Udugampola joins government


By Norman Palihawadana

Former Deputy Inspector General of Police Premadasa Udugampola, who helped crush the second JVP rebellion against the UNP government in the late 1980s, joined the government this week with nearly 100 supporters.

His overzealous younger brother, Assistant Superintendent of Police Kulasiri Udugampola, led a high handed raid on an army safe house at Millennium City, Athurugiriya in 2002, claiming that it had been used to plot attacks on UNP leaders. It led to the exposure of the army’s secret Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP), which had been causing havoc among the Tigers through deadly attacks behind enemy lines.

Because of his leading role in the UNP government’s crackdown on the second JVP uprising, five members of the Udugampola family were killed by the JVP at Uluvitiya, Galle also in the late 1980s.

At the last presidential election in 2010 he even openly supported the candidature of Gen. Sarath Fonseka on behalf of the UNP.

Udugampola told The Island yesterday that on Thursday he and about 100 UNP supporters had met the Gampaha SLFP mayoral candidate Ajith Basnayake and joined the government. He would be addressing government rallies from next week, he said.

The former DIG said he and his supporters were sick of the unending crisis and numerous divisions in the UNP, a party that had once been unshakeable. It was meaningless to remain in a party that had lost its direction.

"I led the fight against the JVP and I am proud of that fact, but there are no allegations against me of committing corrupt acts or taking bribes. My record in the police is unblemished", the retired DIG said.

Soon after the crushing of the JVP in 1989, President Premadasa appointed Udugampola the head of a special police unit called ‘Bureau of Special Operations’ to fight organised crime, but they soon fell out and Udugampola ended up on the run. He came out in public only after the assassination of President Premadasa on May Day 1993.

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