SRI LANKAN AIR FORCE OFFICIAL SACKED OVER UKRAINIAN HELICOPTER DEAL.

Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 160

Sources in Ukraine may have been willing to supply aircraft to both sides in the bitter civil war in Sri Lanka. On August 27 a top Sri Lankan Air Force officer, Vice Marshal Elmo Perera, was removed from his post for allegedly participating in a scheme to buy several armed Mi-24 attack helicopters from Ukraine and then turning them over to the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Perea had been in charge of purchasing foreign aircraft for the Sri Lankan Air Force, and it was suggested that he stood to make a profit in the secret deal. Several other participants were arrested earlier this month at the Colombo airport after returning from Kyiv. (Itar-Tass, August 27) Last year Ukraine sold several Mi-17 helicopters to the Sri Lankan government, along with 4 An-32 transports.

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