27th February 2000
Vital piece of evidence
The female suicide bomber who detonated herself in an abortive attempt to assassinate President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, at the Town Hall Grounds on December 18, last year, infiltrated the security cordon by joining a group of supporters who were escorting a PA politician.
Some members of this group had in fact carried this politician whilst others who followed shouted slogans as they bulldozed their way into the sanitized area close to the stage. They succeeded in escaping security checks.
CID detectives probing the incident have stumbled on this vital piece of evidence as they closely scrutinised video footage obtained from various sources including the electronic media.
The identity of the suicide bomber, however, still remains a mystery.
DNA tests carried out had not matched the identity of one female Tiger guerrilla suspect.
Checks on other suspects including names of those made available by intelligence sources are now being probed.
Ninety officer cadets attached to the Military Academy at Diyatalawa temporarily deserted their positions for a couple of days recently.
The move angered Army top brass and prompted Defence Ministry officials to seek fuller details.
It turned out that the new recruits were angry over alleged harassment by an instructor.
In a retaliatory move, Army top brass ordered the arrests of a few cadets. The move saw others returning to their billets and lecture rooms.
This is the first time in the history of the Academy that such a large number of officer cadets kept away after availing themselves of a 'day off.'
Embarrassed top brass are now inquiring informally as to what went wrong.
Man of many parts
Former Military Spokesman and now officiating GOC (General Officer Commanding) of Sri Lanka Army's 21 Division, Brigadier Sunil Tennekoon, is indeed a man of many parts. From a media expert to commanding a Division, he proved his prowess last week as an entertainer.
He sang at an Army musical show in Vavuniya. It was a rendering a vocalist Jagath Wickrema-singhe songs.
To the lilting sounds of a band, the melodious lines went thus:
Jaley Gembura Oruwa Danney Ne
The boat does not know the depth of the water
Maley Suwanda Bambaru Danney Ne
Bees don't know the aroma of the flower
Hithey Arumey Nago Danne Ney Sister, You don't know what's in my heart Nagey, Obata boru kiyanne ney Sister, I will not lie to you
A media team, on a conducted tour of the Wanni, was among the audience. One of them remarked somewhat humourously 'good, he did'nt sing that song when he was Military Spokesman. That would have been out of tune !!'
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