15th June 1997

The Jungle Telegraph

By Alia

More than a storm in a coffee cup

Since being set up during the UNP regime Seva Vanitha have rendered yeoman service in many sectors of the State. But that is not to say that these organisations do not have their own share of problem, some unexpected and others imposed by over enthusiastic leadership.

In one such organisation in the security sector, they want to raise over a quarter million rupees in a hurry. So they have decided to have a coffee morning.

The sponsors, the other halves of the top rungers, not only had the tickets printed but helped themselves (including those at the top) freely. They did not have to pay.

But these young men in their epaulets and their spouses are in a quandary. They have been “ordered” to buy their tickets and come for coffee.

The price? Well, well its Rs. 1,000.

It’s more than a storm in a coffee cup. It’s a big slice off their take home pay but they do not know whom to complain to.

‘I did it before’

The very presence of the Leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickremesinghe, seems to precipitate a discussion on the niceties of a Government-Opposition bipartisan approach to end the ethnic conflict.

It was no different last Tuesday night in London when Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner, S.K. Wickremasinghe, hosted a dinner for his name sake.

The select crowd of diplomats, former and present, as well as officials of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, were agreed that the bipartisan approach was a step in the right direction.

An F& CO official then heard an interesting revelation. It came from Mangala Moonesinghe, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India, now on a visit to UK. Long before the Brits played honest broker, I did, he declared.

Well, no letters were exchanged then.

Nothing to worry

LTTE’s temporary seizure of the stretch of land between Thandikulam and Nochchimoddai caused panic and confusion throughout Tuesday. It took another day for the events that went on to unfold.

On Tuesday, a top man in uniform was busy. This time it was with his telephone. He was speaking to the next of kin of some seniors on the field and assuring them that there was nothing to worry.

A welcome humanitarian task indeed.

Hi-tech. Sikurui

Some specialised troops engaged in “Operation Jaya Sikurui” have gone hi-tech.. with the application of satellite technology and other methods.

But it would be too soon to speak of details.

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