4th May 1997

The Jungle Telegraph

By Alia

What’s cooking?

Last week President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, took the bold step of courageously walking into the kitchen of the Army’s Two Division Headquarters in Anuradhapura. She was shocked at the conditions and had ordered a full inquiry.

Now comes the story of a different kind of cookhouse blues from the thick of an operational area.

The man in pips and stars was asked to accompany a three-member team (two men) and led by the lady boss of a state concern on a mission to improve conditions in cook houses.

The higher command had the welfare of the soldier at heart. Hence the top priority.

The team not only rummaged through the kitchen but also inspected the stores. That went off well until the sentries noticed the man in uniform and the lady boss in a warm embrace, kissing each other behind a towering stack of gunny sacks.

But a bigger shock came during the night. They all had dinner together. When it was time to part, our soldier did not return to his chalet.

Instead, be followed the lady to hers. There they were till first light. This time, a few sentries observed him amble along to his chalet.

The man may have an ocean of goodwill towards the welfare of soldiers.

But the high command in the op. area were furious.

“They come here to improve cookhouses but end up eating each other,” was the wry remark of a top man in the operational command.

But he may not let the matter rest there.


Since 1989, the Inter national Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been playing an undaunting role in Sri Lanka’s separatist war-visiting detention centres, tracing missing people, providing medical/humanitarian assistance and disseminating information about the rules of war.

They secured the release of three crew members from the Iris Moana last week.

Now comes the news of the possibility of securing the release of three more Prisoners of War (POWs).

But, this time the LTTE wants three in return, a male and two female cadres now in custody.

But there is one snag. The trio do not want to return.

The revelation

Foreign experts now probing the March 16 crash of the Pucara fixed wing bomber are suprised at the revelation made by its pilot who escaped unhurt.

He has never undergone any training on parachute jumping.

The first time he ever came down in a parachute was when he ejected from the ill-fated flight at an altitude of 10,000 feet.

Bomber pilots are usually trained for para jumping.

Rising and falling

Last Thursday’s loss of the SLAF UAV has had a lighter side to it, among some officers.

Uda Avidin Vatenawa (UAV) was how it was defined in Sinhala.

The Sinhala abbreviation for UAV meant rising and falling.

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