20th December 1998
Thora or Mora?
Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickrem esinghe, now busy with the NWP election campaign took time off to relax at the Deer Park Hotel at Giritale last week.
When he strolled along the poolside, he saw two senior Army officers, a Major General and a Brigadier.
The Major General was in the pool, almost waist deep. He stood to attention in what resembled an amphibious drill when he saw the Opposition Leader. It was promptly acknowledged with a broad smile by Mr. Wickremesinghe.
The Brigadier, one who has been a covert operator for long years, managed to make a hasty retreat.
'It was like the Thora or Mora escaping the fisherman's net,' remarked a bystander.
What did those large, green boxes contain ?
The question seems to baffle security authorities after they received reports that the LTTE smuggled in contraband through the north east coast just last week. The operation was carried out with Sea Tiger cadres giving cover both at sea and on land.
The contraband had been unloaded into boats from a ship that lay anchored in international waters, off Mullaitivu.
Besides the mysterious green boxes, other items, security sources say, included motor vehicle spare parts and a large stock of welding rods.
An SLAF Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) crash landed on the tarmac at the Anuradhapura airfield last week.
It was on a training flight.
Insiders say the crash was caused by a handler's mistake. Spare parts are now being airlifted for urgently required repairs.
Blue on blue
A soldier is in a critical condition and seven of his colleagues (including a sailor) were wounded by friendly fire from an SLAF MI 24.
The blue on blue, as they call it in military parlance, occurred after the helicopter gunship was called in to attack Tiger guerrilla positions in the Wanni.
Defence Analyst and author, Rohan Gunaratne, added one more achievement to his credit early this week.
It came in the form of a new bride, a Baroness from the United Kingdom. The name is being kept a close secret until a formal reception in Colombo.
An angry politico has begun his own discreet inquiries to ascertain why 'Operation Jaya Sikurui' has been called off. Even the names of those responsible were being sought.
Those in the higher echelons who learnt of the move ask why he could not ask the boss or bosses who matter.
Perhaps he feels left out, was how one colleague explained it.
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