The Police Officer Named Ananda Gunawardana
Posted on October 28th, 2010

by Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge

Ananda Gunawardana studied with me at the Nalanda College Colombo 10. We were together in grade 4, 5 , and in AL classes.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  I still recall his jovial attitude to life and some of his unforgettable humor. In the grade 4 we were mocking atƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  our DanceƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  teacher Mr Welabadage behind his back while he was performing Mayura Wannama.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Suddenly Mr Welabadage looked behind and caught us in red-handed.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Two of us paid heavy price and even after severer canning,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  we were laughing with each other how we imitated our teacher.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ He was a school prefect but he did all the mischievous things with us and never adopted an authoritative attitude. He was one of the boys always and on many occasion we played cricket after school.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ We were in the Interact club and had the opportunity to visit many schools in Colombo. In each time, we made new friends and Ananda actively participated in club events.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ When we were in the Advanced Level classes, (in 1985) Ananda Gunawardana relived our educational stress and tension with his jocks and humor.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Once in the Chemistry period Ananda secretly put Sodium Hydroxide to my trouser pocket and after a few minutes, I was jumping in pain in the middle of the Chemistry class. Our Chemistry teacher Miss Priyabahani soon realized what had occurred and asked me to immediacy wash the remains of Sodium Hydroxide from my trouser pocket.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ After the Advanced Level Ananda Gunawardana joined the Sri Lanka Police. When he was working as a young Police officer ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ in 1987 two of our class mates had met Ananda at the Bambalapitiya junction. They could not identify Ananda who was in uniform and made a drastic attempt to avoid the Police officer who was approaching them. When the two of guys tried to walk fast and evade the Police officer, Ananda had called them by names and asked them to stop. That had made them in to a panic. Somehow Ananda had stopped his two classmates and ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ reintroduced him self. When the two guys had realized that was Ananda followed them,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  they were laughing throughout.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In 1990 Ananda was posted to the East and the County was in a turmoil. In June 1990, the LTTE unilaterally violated the ceasefire talks arrested over 600 police officers. Ananda was one of them. his final hours was extremely traumatic. After some years, Col Sarath Ambawa who witnessed the saga told me that the IGP and the top Politicians ordered the Police offers to lay down their weapons and surrender to the LTTE. Col Ambawa had asked Ananda not to surrender and come to his Kalawanchikudi camp until he gets reinforcements. But Ananda refused that offered and decided to obey his superiors.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ As Col Ambawa and some solders of the Kalawanchikudi camp witnessed the police men were forced to march to the LTTE vehicles. Some policemen were taken fully necked.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  A few policemen tried to run towards the camp and saved their lives. But a several of them were gun downed by the LTTE. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The surrendered police officers were taken to an unknown destination killed. Later their bodies were set on fire. Although the LTTE launched an attack at the Kalavanchikudi camp Col Ambawa fought with utmost courage and held the camp until the reinforcements arrived.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The mass graves were recovered by the STF in late June 1990 after the massacre. Sgt. Najimmuddin of Akkaraipattu Police miraculously escaped the mass grave after feigning to be dead to re-live to relate the story. The STF found highly mutilated / decomposed bodies.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ After 20 years of Ananda Gunawardans death, we still recall his human qualities and sense of humor. He is not with us anymore. But he always lives in our harts.

One Response to “The Police Officer Named Ananda Gunawardana”

  1. Wickrama Says:

    I have read many articles by Dr. Ruwan M Jayatunga, but there seems to be something strange about this article. There are some grammatical and spelling errors. I wonder why?

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