21st December 1997

The Jungle Telegraph

By Alia

None wished to join

LTTE recruiters walked into a school not far off from Chettikulam in the controlled area last week.

They pressurised the teachers to let them talk to the students.

They were grouped together in the assembly hall.

"Dear brothers and sisters," one of them began in an emotive speech to persuade them to join LTTE ranks.

They were assured they would be safely whisked off beyond the security forces defences in just a matter of

two hours.

Those who wish to join were called upon to raise their hands. None did. Angry at the response, the lecturer

wanted those who did not wish to join to raise their hands. All the students did.

Then came the threat of abduction. One teacher stepped in. "You will have to kill me before you take any

student forcibly," she exhorted. The recruiters made a hasty retreat.

Now they ask how the LTTE infiltrate. Did any of the other "friendly" groups help ? Doesn’t the teacher

deserve an award ?

Pittu and brinjals

At least 20 women soldiers, some from the Pooneryn Camp which was attacked in November, 1993 and Weli

Oya Base, attacked in 1995, are in LTTE custody.

One senior officer now in custody has written to his friends and relatives about day to day life.

He says too often the meals are pittu with brinjals or with kiri hodi.

He says he would have eaten "two and half lorry loads" of pittu and an acre of brinjals since being captured

two and half years ago.

Of course, the food improves on days when there is ICRC inspection. There is a good spread of all varieties,

he has pointed out.

Cougar Communication sets

Intelligence sources say Commandos and Special Forces lost at least 30 Cougar (encrypted ) communication

sets and a base station during LTTE’s Do or Die 6 counter attack.

A total of 154 commandos and special forces died in the incident and a further 18 have been declared missing

in action.

The cost of a Cougar unit is said to be over Rs 300,000.

Rude shock

The next of kin of deceased Air Force personnel were in for a rude shock last Friday.

They were invited (together with those who have been disabled) for an event to pay tribute to the martyrs and


They arrived at the appointed time - 3.30 p.m. The event was to go on till 7 p.m. The VIPs turned up at the

event only around 6 p.m.

Until then, one of them complained, there was not a drop of water and not a word from their hosts !!

What a way to treat those who have contributed in no small measure for the nation !!

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