8th August 1999
Off to Croatia
For eleven long days, he was the most powerful man in Sri Lanka. That was when he was elevated to the rank of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of a powerful Joint Operations Command (JOC) of security forces.
That was short lived. He was re-named General Officer Commanding (GOC) of a JOC with less powers, ones that were supervisory and advisory.
Now comes the news that General Rohan de S. Daluwatte will leave Sri Lanka next week on a mission to Croatia. He is leading a 40 strong security forces contingent (Army, Navy and Air Force) to World Military Games in Croatia.
Those who may think he is leading a military campaign in the Balkans are mistaken. These world armed forces games are of a different sort – athletics and other sports events.
"Handiye Kadey" (Shop at the Junction) is the name General Officer Commanding (GOC) Army's 54 Division, Major General Sarath Munasinghe, has given the well stocked kiosk at Iyakachchi junction. It sells koththu rotty, hoppers, short eats and even toiletries.
It has come up as a supplement to a Post Office/ Communications Centre. No more postal delays and nor will the soldiers remain cut off from their relatives and friends – issues highlighted in Situation Report – Special Assignment in The Sunday Times of June 20.
Soldiers in the Paranthan defences are good customers of both the Kadey and the Post Office/Comm Centre.
It was General Rohan de S. Daluwatte, who as Commander changed the Army uniform to a two tone (Six Alpha) look alike of the United States Army.
That was to replace a uniform that has been in vogue since Sri Lanka's independence from British rule.
Army Headquarters ordered 10,000 belts for use with what officers call the "Daluwatte uniform." The stock has arrived and a top level inquiry is now on.
The reason – the belt has been found to be of inferior quality and below specifications. Insiders say officers who issued a letter of acceptance are on the mat.
The issue came to surface after Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Janaka Perera, probed complaints. He is now an angry man.
A leading airline donated some 2,000 zinc sheets for use by troops in an operational areas.
At least 200 of them are said to have found their way out. They have been transported to another area concealed in a lorry that carried cow dung to a farm. A probe is said to be under way.
The LTTE recently placed two painted Letter Boxes near two leading temples in Nilaveli and Kuchchaveli in the Trincomalee area.
Public in the area were called upon to write their complaints and drop them in the box.
Intelligence sources say civilians are required to carry these boxes periodically to an LTTE hide-out in Kumburupiddy.
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