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?