Jungle Telegraph

16th July 2000

By Alia

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Surprise attack

If secrecy is an essential ingredient for the conduct of military operations, this week's Army assault on LTTE positions near Ariyalai comes as a classic example.

Military top brass in their Colombo offices were caught by complete surprise. When the first Mi-17 helicopter landed on the grounds near their office, many thought it was bringing a VIP after an outstation tour.

But within moments, one after another Mi-17 began to touch down.

Curious to know what was going on, one top man telephoned his aide and wanted him to check what was going on.

The news came that troops had launched an offensive in Ariyalai.

Even other top men who heard it were surprised.

The Russian built choppers were bring security forces casualties to Colombo. According to the Special Media Information Centre, 94 soldiers were wounded.

The Male connection

The politico VIP's Maldivian connection was the talk of the town this week.

Insiders say he is making a foray into the burgeoning tourist industry in the archipelago.

His trusted emissaries are taking wing to the Maldivian capital of Male regularly. Like matters military, insiders say, the deal is still a top secret.

Believe it or not

This story will eas-ily find a place in Ripley's Believe it or not.

A man in uniform who retired many many moons ago was back on pay and pension, thanks to his good old pal, the boss.

Now comes the news that he is the Colombo agent for a State owned weapons manufacturer in Asia.

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