(Lanka-e-News -18.July.2016, 11.30PM) During the interrogation of sergeant major Premananda Udalagama alias Ananda Udalagama of the army intelligence division in connection with the ghastly ruthless murder of Sunday Leader ex editor Lasantha Wickremetunge , the suspect Udalagama who was a leader of the clandestine murder squad had revealed two groups that did not know each other were enlisted for the murder of Lasantha, based on reports reaching Lanka e news inside information division.
When planning the murder , a week before it was committed, 5 Dialog SIM cards were purchased , and after the crime was committed , not a single call was taken thereafter until today using those SIM cards.
Udalagama who was arrested on 15 th night by the CID was remanded until the 27 th after he was produced again before the Mt. Lavinia magistrate.
Udalagama was one of the chief of the army intelligence division and was with the group of Karuna after the latter left the LTTE , and Udalagama was in charge of secret operations together with Karuna’s group. Udalagama’s native place being Matale he knew both Sinhala and Tamil languages , and therefore could mingle with both communities. He was earlier on arrested in connection with the Millenium city episode.
Udalagama was in one of the 3 units comprising the Kohuwala camp Udalagama intelligence unit
Until the day of assassination of Lasantha on 8 th January 2009 , Udalagama was serving in the intelligence unit of the Kohuwala intelligence division.
During that period , there were three intelligence units at Kohuwala camp. One unit was under Colonel Prasanna , the second was under one Ansarand the third was of the drivers , that is ,the back up ‘pursuit’ unit. Under the unit of Prasanna there was an officer and 17 soldiers, while Karuna’s group functioned under Ansar .
Premananda Udalagama was working with Karuna’s group under Ansar . It was Udalagama who was providing safe abodes etc. to Karuna and it was Udalagama who commanded their operations.
The 17 soldiers who were arrested at about the time of Lasantha’s killing and were released on bail were the intelligence division soldiers who were under Colonel Prasanna , afore-stated. At that time no investigation was conducted in regard to the group of Karuna with whom Udalagama was, under Ansar group.
According to reports reaching Lanka e news inside information division , the unit comprising the intelligence division officer and 17 soldiers under Colonel Prasanna was at that time directly controlled by Fonseka who was the army commander then. They were providing security for the army commander .
The group of Ansar was under the control of the Director , Army intelligence division. It was Amal Karunasekera the present major general Trincomalee (then Brigadier ) who was the Director ,army intelligence division. Kapila Hendavitharne (now retired) was the advisor to the intelligence division of the ministry of defense and who gave instructions from the top overriding all others . He was the closest crony and bosom pal of the then defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse.
The 5 new SIM cards that were purchased for Lasantha’s murder…
As was revealed hereinbefore , the 5 Dialog SIM cards used by the assassins were purchased from Kandegedera Piyawansa, a driver of the Tripoli camp , Maradana intelligence division. Piyawansa had purchased these SIM cards after robbing the identity card of his friend ,Pitchai , a Tamil national who owned a garage in NuwaraEliya.
The Rajapakse regime while pretending it was probing into the murder of Lasantha , took Pitchai and Piyawansa into remand custody where they languished for several years. Pitchai died while in custody. The investigators did not probe to establish to whom Piyasena gave the SIM cards he bought. Neither was it probed what were the calls taken and to whom, using those SIM cards. On the contrary what the lawless corrupt and brutal Rajapkses did was simply pointing the accusing finger at Piyawansa and took the people for a ride.
The investigations were resumed only after the government of good governance came into power .It is significant to note that it were the SIM cards of Dialog Co. that had been used and enlisted when crimes were committed during the Rajapakse regime . When the CID was trying to track down the phone calls taken with the use of those SIMs , initially Hans Wijesuriya the owner of the Dialog Co. was creating impediments instead of extending support to make the detections and apprehend the suspects.
On the 6 th of December 2105 Lanka e news under the caption ‘Hans Wijesuriya in hot water’ revealed this underhand and illicit activities of Wijesuriya.. It is only thereafter Wijesuriya changed his stance to assist in the CID investigations. He had to get down special devices and equipment from abroad to track down the phone calls taken 7 years ago via the SIM cards in connection with Lasantha’s murder. Hans Wijesuriya and the Dialog board had to incur an additional expense of about Rs. 60 million towards that . They deserve to be thanked for that.
In any event , the leader of the murder squad , Udalagama was arrested on the 15 th based on such indestructible substantive evidence . Some more suspects are to be taken into custody in the future.
Udalagama the suspect had collected extortion monies from the Tamil people in Germany.
We are unable to reveal further information as investigations are under way .Nevertheless , based on the reports reaching Lanka e news inside information division , before we conclude let us disclose some vital information which in our view needs to be made known.
The ruthless and fierce attacks launched on the media by the Rajapakse barbaric brutes somewhat diminished during the middle of the year 2011. Lanka e news was set on fire by them on 30 th January 2011.
Subsequently , the Rajapakse regime dispatched sergeant major Udalagama to Germany as an ordinary employee at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Berlin. Udalagama was summoned back in mid 2014 ,after he served for three and half years there .
During that period in Germany , he collected extortion monies unconscionably from the Tamil people living there when they made requests for new SL passports. In the event of their not giving him the sum demanded, Udalagama enlisting his group in Colombo , makes a huge din they are LTTE cadres , refuses to grant them passports and arranges for the relatives of those Tamils in Sri Lanka to be harassed in diverse ways. Owing to his outrageous extortions and atrocities , he was dubbed ‘Kappam Ananda’ (extortion Ananda) by the Tamil Diaspora in Germany.
An individual capable of killing innocent journalists who are not his personal enemies , collecting extortion monies from an innocent individual may seem to be an ‘innocent crime.’
No matter what , the intelligence division of the army is the backbone of a country. In any case , over 4000 soldiers and officers served in the army intelligence division risking even their lives for the sake of the country. They are ready to serve even in the future.
Hence the present chief of the army intelligence division and the army commander must make sure that just because of a handful of inhuman bestial beings who committed crimes to gratify the personal pleasures and requirements of the brutal corrupt Rajapakse regime , the dignity , reputation and the immeasurable worth of the entire intelligence division cannot be allowed to be dented and damaged. The only way to safeguard the image of the army is by meting out exemplary , deterrent and maximum punishment to the culprits and their leaders. It is then and only then the victims can be meted out justice.
By a special correspondent of Lanka e news
Translated by Jeff