Fifty eight policemen are to be rewarded for successfully handling the high profile investigation into July 2001 attack on the Bandaranaike International Airport and the adjacent Airforce base, the worst act of LTTE terrorism in the entire Eelam war.
Police headquarters said that cash awards would be offered to officers and men at a function scheduled to take place at the Finger Prints Bureau tomorrow (20). IGP Chandra Fernando is expected to be the chief guest.
The attack carried out by a group of LTTE suicide cadres wiped out half of the Emirates-managed Sri Lankan Airlines fleet and caused unprecedented losses to Airforce. Attackers, during the spectacular raid, destroyed several fighter aircraft, trainer aircraft and choppers. They also damaged several other craft.
The Island learns that the majority of the 115 suspects arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) had been released in batches over the past few years.
Attorney General K. C. Kamalasabeyson had directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to release them on the basis that there was no evidence to justify their continued detention under the PTA.
Of the released, about 40 had been set free a few months before the December 2001 parliamentary elections won by the UNP-led United National Front (UNF) .
Others had been released after the UNF returned to power.
Suspects held in connection with the attack on the BIA and the adjacent airbase were among several hundred PTA suspects released after the Oslo-arranged Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA) came into effect in February 2002.
The CFA expressly prohibits cordon and search operations and arrests under the PTA. The Island learns that only a handful of suspects taken in connection with the airport attack remain in custody.