25th April 1999
The Avurudhu hampers sent out by a supplier to the Army top brass was so enormous it could have formed the stock in trade for a mini super market. There were vegetables of all varieties, fruits, chicken, fish, dhall, packets of spices, noodles, canned food, fruit juices, whisky and beer, to name some items.
But the Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Srilal Weerasooriya and his Chief of Staff, Major General Lionel Balagalle, politely declined the goodies. Vans arrived at their respective residences to collect the bumper hampers after the supplier was told "no, thank you." But insiders say there were quite a few who were bold enough not to say "no" to the bonanza !!
Treatment down under
Has Anton Balasingham, the LTTE ideologue and advisor to its leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, left Sri Lanka ?
Wanni residents who arrived in Colombo in the past weeks say he is suffering from acute diabetes. He had to be placed in a dialysis machine following diagnosis that his kidneys had been affected. Hence, Balasingham and his wife Adele are now in Australia undergoing treatment. Adele is Australian born and a former nurse.
Top brass at Army Headquarters were embarrassed over a Defence Ministry decision to appoint an officer to head an evaluation team for deals amounting to over Rs 300 million.
That was the procurement of ballistic helmets and pouches. The officer concerned had come in for inquiry in regard to various allegations and had been placed under open arrest not so long ago. Army Headquarters raised the issue with the Ministry of Defence. It turns out that an official had picked the name from the usual list AHQ had sent earlier.
Now the MOD has rescinded its own decision. A new appointment is being made.
In the family way
Navy top brass were embarrassed at the news that came before a passing out parade of female recruits.
Unbelievable but true, a woman recruit who was to pass out was in an advanced state of pregnancy.She had been pregnant during recruitment but kept that a closely guarded secret. Instead of passing her out to sail the seas, Navy officials had to do a bit of counselling. The boy friend was tracked down and a marriage was on the cards. She has now been released to live happily thereafter.
Reports from uncontrolled areas of the Wanni say the LTTE is planning another operation to seize a vessel carrying military cargo to Sri Lanka. This is to be staged on the same lines as they seized the cargo of 32,400 mortars ordered by the Army from state owned Zimbabwe Defence Industries.
According to the reports, two operatives of the LTTE's procurement group (KP Division, named after Kumaran Pathmanathan, the procurement boss), were in the Wanni weeks ago for a top level meeting with their leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran.
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