Jungle Telegraph

22nd July 2001
By Alia
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Project shelved
After spending mil lions of dollars or billions of rupees, an ambitious project of the Sri Lanka Navy, the setting up of an Air Wing, is to be abandoned.

This pet project of the former Commander of the Navy, Admiral Cecil Tissera, most of it hatched in secrecy, will now go down in history as one of many military adventures that became futile. That is after vast amounts of tax payers' money has been wasted due to somebody blundering somewhere.

Who cares when the business of war is all about money, both dollars and rupees.

Water cannons under repair
Police Headquarters have placed hurried orders for spare parts for their vehicle mounted water cannons.

This follows concerns expressed at the highest levels of the Government over the non utilisation of these water cannons during last Thursday's pro-democracy protests in the City.

It turned out that all the cannons were not in use and needed repairs.

Phone bill
Remember Alia's comments (June 24) about Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Lionel Balagalle, learning about a top boss in the Wanni utilising a satellite phone and running a bill for nearly a million rupees ?

As the line remains disconnected by the system provider, now comes more news on the episode. The amount involved is not nearly a million rupees. It is more.

Insiders say the top boss first used the satellite phone in Jaffna and ran a bill of Rs 1.7 million. Thereafter he brought the same phone to Wanni where he ran a further bill of Rs 2.7 million. The total now works out to a staggering Rs 4.4 million.

Most of the calls, they say, have been made to a sibling studying in the United States.

The billion dollar question now being asked is whether the man will be called upon to pay the bills. Some say it may take years even if he sacrifices his entire salary monthly. But retirement will come in the way.

Protocol wrong
One top man in uni form was not so happy his immediate boss asked him to receive a visiting dignitary.

Whilst the top man was big boss in his own domain, the visitor was only responsible for the region. So it was wrong in protocol, he argued.

But colleagues persuaded him not to keep away. After all, the orders came from a superior, they told him. So he turned up in ceremonial regalia only to realise the visitor was in working uniform.

Interesting revelation
A Black Tiger suicide cadre who has now fallen into the hands of the Police has made an interesting revelation.

For well over a month, donning a suicide jacket, he travelled from Mount Lavinia to the Kollupitiya junction. But he failed to meet with his targets. It was one of three President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar or Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Rohan de S. Daluwatte.

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