25th July 1999
The top cop handling se curity for last Thursday's UNP demonstration at Lipton Circus appeared angry over what he heard on his walkie talkie.
A section of the demonstrators were scurrying to march along Turret Road, in the direction of Galle Road.
"Remove the barricades and allow them to come to Galle Road," said the voice that came loud and clear. But that did not move the top cop.
He dipped the button on the walkie talkie and exhorted that he was in full command. No other orders should be followed, he shouted.
There was radio silence for a while. Who wanted to see the marchers at Galle Road ?
None other than the cop who is now at the centre of all the controversy.
The radio call Alpha November made from the Wanni to 28 Base somewhere in the Thoppigala jungles, intercepted by security forces, was revealing.
Alpha November was the one time Batticaloa leader, Karuna, who is now leading the guerrilla campaign in the Wanni. He asked Nagesh (at the 28 Base) who was responsible for the deaths of two civilians when a cycle bomb exploded opposite the Batticaloa Police station.
The explosive laden bicycle had been placed there by an unidentified teenage girl. It was meant for an Army convoy but killed two civilians on July 14.
"Periyavar (leader) is angry," shouted Karuna. With Nagesh denying his group's involvement, the query went to Ramanan, who was in the same vicinity. He also denied involvement.
It turned out that another group led by Reginald was responsible. The man was reprimanded and ordered to avoid civilian casualties.
Was this a public relations exercise ? Or is there more to it ? The intelligence community is keen to find the answers.
Death after Caesarian
Army Headquarters have launched a top level inquiry into the death of an officer's wife after she delivered twins at the Military Hospital.
It is to ascertain whether a Caesarian operation on her was performed by medical personnel who were not qualified.
The lady is said to have died of haemorrhage.
Senior security officials are mad over reports that some 60 businessmen operating shops in Vavuniya were summoned to PLOTE's "Lucky Base" in the outskirts of the town and ordered to make contributions of Rs 5,000 each.
Many have refused to pay and have complained to Army and Police officials. But they are helpless.
Meanwhile PLOTE has hurriedly shut down its office in Point Pedro. Reports say the move follows several PLOTE cadres in the Vadamaratchi sector deserting ranks and joining the LTTE.
Reports reaching Colombo speak of Malaysian authorities investigating whether the LTTE is linked to the loss of a tug boat and a barge from anchorage at Kota Kinabalu.
Navy Headquarters in Colombo have already been intimated about the loss. The motor tug boat "Galaxy I" is said to have a hull painted black with extensive rust and funnel painted in white and orange.
The barge "Galaxy II" is said to be black in colour. NHQ has alerted all its patrols to be on the lookout.
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