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Jungle Telegraph

30th May 1999

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Spartan General

After a near six month wait, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Srilal Weerasooriya, has moved into ‘General’s House’, his official residence.

The days before the shift saw hectic preparations at the stately residence. Officials had pulled down curtains to be sent to the dry cleaners. When Lt. Gen. Weerasooriya learnt it would cost Rs 55,000, he ordered that the curtainís be put back. Luxury lifestyles were not for him.

More proof of it came when he stopped over in Singapore last week en route to Thailand for COBRA GOLD - the joint US-Thai military exercise.

He avoided the luxury shopping plazas in the fashionable Orchard Street, the haunt of many a Sri Lankan military top brass.

Lt. Gen. Weerasooriya was shopping (with his two member entourage) at Mustafa and Shamsuddin - the common man’s shopping complex at Serangon Road.

Antonov hoodoo

Sri Lankan envoys abroad were in Colombo recently for consultations and were advised to fly to Jaffna to get an in-depth, on-site briefing on the situation in the peninsula. The envoys, over ten of them, were scheduled to fly in a Russian built Antonov aircraft.

Comes departure time, and only the career diplomats turn up for the trip. Whatever happened to the non-career envoys ‘Perhaps they had butterflies in their stomachs’, retorted a career officer who made the trip.

Van hunt

Security in the City and suburbs were heightened early this week after reports that a six member Tiger guerrilla hit squad had infiltrated. They were said to be moving around in a Dolphin van.

No wonder almost all Dolphin vans moving around the area were stopped and thorough checks carried out by security forces and the Police.

TN calling Eelam

Now, India’s own in telligence agencies have confirmed that Tiger guerrillas in the north maintain radio links with unidentified bases in Tamil Nadu.

The revelation came when these agencies bared reported plans by the LTTE to assassinate Congress Party leader, Sonia Gandhi. They spoke of two LTTE radio intercepts.

At least to the Sri Lanka Navy, the news is no mystery.

A few months ago, Naval intelligence intercepted a similar conversation between a base in Tamil Nadu and north Sri Lanka. (Jungle Telgraph - October 18, 1998.

A caller from the Tamil Nadu base had asked their northern counterpart whether the LTTE was involved in the attack on the Lionair AN 24. The latter replied it was an accident.

More proof that the LTTE has re-commenced their Tamil Nadu connection. No wonder there were detections of medical, fuel and food supplies by Naval patrols in the recent months.

Intelligence officials have also spoken of a large quantity of medical supplies arriving at Iranativu (near Nachchikuda) in the north western coast last month.

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