Soldiers' dispute ends in deaths

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
A corporal and a soldier were killed at the SLA's Thallady base in the Mannar district over a dispute on Sunday night said army sources today.

The soldier, identified as Upasena had got into an argument with the corporal identified as Dayaratne and had shot him dead. Another soldier who was at the scene shot and killed the soldier who had killed the corporal.

Army sources said that investigations are underway and that a soldier in the camp has been taken into custody in connection with the shooting.

This is the second case in recent months where SLA soldiers in the Thallady base have shot and killed each other over disputes.

Meanwhile Police sources in Colombo said that the local agent for the Zimbabwe firm which negotiated the deal with the Sri Lankan army for a consignment of 81 mm mortar bombs, which allegedly went missing, has been taken into custody.

The sources declined to identify the person but said that he was a millionaire Tamil businessman based in Colombo.

The shipload of mortar bombs purchased by Sri Lanka from Zimbabwe was reported missing in the Indian Ocean in June. It was alleged that arms were diverted and captured by the LTTE.

The LTTE has denied the allegations, stating that "The high incidence financial scandals and corruption involving arms purchases by the Sri Lankan government and military officials is already well-documented. The "missing ship" story emanating from Colombo bears all the hallmarks of such a scandal."

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