5th January1997

The Jungle Telegraph

By Alia

A Pentagon-type defence complex in Sri Lanka?

Yes, one is taking shape already though plans are still on the drawing boards.

Defence establishments now in the heart of the City will move out to a sprawling area in the suburbs. The land adjoining a military establishment has already been ear-marked.

When that happens the Ministry of Defence will be surrounded by the headquarters of the tri-services and the Police.

Insiders say the move is intended to relieve the pressure on the commerical sector of the City where security precautions have led to road closures and other stringent security measures.

No compromise over Ghost garages

Believe it or not. Vehicles belonging to a most coveted service were repaired at a garage that did not exist except on a fictitious letter-head.

But cheques made out in favour of the "garage" went into the private account of the man in uniform.

That was why he has been placed under open arrest, as revealed in these columns last week.

Now comes the news that the man has offered to pay up the few lakhs of rupees involved.

He is sending emissaries to the boss with a proposal - I will pay up the amounts involved. Please allow me to quit without punishment.

But the boss is adamant. He says there is no room for shop-lifters and money pinchers under his command.

Certainly not with discipline and honour becoming the key words for the new year.

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