22nd September 1996

The Jungle Telegraph

By Alia

Electronic warfare

There is more on the hot test topic in town these days - the electronic warfare or the tap, tap, tap unleashed by the sleuths to hound out who is leaking what to whom.

It was two years ago that an enraged political hero and his officials ripped off the junction cables linking the state-of-the-art telephone surveillance equipment to the telecom system. It was fashionable then. The hero knew the blatant snooping and gross abuse of personal freedom that went on during the previous regime.

They now call him AT & T, not after Uncle Sam's giant conglomerate but for Always Talking and talking. Of course, he does not always say the same things. They are different from time to time. The scribes were angels in the past years but are prostitutes now. That is just one of the many thoughts of wisdom he has expounded.

No wonder, like high fashion, even his officials are changing with the times. The heroic act was possible two years ago only because of one enterprising individual, a technical man who knew which knot to cut, which wire to sever and which cable to pull out.

Major General for the post

At least part of the notori ety Batalanda has gained in the past two years will be negated when Sri Lanka's first ever Army Staff College gets established there.

Work to set up their staff College is to get under way very soon. Defence Ministry officials are on the look out for a Major General to head this institution.

A retiring Brigadier who was promoted Major General was called upon to remain in service and take on this office. But he has politely declined the offer.

The names of two others are now being mentioned. But whether one of them will agree remains to be seen.

State ventures & the LTTE

Has the LTTE fronted any organisations to secure ownership of state ventures to be privatised, particularly in the plantation sector?

Insiders say this prompted the government to arm itself with laws to vest in the state any privatised venture that is not doing well.

Some of the bidders and their connections, both local and foreign, have come under close surveillance.

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