Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Special Forces Identities Revealed by Media!

After the legendary assaults on rebel strongholds at Sampoor and Vakarai, Special Forces of the Srilankan army have received enormous respect both from the government and the public. They deserve the credit. There is no doubt about that; but have the media revealed too much?

Their role in Vakarai operation was critical. They had to infiltrate enemy lines and take out regional LTTE leaders. They had to retrieve coordinates of LTTE bases in the area and hand them over to the Air Force to carry out bombing runs. They accomplished these objectives without fault; when SLA infantry divisions reached Vakarai, LTTE didn’t have a leader left to command the counter attack. Their regional leader Swarnam was seriously injured by a 1000Kg bomb dropped right on top of his base (Swarnam Base) by a SLAF Kfir bomber. The coordinates for this target was given by the Special Forces who were operating deep inside enemy territory.

The point of the article is this; the names of SF Captains who lead the Vakarai operation were revelaed via television and newspapers numerous times. Isn't this a mistake? No country in the world releases identification data of their Special Force to the media. Isn't this putting their lives at unnecessary risk? Special Forces are supposed to be a shadowy part of the military and are used to do infiltrations, offensives and covert ops. Why reveal their names?

We hope that TV stations and military leadership will be wise enough not to reveal details of 3rd special forces regiment. That is because we do not want the history to repeat itself; LRRP incident. LRRP has been re formed and is now a part of 3rd SF regiment (await a separate article on this). Few years ago, a traitor in the police raided their safe house at millennium city and the newspapers published the list of names of those who were part of LRRP. Tigers took them out one by one.

Don’t let the history repeat itself. SF deserves the credit for their die hard operations. But if the credit will endanger their lives, what use would that be?


  1. I understand why the media shouldn't put up names of the SF..but why have you put a photo of them here? Aren't you contradicting yourself?

  2. This is an already released image by It shows soldiers from Gemunu watch.

  3. Well, the SF & Commandos don't necessarily have the elite status within the SLA that say the Brit SAS does (5-6 operation battalions vs 1-2, and the latter in a far larger army), so I'm not sure protection of the IDs of individual SF troopers is crucial. More elite units within the SF & Commandos (like the LRRPs) definitely should be be kept under wraps. You will have seen this in the US where SF, Rangers, Seals, etc are often pictured in news reports, whereas Delta, Seal Team 6, etc aren't.

  4. OK, understood Mr. Blacker and defencenet..but either way, as they are involved in special missions, I do beleive that since Sri Lankas force is much smaller than America's, it is vital to protect the identity of these few.

  5. I'm not sure if you are already aware but in many instances when our military personnel apply for leave and such, it is the LTTE that come on air first and lets our guys know that their leave has been approved. I feel the danger is from within and not from these pictures and isolated news reports. If not for these pictures and news stories it is only people like us who will not know what is going on and then not have an appreciation for our forces.

  6. ""If not for these pictures and news stories it is only people like us who will not know what is going on and then not have an appreciation for our forces.""

    Pictures of soldiers are not the main issue. It's the revelation of names of high profile army officials.

    But as you said there is a danger from within. It's always been there and will be there. There are traitors everywhere.

    But the LTTE intelligence network uses many methods to get information. It's far more complicated than you think and newspaper articles and tv bulletins cannot be ruled out.


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