Former Foreign Min ister Lakshman Kadirgamar was being escorted by the
Army's elite commandos last Tuesday to the Alfred Place residence of the
French Ambassador, for a lunch engagement, when the unexpected happened.
A commando surveillance squad on trailer motor cycles, that kept pace
with the entourage, was said to have picked up a conversation. A passenger
in a three-wheeler, which slowed down due to traffic, was reportedly heard
to say "…Kadirgamar…" Was that part of a threat or a plot ?
Men on two bikes followed the three-wheeler to find out. The three-wheeler
stopped opposite the popular seafood restaurant, Beach Wadiya at Wellawatte
to drop its passenger. As the man went inside, the two men on the bike
questioned him about the remark. They radioed and obtained a vehicle.
The man was driven to the Army unit at Brodie House, Bauddhaloka Mawatha,
for further interrogation over remarks he made about Mr. Kadirgamar. He
explained that he was only praising Mr. Kadirgamar for his contribution
to Sri Lanka.
The man, it turned out, was none other than Olwyn Weerasekera, the owner
of Beach Wadiya, and an avowed fan of Mr. Kadirgamar. Commandos apologised
for the confusion and returned him to the restaurant.
That night, Olwyn received an unexpected telephone call. It was Mr.
Kadirgamar, who said he wanted to personally apologise to him. There were
whispers that choice French champagne, Moet Chandon at that, was sent to
Though the commandos lived up to their motto - when the going gets tough,
the tough get going – and won Mr. Kadirgamar's praise for their alertness,
the former Foreign Minister was upset the action had hurt one of his fans.
Unintentionally of course.
At least two brigadiers, sent on retirement by Army Headquarters after
they reached their mandatory maximum service in the rank, may be re-called
The Defence Ministry has reviewed their cases and recommended their
recall since they had not yet reached their age of retirement – 55 years
– and were experienced men.
The matter is now before President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga,
Whilst the matter is pending, insiders say, one top man had manipulated
to have their retirement gazetted thus making the issue a fait accompli.
He had sent the draft gazette to the MoD. But the devious move, as some
called it, has been detected and put on hold until President Kumaratunga's