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Jungle Telegraph

12th September 1999

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High jinks at Mess

Police Chief Lucky Kodituwakku and 319 of his top men sat down to a formal dinner with President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Deputy Defence Minister, Anuruddha Ratwatte, at the Police Mess on September 10 to mark the Police Day. That included his son, now a probationary ASP, sitting with the father on the same table.

As the five course dinner ended, Minister Ratwatte was among those who broke into songs to the accompaniment of the Police Band. There were many golden oldies—Sobhana Sendavey, Tikka Venna Naala, Siripadey Samanala Kanda Peney, Lowada Nindey. A few cheerful among the smartly dressed could not help but show their creativity in music — they added flavour to the Police Band by using their forks and spoons to tap on their tumblers. It added to the encore.

One of the most cheerful, who balanced himself when the toast was proposed, found his cumber band (worn around the waist) dropping to the ground.

Not once, but twice. At least two DIGs who saw it happen were red in the face. The Mess Committee is to now discuss the matter.

Unusual activity

Reports from the eastern district of Batticaloa talk of some unusual LTTE activity.

Tiger guerrillas were busy carrying out a survey of bakeries in Batticaloa supplying bread to the security forces and the Police. The suspicion is that they are planning to plant Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) inside the loaves. In fact one such device in a loaf of bread exploded at the kitchen of the Army base in Kallady in July, this year.

Tiger guerrillas are also seizing bicycles used by civilians. The owners, Police say, are frightened to complain due to reprisals. In areas south of Batticaloa, at least 80 bicycles have been stolen. Are they to be laden with explosives ? Or are they to be used in a new form of attack ? Police do not have the answers.

Sanath 'Shot'

It was 6 p.m. on Friday, September 10. Office traffic choked the Dickman's Road-Duplication Road junction.

Police cars with their sirens wailing rushed towards a large crowd that had built up a little distance away.

Sanath Gunatilleke, Media Adviser to the President and now at the centre of the Channel 9 controversy, lay in a pool of blood. An elderly woman who saw him screamed with loud cries.

It later turned out that a scene for an upcoming film that depicts life in the late 1980s in Sri Lanka was being shot on location. Sanath, who plays the role of a politician, according to the script, is shot by an unknown gunman.

Crowds saw Mr. Gunatilleke later get into a car with his 'blood stained' clothes and being driven away. That was after the crowded shoot was over.

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