25th January 1998

The Jungle Telegraph

By Alia

The counter hunt

An LTTE hit squad man in the east fell into the security forces hands recently and is now being interrogated by Military Intelligence.

The man has confessed to being the head of a killer group tasked to kill Brigadier Sarath Munasinghe, when he was officiating General Officer Commanding 23 Division in the east. That is not all.

He has disclosed that two other LTTE suicide cadres had infiltrated the City to pursue the task after Brigadier Munasinghe became Director Media in the Operations Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence and Military Spokesman.

Acting Director of Military Intelligence, Colonel

Kapila Hendavitharna, has ordered a manhunt for the LTTE duo. All checkpoints have been alerted.

The Director, Military Intelligence, Brigadier Sunil Tennekoon is now in the United States on a training stint.

Missed opportunity

"I now know that your Government has a serious public relations problem. How can you win the war with this kind of this ?"

Those words came from a senior staffer of the prestigious New York Times who was in Sri Lanka on a special assignment. It was on LTTE terrorism and weapons smuggling.

He interviewed a senior Cabinet Minister. In a bid to give New York Times an authoritative account, the Minister asked his Personal Assistant, a one time soldier, to arrange a meeting with a high ranking security official handling very sensitive matters.

The staffer was told to get in touch with the PA and was given his telephone number.

For the next three days, he phoned the PA twice daily. Believe it or not. The PA who answered the telephone calls got the staffer's phone and room number in a five star hotel.

He promised to arrange the appointment the Minister ordered and call back. That phone call never came and there was no message either.

The staffer left Colombo in disgust. Co-ordinating activity does not seem to be the PA's strong point.

Another good media opportunity missed for Sri Lanka.

Mystery bundle

He won a diploma with honour this time. Not for Agriculture and Palmistry but for psychology, a skilful art he has got used to practising on all and sundry, except of course the enemy. The last act was of course computer typeset letters under the Lion name he sent to newspaper offices about The Sunday Times.

Last week our man was the cynosure of all eyes when he boarded a heavily guarded VIP flight to Jaffna. Not that he was practising psy ops on them.

They were curious to know what was in the heavy bundle of posters he carried. They could not have been propaganda material for polls candidates. They still do not know.

Outside Politics
Return to the Editorial/Opinion contents page