17th January 1999
Only on Tuesdays
Local agents of foreign suppliers to Sri Lanka Air Force have been banned from visiting the headquarters complex except on Tuesdays.
The move has come on the orders of the SLAF Commander, Air Marshal Jayalath Weerakkoddy, who wants to give a new image to the service.
Senior SLAF officials will grant appointments for business meetings only on Tuesdays.
This is a departure from the previous Air Force Commander's time when agents could meet SLAF staff any working day.
Tiger hunt for NICs
Tiger cadres who have infiltrated the Jaffna peninsula have launched a drive to collect the National Identity Cards (NICs) of civilians in the area. In the recent weeks alone, military officials say, over 1000 NICs have been reported lost.
Last week, Army officials received a tip off from Jaffna residents that a group of three were collecting NICs. Sentries spotted them and opened fire. One fell down and two escaped. Two NICs and a pistol were found on the man who died.
Few days earlier, two were shot dead. One of them was found to have in his possession 30 NICs.
Military officials say the Tiger guerrillas want to ensure their easy mobility in the peninsula by depriving civilians in the area of their NICs. To overcome increased threats that Tiger guerrillas are posing to local councillors, Brigadier Nihal Marambe, GOC of the Army's 51 Division last week discussed the issue of small arms to them. Hardly had he discussed this at a conference with the councillors, the news leaked out.
Spy in and spy out
Reports that intelligence sleuths passed information to opposition political parties has had its sequel.
The Additional Director (name withheld) of the Directorate of Internal Intelligence (DII), has issued a circular to his staff that no former intelligence sleuths or those sent out of the Police on disciplinary grounds should be allowed into their Cambridge Place headquarters. Whoever wants to bring them in have been told to apply for prior permission.
Who would want to blow their cover is the billion dollar question.
Lid off the secret op.
It was time for the head of the branch of a service arm, not far away from the city, to inspect his own installation. That was not so long ago.
The smartly clad boss was conducted around the complex as he went on inspecting, from unit to unit, from building to building.
Then a securely shut room aroused his curiosity. "What is inside," he questioned. His own men were hesitant to answer. They made gestures to show there was nothing important. The local boss flew into a rage. "I am the head of this place. I have a right to inspect anything I want," he thundered. The men opened the doors. What was inside shocked not only the boss but all his colleagues who heard the story. That was an electronic eavesdropping room. That helped to learn who was talking to whom and what they were saying.
The chief man who marshalled all the resources for this EW operation is angry that details have become public. He is spreading the word around with a vengeance.
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