The dissolution of the controversial Media Centre for National Security that was tasked with counter propaganda against the LTTE during the final phase of the war is directly linked to the illicit affairs and conduct of its Director General and regime strongman Lakshman Hulugalle, a Sri Lankan newspaper has revealed today.
The Presidential Secretariat closed the MCNS with effect from November 1, evicting Hulugalle from his post, the Sunday Times said in its political column today.
The Sunday Times said that a sequence of events triggered by the sudden transfer orders to 23 officers and constables from the Police Department’s Organised Crimes Investigation Unit led to the closure of the MCNS.
It came in the wake of the 23 officers conducting a raid on a gaming centre in the Colombo Town Hall area, the newspaper said.
The Sunday Times quoted highly placed Police sources as saying that the orders came even without a proper investigation being conducted against the 23 policemen. The newspaper quotes a UPFA source as saying the MCNS Director General Lakshman Hulugalle had urged IGP N.K. Illangakoon to effect the transfers on the grounds that there was ‘unfair’ treatment after the arrest of some persons closely associated with a leading personality.
Hulugalle, however, has denied he made any such request, the newspaper states.
“The issue was raised in Parliament by Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Noting that newspapers had reported that the MCNS had been dissolved from November 1, he asked whether it means that “only the crimes the Director General Lakshman Hulugalle committed after November 1 could be called crimes and wrong doing?” He asked how one would describe what he did prior to that date. Dissanayake said that the 23 policemen who raided the ‘Salaka Regino’ gambling den had been transferred to remote areas. Dissanayake said “Hula” is the name for the Director General of the MCNS. “What a crime for an official to use his powers to cover up his Casanova lifestyle,” asked the JVP parliamentarian,” the newspaper reported.
Meanwhile a leading businessman Gamini Nethicumara, granted an interview to a Sunday Sinhala weekly last week that the Sunday Times says came in the backdrop of representations Nethicumara made to the UPFA leadership over allegations against Hulugalle.
In the interview Nethicumara claims a person by the name of ‘Hula’ and his wife were having an illicit affair. He claims his sister-in law had benefited greatly from the liaison between Hula and his wife and got his wife involved in a gambling business. “Through ‘Hula’s’ influence the required security was provided,” Nethicumara said in the interview. He says he has proof of the affair which started at the end of 2011. Police complaints were lodged but never investigated, Nethicumara says, because “Hula” was a powerful person. The businessman alleges in the interview that even when there was an argument in the house, 50 policemen would surround their home.
“Whenever this particular person (Hula) came home it was a disturbance to the neighbors as well. The Special Task Force and their Defender vehicles used to come and block the roads. It brought embarrassment to us. My children told ‘Hula’ not to come home. I also visited his office and told the same,” he says in the interview.
Nethicumara says after repeated requests, “Hula” stopped visiting his home. “But whenever he wanted he came and picked her and dropped her. A private security guard was deployed at my home without my permission. I was forced to take their permission to enter my own home. I believe it was state money which was being used,” he said.
Nethicumara’s two children have made complaints to the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA). In addition, he had also made a complaint to the Cinnamon Gardens Police but has alleged that no action had been taken. It is only thereafter that Nethicumara had made representations to President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself, the Sunday Times says.
The newspaper said that this week an STF security contingent assigned to Hulugalle was withdrawn. UPFA sources said that Hulugalle had now sought a diplomatic posting, preferably in Malaysia but his request had not been granted.