Jungle Telegraph

19th August 2001
By Alia
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The apple man
Those lucky enough are the ones who are often referred to as the apple of the eye. This is the case of someone, a top runger, whose eye was was on apples. Not a few fruits but crates. 

Stocks of apples for the mess room of officers and other ranks are airlifted regularly from Colombo in cargo flights to the north. It is often a hard earned dessert for soldiers,many who believe in the dictum - an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Insiders say a young soldier tipped off a superior dealing with supplies. After crates of apples arrived at the camps, one top runger saw to it that a collection was put back into a carton and sent back to Colombo. No, not to another mess hall. The consignment was regularly directed to his house. 

Move out orders
The Army put out a leaflet last week urging Batticaloa residents to move away at least four kilometres away from LTTE camps since they planned to launch an offensive. They were also asked to stock food sufficient for two months in addition to other matters.

Army Headquarters, angered by the foolish move, ordered a full probe. A senior official responsible for the move has now received marching orders. He has been told to move out from the area. It has now transpired that the leaflet was prepared by an officer responsible for psychological operations. He had only wanted the residents to stock food sufficient for two weeks but the officer concerned had changed it to two months. 

Even before the residents could march out adhering to the Army leaflet, the officer had to. 

War & peace drives
If the LTTE was beat ing war drums in the north, in the Wanni, where a feast was under way at the Madhu Church, it was a peace drive, a public relations exercise. Visitors received two pamphlets and a recorded audio tape from the LTTE. 

Both spoke of how peace prevailed in the yesteryears and how things have become difficult now due to scheming politicians among others.

The audio tape contained speeches recorded in Sinhala, interspersed with Sinhala songs. Cleverly crafted, announcers who spoke Sinhala with a heavy Tamil accent reminisced about the years when there was peace and how things have now deteriorated. The undertones in the speeches were to justify what the LTTE is fighting for. 

Foreign intelligence
Its a story much akin to one which speaks about more chiefs than injuns.

The state's external intelligence arm is going ahead appointing its men in various important capitals. One took over last week in Paris, an important posting, since a wrong report about LTTE's Anton Balasingham, being denied entry into that country embarrassed the Government. Insiders say among other capitals will be Germany and Canada. But their numbers may soon be more than the domestic agency having its agents in various districts. 

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