Jungle Telegraph

19th March 2000

By Alia

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Humorous moments

The March 11 confrontations in Colombo involving security forces, Police and Tigers was not without its own humorous moments.

After the five Tigers fled the scene and holed themselves up in the "C" block at Serpentine flats, military top brass decided to fly in crack commandos.

They were from a group trained in anti-hi-jack and rescue operations and were based at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake.

The men led by a top officer, clad in impressive commando fatigues, arrived at the scene and were making preparations. The man who put the commandos through daily drills in an abandoned aircraft in Katunayake was giving his men instructions on how they should carry out their assault.

Then came a hijack of sorts. Another officer, one rank higher and serving in a battle area, came into the scene in civvies. He was in Colombo on leave.

Watched by other seniors, he took over the megaphone from the uniformed commando officer and commanded the operation. As that happened, others were looking for a suitable name for the operation. One suggested "Operation Rescue "C" Block." Another said "Operation Wanatha Flush Out." In a bid to give some boost to the Army Commander, an aide proposed "Operation Weera Soora." They could not agree on a name but the operation was carried out. Meanwhile Police probing the incident found that the Tigers who hid themselves in a safe house near the Rajagiriya roundabout did not move out for fear of being detected. They had even collected urine in bottles.

Tiger show

Foreign intelligence sources say the LTTE is making plans to mastermind a demonstration in the Indian capital of New Delhi when US President Bill Clinton, arrives there.

These sources say the Indian authorities have been alerted to this move.

Punitive action

Three months after the devastating military debacles in the Wanni, Government action against those responsible is likely to be made public next week.

According to highly placed Government sources, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, has already endorsed the punitive action to be taken against those responsible. Army Headquarters is to be called upon to enforce this action any time now, these sources said. The move will of course be accompanied by an official announcement, they added.

Radio network

The Tiger suicide cadre who exploded himself at Rajagiriya on March 10 has been identified by Police as Jesuraja alias Kanga of Mannar.

Police say he was earlier a member of the LTTE pistol gang operating in Vavuniya and later joined the Black Tigers.

Meanwhile Police have recovered two Icom radio communication sets used by the Tigers during the Rajagiriya attack the first indication that the LTTE were operating a radio network in the City. Monitoring of communications has been stepped up.

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