Colombo Telegraph

Hulugalle Affair: Those Who Watched Through Key-Hole Are Back Again

The security personal assigned to former Director General of the Media Centre for National Security(MCNS), Lakshman Hulugallewho was recently caught in a storm of controversy over an illicit liaison and a suicide attempt have been restored.

“On Wednesday, hours after staff at the National Livestock Development Board (NLDB) marked the dawn of 2014 with kiribath and kavun, Mr. Hulugalle turned up at his Deputy Chairman’s office there. He was accompanied by two STF commandos and six Police officers from the Ministerial Security Division (MSD). All were armed.Lakshman Hulugalle, at the centre of many a controversy, has been removed from the only other post he held under the Ministry of Defence. This was the post of Director General of the Directorate of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Secretariat. Yet, he continues to retain other positions.” the Sunday Time’s Cafe Spectator reports.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa dissolved the MCNS retroactively from November 1st after racy details about Hulugalle’s liaison with businessman Gamini Nethikumara’s spouse came to light and he was found to have abused his power in a bid to rescue his paramour.

We publish below the relevant part of the column;

Earlier, his position as Director General of the Media Centre for National Security ceased after the MCNS was dissolved from November 1 on the orders of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Yet, the MCNS remains with its staff intact. With that the Police Special Task Force (STF) security contingent assigned to Mr Hulugalle was withdrawn.

This move came in the backdrop of 23 Police officers being transferred after a raid on a gaming centre near the Lipton’s Circus. It had been operated by a woman, who, it is alleged, was a very close associate of Mr. Hulugalle. Two weeks ago, Mr. Hulugalle was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the Lanka Hospitals reportedly after an overdose of barbiturates prescribed for depression. He, however, denied these reports though hospital sources confirmed he received treatment under intensive care. These sources also confirmed that he paid a hospital bill of more than Rs. 150,000.

Now, some of the security personnel assigned to Mr. Hulugalle have been restored. On Wednesday, hours after staff at the National Livestock Development Board (NLDB) marked the dawn of 2014 with kiribath and kavun, Mr. Hulugalle turned up at his Deputy Chairman’s office there. He was accompanied by two STF commandos and six Police officers from the Ministerial Security Division (MSD). All were armed.

A week before, NLDB sources say, he obtained the services of four workmen attached to the Board. They were transported to Mr. Hulugalle’s home town near Panduwasnuwara for an assignment. Earlier, Mr. Hulugalle had told Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) seniors that he planned to contest the next Parliamentary elections.

With his post as Director General of MCNS no longer existing and his removal from the post of Director General of the NGO Secretariat, Mr. Hulugalle has no role to play in any organisation under the Ministry of Defence. Besides being Deputy Chairman of the NLDB, he also serves as a director of the Commercial Bank, On’ally Holdings Plc and Waters Edge Ltd. The Urban Development Authority holds 47 per cent stake in On’ally Holdings Plc. and owns Waters Edge Ltd. Whether he represents state interests is not clear and has not been defined.

Last week, he was a notable absentee at the pirith ceremony and the next day’s alms giving at the residence of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He was also a notable absentee at the ceremonies at the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development on Wednesday to mark the dawn of 2014.

The MCNS, declared non-functional from November 1, continues. None of the staff members has been moved out from the offices overlooking ‘Temple Trees’, one of the official residences of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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