21st September 1997

The Jungle Telegraph

By Alia

‘Abandon ship’

With 27,350 tons of ilmenite worth Rs 89 million on board, the Chinese owned cargo vessel “MV Cordialite” will now become a monument to the 16 year old separatist war.

A high level team - owner’s representatives, officials from Lloyds and salvage firms - were in Pulmoddai early this week to examine the Panamanian registered vessel which was attacked by the LTTE on September 9.

They have decided that “MV Cordialite” should be abandoned. The stern of the vessel is already touching the bottom of the sea.

The crew is returning home by air. Even if the vessel is available for scrap, who will come forward to retrieve it from Pulmoddai is the big question.

Defence mechanism

Has the Ministry of Defence had second thoughts on extensions of services granted to some top rungers in the Army.

With the exception of one who was deemed not suitable for “gainful employment”, all others were granted an year’s tenure.

Now comes the story that the matter is being reviewed again. It is not immediately clear whether it means a further pruning down.

Fresh news on fruits

Remember the twin flights SLAF’s Shaanxi Y8 cargo plane undertook to an Asian capital to bring in urgent military cargo ? They carried a consignment of coconuts and pineapple (JUNGLE TELEGRAPH September 7) as gifts from top brass in Colombo to their counterparts.

However, that was not part of the official task. The 2,000 coconuts came from trees in the SLAF Base at Katunayake. The pineapples ?

Well, Rs 40,604 worth was purchased. The moneys were paid out from the Service Institute Fund - the one for which every airman makes a contribution. If you don’t believe it, the Payment Voucher number is 31 dated August 15.

CID dives to probe

CID detectives have begun a probe into the procurement of diving equipment and other related accessories by the Navy. Detectives have already questioned nearly ten officers in this regard including one connected with procurements.

Drought in the NE

Hard liquor may soon vanish from the mess halls of military camps in operational areas in the north and east.

Army Headquarters is to send out a directive to this effect shortly. Only beer is to be allowed.

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