| by Gamini Weerakoon
( April 22, 2012, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The saga of Premakumar Gunaratnam is stuff for writers of international thrillers like John Le Carre.
He was born at Kegalle to a Tamil mother, a school teacher, attended school at Kegalle; entered the University of Peradeniya Engineering Faculty, became a student leader within a short while after entering the university; joined the JVP which was proscribed at that time; went underground to save himself from security forces; attacked the camp of the IPKF at Kallar; attacked the Army camp at Pallekele; was arrested and imprisoned at Bogambara ; escaped tunnelling his way out of prison; became JVP underground leader; remained alive as top notches JVPers including leader Rohana Wijeweera and the entire politbureau save one was bumped off by security forces; married a Sinhalese doctor who migrated to Australia and disappeared from the eyes of the security forces till he hit the headlines in Sri Lanka, Australia and some other countries recently following his alleged abduction by Sri Lankan security forces That is brief is the summary [with many deletions] which we have been able to pick up from the media. Alias’s of Gunaratnam are equally bewildering. His name on his marriage certificate appears as Mudiyanselage Daskon.
He also went as Rathnayake Mudiyaselage Dayalal, his Australian passport gave the name as Noel Mudalige Kangaroo plot? The most intriguing development was the interest shown by the Australian government on the alleged abduction of this ex- Sri Lankan terrorist as well as the interest shown in him by the international media. Even more bewildering is that the Australian High Commission produced his passport when he surfaced after his alleged abduction and the Sri Lankan security forces instead of arresting him for entering the country with a false/forged passport, escorted him to the Katunayake Airport and handed him over to Australian government officials! Gunaratnam once in Australia claimed he was abducted, ‘mentally and physically’ tortured while the Sri Lankan government officials denied any such abduction!
We were not much interested in this high class diplomatic cloak and dagger intrigue of Gunaratnam’s abduction. What interested us is the alleged abduction of the young woman Dimuthi Attygalle, the head of the international wing of the breakaway faction of the JVP of which Gunaratnam is said to be the leader.
She walked into press conference that was being held at her party headquarters and gave details of her capture by armed men in a white van who had questioned her intensely and then released her. Now the billion dollar (these days our Central bank Governor talks only in terms of billions) question is: Why was Ms. Attygalle abducted and is there no attempt to trace the criminals who abducted this young woman? Or is it that abduction of political activists is a common offence these days like a minor traffic offence which need not be pursued? Dreaming dreams We were trying to get to the bottom of this mystery and were directed to a new investigation unit, Anti Criminal Intelligence Directorate (ACID) house in a spacious bungalow around Colombo 3 and were asked to await the arrival of the Intel Chief to be briefed. It was a well chilled room and we felt like dozing off in mid afternoon. The big chief, Kapati (Kap) Hapangoda, arrived clad in an immaculate cut uniform with medals and other insignia all over him. The man looked like all those film stars decades ago—Edie, Freddie, Domie, Joe and Gamini montaged into one, sporting a thick black brush of a mustache with generous application of Goodrich Dye.
Case of Aslin Why was that young girl abducted and who did it? we asked. Kapati (Kap) looked hard at us and yelled for his peon. ‘Geneng Yakko Asilinge dossier eka’ he ordered and told us that we newspaper fellows don’t know the threats posed to our nation. He threw Aslin’s dosssier before us and asked us to flick the pages as he spoke.
Asilin Yatabage was born in the remote village of Panagiyewatte as you can see from her birth certificate. Her school leaving certificate, you will note her name has changed to Assyling Udabage, Why do you think it was done? Maybe her school principal tried to sexually abuse her, Asilin resisted and therefore he made her name sound like an Assy……and she had shifted from Yatabage to the neighbouring village of Udabage. Nonsense, said Kap. Turn to her first passport copy.
There her name is Ashy Lino, Why?. Probably she was trying to get to Italy as a house maid, we suggested. Bollocks, shouted Kap. She returns from Jordon and her passport name was reverted Assyling. Why?
Kap then went on to another ‘classic case’ and presented us with another file. This fellow was born in Kotahena and his birth certificate gives his name as Patrick Perera. His school leaving certificate his name is Hatrick Perera. Why? Probably he wanted to get into the cricket team, we ventured.
Nonsense, he turned out to be a pickpocket, remarked Kap. And did not stop at that. He ended in America and obtained a Green Card.That’s no offence, we pointed out. Those not in powerful families too can get Green Cards.
But the Americans soon caught him, said Kap gleefully.
They said it was a forged Green card. But this fellow was smart. He said that it was a Green Card issued by the UNP headquarters. His family had been staunched UNPers.They threw hand bombs at Colombo North elections for the party.
So where is Hatrick now? In America, replied Kap. The fellow is smart. He got a diplomatic appointment. Pulled a string. One of his relations is powerful enough…. Did some dirty work for a big shot.
Was it a Sri Lankan foreign service appointment or…….. I shay don’t ask stupid questions. Want me be to be transferred to Puttukudirippu ? He turned to stacks of files on the shelves behind him.
All that is evidence of the deliberate conspiracy hatched against the government of Mahinda Rajapakse by America, European Union and their cronies. All these fellows are travelling on faked passports and with faked names with the connivance of these foreign powers. But how can it topple the government? For a newspaper fellow you are pretty dumb. When thesefaked passports by tens of thousands are exposed how can our people get foreign jobs? You know how many billions of dollars they send back to the country. If those expatriate dollars are not there—foreign remittances— as Cabral calls them , how is he to balance the budget? No money for imports.
The government will collapse. That is the deliberate trick worked out on us by those foreign powers and those like Guneratnam and these NGO traitors, he shouted and banged his desk. Awake We must confess that we had fallen asleep in the well air conditioned officeand this banging woke us up. I shay peon, Kap bellowed. Throw this damned newspaperman out. He pretends to fall asleep but is carrying his tape recorder in his pocket and recording what is happening in this office. See him out and don’t let his come back.