1st September 1996

The Jungle Telegraph

By Alia

Green backs put off

A multi million dollar (or multi billion rupee) deal that would have led to the arrival in Sri Lanka, among others of some of the world's renowned experts on counter terrorism, it has now become clear, will not get off the ground.

It's not because the details of the deal has leaked out and at least one scribe, a roving type, is making a neat packet writing to specialised journals on the subject.

It's just that the authorities feel the hard earned green backs can be utilised on a much needed high priority requirement. Of course, what that is must remain a secret.

Needless to say that some sections of the spit and polish, clan who screamed "they are coming to teach us how to suck eggs" are breathing a sigh of relief.

Besides how to aim and shoot (at the right target), there were many lessons to be learnt including how to catch biggest of them all and how to deal with Alia's tribe. The aim of the latter exercise, of course is to get them to say more bad things about the Kotiyas (I mean the two- legged ones).

Now that the deal is off, one has to be content with the only official source, who in turn gets it straight from the "ground" and from "technical sources."

No complaints please. Not when our enlightened political masters have decreed that even the truth must be suppressed in what they perceive are matters of national interest. Luckily they were reported and editorialised in Sri Lanka.

If they heard it in Bosnia, Somalia, Ruwanda or even in neighbouring India, you will not see what you are now seeing on satellite TV in Colombo (CNN, BBC, SKY TV, ABC etc), about similar problems. Lets be thankful that we can learn about other people's problems even if we don't know about our own in this information super highway era.

Who says 21st century is round the corner?

Civvies better

It does not take anything more than ordinary common sense for one to realise the presence of checkpoints, uniformed sentries and Policemen are a deterrent to many unlawful things, more importantly acts of terrorism.

But the security boss of a state institution thinks otherwise. He seems to have become schizophrenic or as the dictionary describes it, "mental disease marked by disconnection between thought, feelings and action."

He has banned all uniform personnel from entering this institution where most officers and soldiers who want to ensure a proper future for their next of kin, visit frequently. The security boss thinks that terrorists can come in uniform, pass through his security and create mayhem in his institution. So the ruling - No entry to uniform cadres.

The man should have known better. He was also one who was in uniform in the past though he made a hurried exit over a problem involving mind and matter.

"He is trying to treat all of us like cattle," berated a young officer who was asked to come in civvies.

Story of Denims

Kudos to the officers and men who secured the Jaffna peninsula and are now helping maintain law and order.

During a cordon and search operation recently, they discovered three dozens of thick custom made Denim jackets padded sufficiently with provision to conceal shrapnel and explosives.

They are worn by LTTE suicide killers. It is indeed a laudable discovery. In a sense, 36 suicide killings have been averted.

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