Date Month 1996

The Jungle Telegraph

By Alia

Chasing a shadow

Believe it or not! A massive hunt is now under way not to track down Tiger boss Velupillai Prabhakaran or his coborts.

It is "electronic warfare" or as you call it tap, tap, tap to find out who is leaking what to whom.

As one sleuth (needless to say he wishes to remain anonymous) puts it, some top brass are now developing, rigor mortise when their phones ring. If its paparazi, they don't want to know.

The targets are in practically all major media outfits, print electronic and even foreign corrs. Times do not matter. The coverage includes the entire island be it the phone, fax or modem.

Sources may be sacred to be scribes but not to the sleuths. Transparency or not, the likes of Watergate are not heard of in this part of the world. The steel safes are already full of tapes.

Does it include Alia's own voice? Your guess is as good as mine.

Slept with boots on

A sleepy hamlet not so far away from the ruined cities was the venue for Uncle Sam's boys who were training the local junior warriors to hunt Tigers.

The leader of the boys the hoarse throated Sarge with a robust no-nonsense look felt protection was necessary for his group. Nights in particular appeared uneasy.

So he made an appeal to those who matter. Pronto a platoon of heavily armed local boys arrived to guard the trainers.

Things went sour one night. The leader woke up one midnight to find his protectors fast asleep. This infuriated him.

He shot off a report that went across the Pacific within seconds. The man was worried all hell could have broken loose back home if something happened to even one of his boys.

Say yes , always

The likes of King Gajaba, who fought the Chola kings in India and even brought prisoners-of-war to Sri Lanka, were warriors with great understanding. When they held court, they heard all views and did not behead those who disagreed.

But those are things of the past few weeks ago it was unceremonious exit for a commanding type. He reportedly expressed views that were not compatible with advances, whether they occur or not.

That was not all. Another of the same calibre who fought on the ground and in air has been moved out.

Guess the source

The probe into the great debacle is still underway.

Of all things, Alia has also figured in it. Not because he was in the beleagured bastion and made a heroic escape or downed a few attackers in a single burst. No such tantalising tales.

They want to know who told Alia about what appeared in these columns on July 21 headlined Report on Mullaitivu not acted on

Alia revealed that the deputy head of the intelligence arm of a coveted service sent in a written report to his boss (the head) that Tigers were planning to attack. The report dated July 5, 1996 said the Tigers planned a Pooneryn style attack

They want to know how it reached Alia?

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