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3rd January 1999

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Warning

Just 18 days after assuming office, Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Srilal Weerasooriya, has read the riot act to his senior men.

He disclosed last Wednesday he had received two heaps of mail since taking over greeting cards for the season and anonymous petitions.

"If you have a backbone, don't hesitate to bring out your allegations openly," he exhorted and added "if you can't, you are not an officer."

He warned them against providing information to the media. Those found doing so would be dealt with severely.

Only the Commander, Chief of Staff and Director Media were the ones authorised to speak to the media, according to Lt. Gen. Weerasooriya.

Another warning was against the misuse of Army funds and perks.

All these warnings were sounded during his first official visit to the Wanni.

He was speaking to Divisional Commanders, Brigade Commanders, Commanding Officers of Units and two officers representing each battalion.

Threat to local bodies

A self-styled "group that desires Eelam" has issued a threat to members of local bodies in the Jaffna peninsula to quit their posts.

Stating that the threat is "once more but final", the group has declared "supreme punishment" would be meted out if their demand is not heeded."

Military officials confirmed there was a threat on local councillors but disclosed that the group in question was nothing but a front of the LTTE.

Money lender

Detectives investigat-ing the financial transactions of a Maharagama money lender has stumbled on an unexpected piece of evidence.

Among his financial stock in trade was said to be two million rupees belonging to a retired Brigadier, one who had been very familiar with supply and demand.

He has claimed that he not only lent the money to reliable clients but paid the interest to the retired officer.

Interesting find

Customs officials probing a multi million rupee cigarette import scandal, using Army documents which claimed they were communications equipment, have made an interesting find.

A corporal, who is a suspect in the deal, was building a luxurious two storied house in a Colombo suburb.

Customs officials suspect these were from gains made during the two year long racket.

Satellite phone

Reports from Wanni speak of an overseas telephone call service launched by the LTTE using what is suspected to be satellite phone.

According to residents, only outgoing calls are being provided at Rs. 750 per minute from a location in Puthukudiyiruppu


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