid the Army unit at the Aturugiriya safe house from where commandos of the Army Military Intelligence Unit, along with Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols (LRRPs), conducted operations to infiltrate Tiger controlled areas to target LTTE leaders. A captain and four regular soldiers of the Army’s Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) Unit, along with a former tiger guerrilla, who was helping the Army, were arrested on the night of January 2, 2002.

This illegal arrest was carried out despite the fact that the IGP had informed Udugampola that the arrested persons were performing their duties as entrusted by the Army Commander.

The raid was conducted barely one month after the former UNF government was sworn in. It was made out that Millennium City was a secret hide out from where military men had planned to carry out assassinations against the newly appointed UNF leaders. This proved to be a totally fabricated charge.

Identities of LRRP operatives and informants were made known after the raid and the subsequent trial, and the LTTE unleashed a vicious campaign to eliminate about 50 intelligence personnel and civilian informants.

When the report of the Commission of Inquiry, appointed by former President CBK, was released, it had described the Millennium City raid as a total betrayal. The country’s national security interests were compromised by this raid.

The commission also had determined that the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, ministers concerned, the IGP and his officials had to be held responsible for the illegal act of ASP Udugampola (The Island December 12, 2003).

Iqbal Athas, in his analysis of this betrayal of national security, in The Sunday Times of December 14, 2003, had titled his situation report as, ‘Military Secret sacrificed at the altar of politics.’

ASP Udugampola was arrested in March 2005 on charges of ‘preparing false evidence and papers, filing a criminal case against a group of persons without adequate evidence and keeping them for eight days in detention without reason’.

However, the political actors identified by the commission, as being responsible for this heinous crime, are still at large.

Stanley Weerasinghe

www island.lk

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