Sunday, May 13, 2007

Special Forces without Prasanna de Silva?

Special Forces of SLA have fought many battles and emerged victorious in almost all of them in the Eelam War 4. At one time during the siege to Vakarai, SLA ground forces found it difficult to advance due to heavy LTTE resistance. They had succeeded in breaching 1st and 2nd LTTE forward defence lines but could not penetrate the third. In the meantime, SLA troops could observe a group of shadowy figures stealthily crossing the Vakarai lagoon. These were none other than Special Forces units preparing for an assault on the Vakarai town center. After a few minutes, 40 highly trained and heavily armed Special Forces units carried a legendary amphibious assault on Vakarai town center causing the defending LTTE units to flee in chaos. The operation lasted for mere 5 minutes but it marked the end of a successful campaign for SLA and a crushing defeat for the terrorists.

Above is a story we all know very well. But very little has been spoken about the master planner who held SF together in the Vakarai offensive; Col. Prasanna de Silva. Col Prasanna Silva is undoubtedly one of the best commanders SLA have ever had. As a result of his success, he's made it to LTTE's 'high priority' list. However Col. Silva has now resigned from the army. He was asked to deploy Special Forces units in the Northern front while the Eastern offensive (Thoppigala) was ongoing. Col. Silva saw the disadvantage in the strategy and immediately opposed the move. Unfortunately for SLA, the pressure from 'the top' was too high and ultimately caused the veteran to hand over his resignation letter.

However, timely intervention by 'the right people' has minimized the impact of the damage and has avoided what could have been catastrophic ripple effects; This certainly won't be the end of SF. The new commander [Name withheld] is capable of continuing from where Prasanna Silva left.

However, the fact remains that SLA lost 'one of its best' due to an irresponsible and unfortunate series of events. 

Notice to readers: If you know Col. Prasanna Silva's personal/family details , please refrain from revealing them in your comments. We have lost too many great personnel due to our own carelessness.

77 comments:

  1. If what we hear is true, then this resignation adds in to another one in the long list of military-political blunder committed by GOSL. Asking one of the most accomplished commander to resign? Geez, I thought that our political leadership is just getting wiser in handling military properly.

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  2. Discipline is of utmost importance in any military establishment. However special forces excel as being individualistic and moving away from the norms of regular military structures. They often get priveleges as well as pressures which regular forces do not get.

    The question here is did Col Prasana allow his sucesses get to his head that he decided to go against senior command. Secondly regular commanders might not like special forces commanders due to ego and other reasons. Since the east is almost free, has that tolerance come to an end.

    Has the Karuna sidelining and split with pilliyan frustrated Col Prasanna who felt he lost a valuable commarade to the political games played by military intelligence and the ruling party.

    One supporting the SLA and commanders one should remember that the special forces are still part of the armed forces and they should play by the rules. If the military command feel that resources should be used for the north instead of the east becuase of the impending onslaught then its the duty of the special forces to do so.

    Although the special forces are given alot of leeway, they should give respect to the regular forces. There might be a feeling among the regular commanders that they are doing the cleaning up job of the special forces and karuna. hence they decided that thoppigala should be their victory and not that of either. Hence they decided to tame both groups.

    This kind of rivalry and fallout would be expected when victory or the propaganda machinery has been postulating so.

    One of the reasons the LTTE lost the east was because they lost Karuna. Keeping top commanders in check as well as ensuring their loyalty and dedication is very important.

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  3. navindran, how certain are you that the karuna-pilliyan split was engineered by 'miliary intel'?

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  5. navindran,

    From where do you find this information, Ego of SF, MI,Karuna etc? Regular commanders don't like the special forces? I can see incoherence related to disinformation throughout your writings and I have not changed my views about your intentions yet.

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  6. Sam I did not say SL regular forces did not like SL special forces. What I said might not like. This is common in all armed forces. You should take a read on this on the web. Its normal just like if you come from a top school in Sri Lanka you will feel you are special etc.

    If you read carefully what I wrote you will realise I am talking only of the possibilities and not stating them as facts. I have posted them as questions expecting some information from other bloggers to confirm or corrct what I have said.

    I sometimes do feel good that somebody feels that my writtings have sinister meanings. Its helps spark debate and thats what blogs are for.

    The split between Karuna and Pilliyan has been reported clearly in many sinhala and Pro LTTE media. The military intel controls Karuna, Pilliyan. Else you think Karuna and Pilliyan can waltz into colombo and kill people as they like. I hope people do try to analyse stuff with a bit of thought put into it. Though there is speculations of possibilities of LTTE bribery. I believe its far fetched unless they guys who were bribed were actually LTTE moles. Again I do not think Karuna or Pilliyan is stupid enough to be swayed by those guys.

    Just because some statements appears to be damning or prasing does not mean I am be anti or pro someone. I am no Iqbal Athas or DBS jeyaraj as I do not have any people who can provide me with inside information on both sides of the spectrum.

    All I can do is read information and make an educated guess on the situation. I have been wrong and I have been right. I thought or would have wanted them to finish Karuna but they are willing to let him leave overseas with all the llot he has stolen from abductions etc.

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  7. Sri Lankan Special Forces are very much strong enough to defeat LTTE.
    President Mahinda is great Leader against LTTE.
    One leader missing will come so much new good leaders for SF.
    Please go ahead and save our kids for Sri Lanka.
    Team work should be creat and bring all minds under one Master plan and one vision.
    We can win but so much Ferign problems can make some difficulties.
    Sri Lanka should develop and make good country to all kids and next generation.
    Look such problems in http://algama.blogspot.com
    this is kind of very little problems readarding Terror problems compairly.
    But such example is because of poor master plans currently.
    We should apply exelent preventive ideas always for any kind of problems.
    Any great after all happen is realy useless.
    So i will give our full great support to SLF to win and save our life

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  8. algam, I do hope you keep highlighting pictures like you have shown in the blog. It will help identitfy the problems of the people and bring some reprive to them. However this is a defence blog and you should leave that outside of this.

    The SLA is much bigger then a special forces. Its everyone who plays their part. The special forces are elite for specific missions. The regular forces are more important as they finish the job which the special forces start.
    Discpline is essential in all formations in the army. The rapid removal of COL prassana is implication of his insubourdination.

    However in defence of COL Prasana, good officers will always stand up for whats best for their men and unit. The solution to this is for soldiers to keep their objectives in mind when serving the armed forces and do not let emotions overtake them.

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  9. Our SF Moral is very high enough to do any thing.
    No worries Special Forces very high dynamic peoples already.
    Can win and for good time. No time to LTTE rearrenge.
    Good Commander then sure made good young commander as well.
    So we can get advice him and can go forward.
    Save Sri Lankan kids and next generation.
    Keeping Great President Life also very important like this situation.
    Saving his life is more advantage to against LTTE.
    Save life and defeat LTTE is the good thinking.

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  10. Well...Jiffy questioned the Military Intelligence's (MI) link with TMVP split. I strongly suspect the TMVP's split was done by the MI and so is the Karuna's split from LTTE, under certain circumstances.

    1]Now the Eastern Province is almost liberated and the TMVP is of no use to the Army and rather it is a pest.

    2]Due to the TMVP's activities, the Army had to face numerous allegations such as child abductions.

    3]Since the East is now liberated the TMVP will start to fully focus on political activities rather than helping the Army to wipe out LTTE from the North, due to their limited resources.

    4]They are currently getting out of control and looks like they are going to be a pest of a pest.

    5]If they continue to kill each other just like they are doing now, they will soon run out of resources including human resource and become the victims of the LTTE pistol gang.

    6]TMVP members cannot give up the fight and join the LTTE again because, as we all know, they have to face numerous torture before the lose their lives

    7]Eastern Tamils already taste the hospitality of the Eastern fighters (TMVP) and therefore it is hard to believe that the LTTE pistol gang will continue to receive their support as it happened in the early days.

    In summary, Sri Lankans well remember what happened when they tried to wipe out the Portuguese.

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  11. I think it's rather childish to accuse someone of being an LTTEer just becaause he has an alternate opinion. Someone can be wrong without being the enemy. Remember, we stop learning when we stop questioning.

    Though I disagree with Navindran on Karuna, I'm afraid he's right here. There's been a traditional jealousy within SLA conventional units when it came to the special ops units (as it is worldwide), because some conventional infantry units (like the Sinha Rifles and the Gajabas) think they themselves are the elite. I know this first hand because the regiment I was with made it really tough on anyone of us who tried volunteering for the Commandos or SF.

    And remember, Col de Silva wasn't fired; he was probably ordered to do something he felt was wrong and resigned in protest.

    While special operations require an unconventional approach, the units involved cannot be allowed to run themselves like private armies. However, until recent times, special operations units have been badly misused by the SLA top brass, mostly because they were ignorant of the correct application of special operations forces. This has now changed, and we've seeen good results because of it. I think de Silva's resignation would've been accepted for disciplinary reasons, but I think the brass would be smart enough to take his protests into account and allow his successor to implement them. Allowing de Silva to remain would've been to encourage insubordination.

    During the Falklands War a Brit SAS squadron was tasked to crashland a Herky onto the Port Stanley runway in a suicidal attempt to take the port. The squadron commander should have refused, but he knew he' be fired if he did, so he accepted the order. But his senior NCOs didn't, and the squadron practically mutinied. The op was cancelled and the OC was later removed anyway.

    During ODS an SBS patrol commander refused tto carrry out a patrol because they weren't prepared for the terrain. He took his patrol back aboard the chopper. He was later RTU'd though his decision was correct. Bravo20 decided to carry out their patrol (over the same terrain), and all but one of the patrol members were killed or captured.

    I think the Pilliyan-Karuna split was Int-engineered, probably as a warning to Karuna not to get big-headed. If it's true that Pilliyan and Karuna have now kissed and made up, then the lesson's been learned.

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  12. Do remember that recently Iqbal Athas did mention that a group of eight special ops troops have went missing and suspect is that they got caught by the LTTE. I presume Capt Nilam was recalled to beef up MI on that side. he could have come back covertly but with his family being moved to Australia for example or he could have fled totally. offically he would have wanted to be lost.

    Col Prasana might have believed also that it would have been more effective to use the special forces to clear the east.Using the special forces in the east will do the job but because of the thick jungles it will take a long time. The army wants the special forces in the north to beat the weather window and reduce the LTTEs areas to operate and launch aircraft. hence a conflict of ideas and approaches which will not change even after he departs.

    Though a colonel special forces personnel often get the respect of a 2-3 star general in certain circumstances. However they are not 2-3 star generals.

    Military Intelligence in any country are smart at playing political games. Example they will scarifice a unit, group or individual for a particular objective.

    Example would be also on the LTTE alowing some of their moles to pass information so that they will be trusted. However commanders might not tolerate such games. Especially special forces have a high level of camaderie and respect for each other.

    In some forces specical force commanders stand in line with their men during normal service to recieve rations and during operations their ranks are removed.

    David Backer you should also understand the unit commanders. You guys want to join another unit. What does it make of your unit. What happens to the guys who cannot join. Does that mean that if you cannot join such special units you are inferior.

    I guess since the eastern phase is over Karuna is no longer useful and Pilliyan will take over. Karuna was the Raja of the east when he was in the LTTE. Will he accept being a MP or Minister. He has passed his use by date. Some people in this blog are regutating propaganda and are deluding the facts.

    I wish all race and religious based parties will get banned. All parties shoudl field canidates in all areas in equal proportion. This is better then getting people like Douglas, Karuna and fallouts from the army who cannot make it and thugs.

    They just killed a monk in the east. I feel sad because its poeple like him who had inroads to the LTTE. Though the army blames the LTTE, i guess it was MI or paramilateries. Its the same case as the hindu priest killed by the LTTE for garlanding Mahinda.

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  13. Navindran, I'm quite aware of the unit commanders views on transfer of soldiers to special forces. And what you've just pointed out are manifestations of that inter-unit jealousy. Of course it is the most suitable soldiers who are picked for SF training, and they are usually the best. It doesn't mean an SF unit is "better" than a leg unit, just that they are better at unconventional warfare. Leg units are usually better at conventional warfare than SF units. However, individual SF soldiers will on average be better quality than an infantryman.

    On the subject of de Silva, we're all assuming that the difference in opinion with the brass was on using the SF in the north. Since the SF is already operating in the north, we can only guess what the exact problem was. If de Silva is as reputed as people think, then I think his ideas will survive him. To say otherwise is just conjecture.

    And you're wrong about Karuna & the TMVP being no longer useful. They will be kept around (in one form or aanother) as long as the LTTE exists. If Karuna goes, it will be only after he has aa replacement. This isn't just about military exigency.

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  14. I did not prophecise the end of tvmp. I only did of Karuna. Anyway how useful are the paramilitaries in the north. Most of them have run their date out. Karuna does not even know how mant planes the LTTE has. That was the final straw.

    Their reconcilation is big crap. I guess MI realised their fallout was beyond reconcilation an advatageous to the LTTE. Hence they tried to make ammends. How can anyone work with someone who tried to kill them.

    Pilliyan would keep mum over what asad mentioned. However he would kill Karuna if he had the chance.

    Its not that what COL prasana would have said which is wrong. However his ideas are of not the utmost priorities. It would be better to leave regular infantry men to weed the LTTE out of thoppigala whilst SF be used in the North. Hence it a clash of priorities followed by orders. I guess he would also wanted to see the job off in the east before embarking on the north.

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  15. I'm sure great leaders Mr. Prasanna de Silva will come back.
    We need you. The Country need you. World need you to save a grate country from terror.
    Please please please come back.
    Dalada Samidu Phitai dear Prasanna.

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  16. Navindran, is there any point in continuing this discussion based on conjecture and wild guesses? You are assuming that de Silva didn't want to carry out SF ops in the north, and worse, you are assuming he is wrong. You are also assuming that it's bettter to use conventional troops in the Thoppigala area instead of unconventional ones. What are you basing these assumptions on? Have you been to the area recently? I think it's better to first find out what the difference in opinion was before venturing your own opinion.

    Again, where the TMVP is concerned, you are assuming they won't be effective in the north? Whaat is this based on? Obviously they won't be as effective as they were in the east, but they'll be at least as effective as SLA troops.

    Remember that personal grudges and ideas of revenge my govern the decisions of people like you and me, but they don't govern the lives of people who's goals are that of power.

    I think you need to stop relying just on newspapers for your view of this war.

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  17. David Blacker,

    Conjecture, assumptions, hypothesis, supposition, theory, guess are few words I can think of to describe some peoples postings above. It is also worthwhile to note that LTTE is engaged in an intense media and psy-ops campaign currently. Statements made by such cyber personalities become truth unless they are adequately disputed. A good example for such activities is Tamilnet. Media disinformation is very subtle and sublime these days with the advent of the World Wide Web. Planted astoturfers are abundant everywhere and difficult to detect.

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  18. navindran, david et al..

    thanks for the info. clearly this is the stuff one simply cant read about in the papers.

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  19. Sam,

    So what exactly is your point?

    Are you intimating that Navindran and Blacker are, though their discussion, helping spread LTTE propaganda?

    Tell us.

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  20. The Benevolent Dictator,

    Facts and conjecture can be mixed together making them indistinguishable. Propaganda can come to you in incognito. My point is that you have to take things with a pinch of salt here.

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  21. Some Guys want De Silva back. He may be good but the army is a team and there are many leaders there. Its like the Indian cricket team depending on Sachin, whereas the Australian team can depend on anyone as they are all rounders.

    David, I believe all events point to that.I do agree with David that its a bit based on wild guesses and maybe unwarranted. However I believe its an educated guess from all the reports and reactions comming from both sides. Tamilnet is slient on this which implies they are quite happy with the removal of COL prasana.

    On the TVMP being not effective in the North. I would say that parties like EPDP will not want them venturing around them. Eaterners will not be accepted by the Northerners especially ones who would be considered even by moderates as traitors. The LTTE will also be more effective in countering the TVMP who will be like fish out of the water in the North.

    Sam if you think we are doing phyops then you must really think highly of us of very lowly of the inteligence ops of both sides. If you can contribute to some meaniful discussion please do. Rather then trying to disuade the debate.

    This is much better place then Lanka news web etc where people are more intrested in insulting each other and there is no meaningful discussion on anything. Its like a cyberwar of politicians on the net there. Without arguments from both sides of the spectrum, this blog will be like a proganda machine and no good knowledge will come out of it.

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  22. sam perera pls do not make this blog another lankanewspapers.com

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  23. Sri Lankan Special Foreces are very much strong to defeat LTTE.
    When SF comming LTTE running to sea and only chance is jump to sea only.
    Great hero Sir Pranna please come back and save your country to feature kids.
    I am sure he already made good young leader already.
    Gread job Sir Pranna and nice job.
    Come and Join again.
    Mother land is waiting for your leadership.
    GREAT POWER LEADER AND TEAM WORK WILL BE SHOTER THE TIME OF LTTE DETFEAT.

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  24. akon,

    There is no intention or what so ever in turning this to Lankanews Papers. As I noted earlier, LTTE is engaging in an intense media campaign using the web. Any place is fair game for them. Astorturfing is a proven tool in doing this kind of work. All what I want is to keep everybody's eyes opened.

    navindran,

    "Sam if you think we are doing phyops then you must really think highly of us of very lowly of the inteligence ops of both sides. If you can contribute to some meaniful discussion please do. Rather then trying to disuade the debate."

    You as well as I are free to talk. There is no dissuasion here. You are free to speak anything you like and I am free to criticize it, live with it. Don’t expect to say something and have it not criticized, this is not gospel. Also, I would not hesitate to highlight when facts, conjecture and potential propaganda are blended together.

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  25. Algam, It good to tell praises but lets have some facts. I would suggest that you find more information on the special forces etc and higlight it like the air force/Navy. Many you can find out some of their past experiences/achievements and highlight it. Theres many examples like the SAS and others for you to follow on the web.

    Sam you are free to critize but if you can bring in some reasoning of military facts I am more than happy to admit I am wrong. As I said I only get my info from what is available in the media. Hence I may really not know the true story. Unless you think this is LTTEs way of getting more information then you win again.

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  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. Algam,

    As Defencenet mentioned earlier, please be very very careful in posting sensitive SF information. I suggest that any information that could lead to identification of individuals should be left behind. Otherwise, we will be our own traitors.

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  28. lets just hope that he is under good protection now that he has retired........

    i think hes high on the ltte hit-list

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  29. Sam Perera said...
    ...Facts and conjecture can be mixed together making them indistinguishable.

    Navindran said...
    ...The LTTE will also be more effective in countering the TVMP who will be like fish out of the water in the North.

    Now Navindran, why do you think TVMP would be 'fish out of water' in the north ?

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  30. Telecom, the TVMP is made up of easterners. Hence its quite obvious from slang etc to identify them. Secondly the area etc are not known to them. Lastly groups like EPDP would want the TVMP to be regionalised and not come into their spheres of influence. However the TVMP factions might not or might attack each other soon.

    Algam you can use your site to promote great achievements etc but do not idenitify individuals unless they are dead. Its also good to highlight bravery medals winners etc. Thats even done by the LTTE. Hence rather then just trumpeting praises, you could even form a group to work towards promoting veterans needs.

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  31. Navindran, the TMVP isn't being used for espionage, so things like slang won't matter. What they are being used for is liason, recce, aand as general paathfinders and guides. They may not be as familiar with the north as they are with the east (though even this isn't an argument since many of these TMVPers spent long years in the north), but they'll still do better than the SLA.

    You're letting your dislike of the TMVP cloud your judgement.

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  32. "A Special Forces with other Defense Forces of Sri Lanka"

    Your alarm goes off; you hit the snooze and sleep for another 10 minutes
    He stays up for days on end

    You take a warm shower to help you wake up
    He goes days or weeks without running water

    You complain of a "headache", and call in sick
    He gets shot at as others are hit, and keeps moving forward

    You put on your anti war/don't support the troops shirt, and go meet up with
    your friends
    He still fights for your right to wear that shirt

    You talk trash about your "buddies" that aren't with you
    He knows he may not see some of his buddies again

    You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls
    He walks the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists

    You complain about how hot it is
    He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow

    You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order
    wrong
    He doesn't get to eat today

    Your wife/mother/ maid makes your bed and washes your clothes
    He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean

    You go to the mall and get your hair redone
    He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today

    You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over
    He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months

    You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight
    He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home

    You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday
    He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume

    You roll your eyes as a baby cries
    He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever
    meet

    You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything...
    He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers
    why he is fighting

    You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him
    He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded - and of the
    innocents who have no one to stand up for them

    You see only what the media wants you to see
    He sees the broken bodies lying around him

    You stay at home and watch TV
    He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat

    You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable
    He crawls under a tank for shade and a 5 minute nap, only to be awakened by
    gunfire

    You sit there and judge him, saying the world is probably a worse place
    because of men like him
    If only there were more men like him!

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  33. ATTENTION ALGAMA ROAD!!!

    Can you try to stick the theme of this blog?

    You are beginnig to be an irritation...

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  34. David,I admit I do not like Karuna and Douglas. I do not value the TVMP kind of paramilateries. It will be good if they can be integrated in the army. Then the army will be a multi ethnic army.

    However from the way things are being played out I do not think the military values the guys too much. Even in the east they have not prevented LTTE attacks which is killing more than one soldier/STF etc a day.

    Vanni is quiet closely guarded. Its obivious that even the TVMP leader Karuna knows not much about things like how many planes the LTTE posses.

    I guess when karuna defected, alot of camps were shifted and kept as dummy so that the air force would bomb them. The TVMP is a mix of old and new. Even if you stayed in colombo for a year, you still might not remember some parts well after leaving the place for few years.

    I am suprised as a ex-military man David, you seem to place alot of faith in the parmilateries. Even the northen ones are no longer as effective as they were when Jaffna was to be captured. I believe the DPU which has been sucessful in many of their missons in the LTTE heartland will be of better use.

    If a TVMP cadre is found in the North when the major offensive would begin soon. Then I would concide that I was wrong. Remember TVMP was created by Karuna because he felt the eastern tamils were being marginalised in the organisation. Hence I do not expect any northerners unless his close associates to be Northerners.

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  35. Once again, Navindran, I'm at a loss as to how exactly I should argue with you, since you base almost your entire thesis on assumptions and conjecture. You also have some facts wrong. Let me try and take them one by one:

    "It will be good if they can be integrated in the army. Then the army will be a multi ethnic army."

    The reason they are not integrated is because they are simply more useful as a separate body. Have you never heard of deniability in SF/int ops? The way things are at the moment, the TMVP and the special ops units are interchangeable (I've already explained all this BTW). As long as the TMVP remains separate, the SLA can carry out ops and blame it on the TMVP. It can also take credit for TMVP missions in order to give an op legitimacy.

    Adding a few hundred or few thousand Tamils to the Army won't make it multi-ethnic, and for your info, many of the SLNG battalions operating in the NE have large numbers of Eastern Malays and Moors. The Value of having the TMVP separate far outweighs the propoganda value of their inclusion in the SLA. They are so useful because they are outsiders.

    "However from the way things are being played out I do not think the military values the guys too much"

    What makes you assume this? They are valued for what they are, not for what southern civilians want them to be.

    "Even in the east they have not prevented LTTE attacks which is killing more than one soldier/STF etc a day"

    This is a rather childish statement, but I suppose you can be forgiven that ignorance if you're getting your news through the media. Are you aware of the numbers of casualties saved due to TMVP ops & int? You won't find them in the papers. Successful SF & int ops never make it to the news.

    "Its obivious that even the TVMP leader Karuna knows not much about things like how many planes the LTTE posses. "

    Probably he doesn't, but that doesn't really matter, because neither does our int. However, the SLAF's inability to get the TAF isn't because of int failure. The fact that the Tigers were building an air arm has been known for years.

    "I am suprised as a ex-military man David, you seem to place alot of faith in the parmilateries"

    Why are you surprised? Do you know many ex-military men who have other views? I'm sure opinion is evenly distributed. You use the weapons you have, my friend -- that's one of the first rules of war. And the enemy of my enemy's friend is my intelligence source:)

    "I believe the DPU which has been sucessful in many of their missons in the LTTE heartland will be of better use."

    The LRRPs use LTTE defectors a lot, and some of them are TMVP -- that's part of the reason for their success.

    "If a TVMP cadre is found in the North when the major offensive would begin soon. Then I would concide that I was wrong"

    What if you never hear about it, Navindran? Will you still concede you were wrong? Or does it have to make the headlines of the Daily Mirror first?

    "Remember TVMP was created by Karuna because he felt the eastern tamils were being marginalised in the organisation. "

    He'll fight where he's told to fight, like all the other Tamils allied with the GoSL.

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  36. And one more thing about integrating the TMVP. Throughout, the LTTE has attempted to portraay itself as the representative of the Tamils, fighting against the GoSL. The existence of the TMVP as an independent entity ensures that this isn't a war between Tamils & Sinhalese, but a war between political ideaologies.

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  37. i know this is going a bit off topic, but how close are we to finding prabarkaran? how realistic is his capture (dead or alive) in the foreseeable future? maybe this forum is not the place to divulge this info, but could anyone at least tell me if our ppl are actively hunting for him?



    thanks

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  38. David, I do take into considerations your points. Secondly unlike some other bloggers I do appreciate that you do tackle my points systematically.

    I might be wrong but I am willing to stand by them.

    A major offensive is going to begin soon. I believe if you are right the TVMP will be effective in the North.

    I feel that recently, I have hogged the blog. There are many bright minds around and they too can contribute too. Its makes the blog more intresting. However do keep the debates civil and rely on facts.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi Guys,
    Just moving a bit away from the heated debate. I read an article in web mentioning that the LTTE is also operating a so called special force of their own named "imran pandiyan" and Lepord commandos. I dont think that these units are effective as our SF who have become masters of counter insurgency. DO you have any ideas about these so called "special units" . Are they another bunch of mind washed kids wanting to explode themselves or is there something more?

    ReplyDelete
  40. After objecting to his brigade's transfer to Mannar, it is the correct thing that the SLA top brass has done(transferring Prasanna Silava) to a desk job. He realy merits this from Rajapaksha Brothers and Co. Ltd. Because afterall he one of the first and best SF guys SLA had (Thanks to real warriors like Janaka Perera). Even his promotions were kept down for years by all the ruling parties; For them he is either a UNP'er or Janaka's man.
    So at last SLA has lost one of the last trully talented Brigadier( Prasanna Silva should have been given this post years ago) and now Rajapaksha Brothers can continue their was as Prince Gamunu eate hot rice:::::

    ReplyDelete
  41. MBRL, During the battle of elephant pass the leopards were the ones who took out 11 artilery guns. I believe it was a suicide misson. I only know a male LTTE major and female LTTE captain died in the misson. It was very effective in reducing the SLA firepower before the MBRLS were brought in.

    Imaran and Pandiyan just like Karuna are Prabhas former bodyguards. He formed the unit after their names. Hence I guess they may be dead. I heard that its their elite unit.

    I was actually thinking of asking defencenet to place some information on both the Sri Lankan and LTTE strenghts ( as in units and weapons) so that people will have and idea. An example of which is in a site called tamiltigers. http://ttnet.netfast.org/. Its like the Airforce and Navy websites.

    For those worried about leaking information. I guess you be the judge and decide from what is already easily available from the net.

    ReplyDelete
  42. The Imran Paandiyan is one of the better Tiger units, but isn't strictly a special ops unit, though the term is debatable when it comes to a guerrilla force, which is anyway technically a special ops force. The Siruththi Pulli (Leopard Commandos) are termed a 'commando' unit, and its suicide missions are carried out by Black Tigers within the unit.

    ReplyDelete
  43. The LTTE strikes in the South in military terms can be called long range reccionance patrols with a no return tag. Though during some of their attacks like in 2001 at KAB, some people did reportely return with base footage.

    The suicide units were never part of the intial idelougly as mentioned by Rohan gunwarante. It looks like its a force multiplier in terms of being effective.

    Took this of the website I mentioned. Recent I am doing so is becauese I did not realise that it existed as its kept at the bottom right of the webpage.

    Charles Anthony Brigade: This is the Vanni region personal guard unit of Prabhakaran. It has taken part in 14 operations so far including the defensive operation along axis Vavuniya-Elephant pass for 31 days. This is a conventional, crack formation.

    Jayanthan Brigade: Deployed in the East at the time of ceasefire. It was the spearhead formation in the battle for Elephant pass.

    Women's Military Wing: Headed by Col. Vithusha. Women play an important role in the armed forces. They are present as in regular fighting units of infantry, artillery, and Sea Tigers. Their fighting capabilities have been recognized by LTTE's foes. Identified LTTE women's units include Lt. Malathi Brigade (commanded by Col. Vithusha) named after the first women officer 2nd Lt Malathi killed in operations against the IPKF. This formation has lost 1121 cadres out of the total of 2200 LTTE women cadres killed in operations so far.

    Major Sothiya Brigade (named after Sothiya, commander of the first women's unit formed in 1989. She died of meningitis in 1990.) Col Thurga commands it.

    Kutti Sri Mortar Brigade is the other women's formation. LTTE Women are an important element of Sea Tigers Wing also. Special Commander Viduthalai heads the Women's Wing with Poorani as the Deputy Commander.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I've heard about a LTTE unit called the "Champion Tigers", which is highly involved in reconnaissance and intelligence gathering operations. It is believed that they operate "behind enemy lines" and gather intel on vital military installations before the LTTE launches a major offensive.

    But one thing I'm dead sure is, whatever special forces units the LTTE has or whatever funny name they are called, they are no match to our SF and the LRRP.

    As for the Karuna factor, I think he will be useful in the northern theatre of war as well, even though he is not familiar with the geography. I mean, don’t forget that during operation "Jaya Sikuru", Karuna carried out 2 rear attacks on our forces which also indirectly led to the halting of the operation.

    I strongly believe that one does not need to be familiar with the geography in order to carry out a successful attack. Of course, such knowledge will be an added advantage, but its not compulsory.
    What is important is to strategically and tacticaly plan and execute operations. This is a rare talent only a very few people posses... Col. Prasanna Silva is certainly one of those rare finds and its simply a waste to see him leave the war at a decisive moment like this! :-(

    I do agree with David Blacker when it comes to the TMVP force as they can be used in the "Blame Game" very neatly. TMVP should also be used to show the stupid IC that the LTTE is not the sole representative of Tamils. Therefore, its way too early to put an end to Karuna and the TMVP!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Jeyenthan Brigade was raised by Karuna and its reportely a conventional formation now consisting of northerners. Each padaipirivu is equivalent to a brigade strenght of 1500-2000.

    There is also the Victor anti armour unit which is meant to take on the SLA armoured vehicles.

    There is also an artilery group now. Armour and artilery training was reportedly given by a former SLA officer.

    The imaran pandiyan unit is suspected to comprise of buffels and tanks/apcs which were captured from SLA. The tamiltigers website has given some numbers but how many and how mintainable these vehicles are are of doubt.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I am not sure whether this was the work of the champion tigers but prior to the battle of elephant pass, the tiger recce had gone into elephant pass.

    One of the LTTE was killed becuase a snake bit him as he did not want to reveal his location. Another was right below a soldier who pissed on him. Its understanble if a small group goes undetected because its hard to see in the dark when these recces are carried out.

    Another unit(I do not know whether they are independent unit) are the snipers. During the SLA pullout from elephant pass they were sucessful in taking out some of the senior officers of the camp.

    ReplyDelete
  47. The idea that TMVP can be used for 'black ops' thereby saving govt reputation is a little off I think. IC is focusing exactly on TMVP-military collaboration as part of accusations on human rights. When TMPV does bad things, it reflects badly on SL military, particularly STF who should be in control of those areas where he is operating on the ground. Better to somehow integrate his people into existing structures I would think.

    ReplyDelete
  48. It is often mistakenly thought that the Black Tigers, Champion Black Tigers, snipers, etc are special units. They are not. Tigers that are called the above have simply received this special training before joining a regular LTTE unit. Often Tigers that have carrried out a suicide mission are then posthumously given the title of Black Tiger. CBT's are the most elite of the lot, and are used in the same role as the LRRPs.

    Of the Tiger units, only the Charles Anthony and the Siruththi Pulli are considered 'elite', though of the rest not all are of equal performance. Some are better than others, like in the SLA.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I read on a current web article in a certain news paper highlighting that in th ecoming battles of the nothern sector "Imraan Pandiyan" forces would play a pivotal role. Is this a true remark or over exagrated fact?
    But as puffy said , there is no match with our LRRP and SF guys!!

    ReplyDelete
  50. "A Special Forces with other Defense Forces of Sri Lanka"

    Your alarm goes off; you hit the snooze and sleep for another 10 minutes
    He stays up for days on end

    You take a warm shower to help you wake up
    He goes days or weeks without running water

    You complain of a "headache", and call in sick
    He gets shot at as others are hit, and keeps moving forward

    You put on your anti war/don't support the troops shirt, and go meet up with
    your friends
    He still fights for your right to wear that shirt

    You talk trash about your "buddies" that aren't with you
    He knows he may not see some of his buddies again

    You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls
    He walks the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists

    You complain about how hot it is
    He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow

    You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order
    wrong
    He doesn't get to eat today

    Your wife/mother/ maid makes your bed and washes your clothes
    He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean

    You go to the mall and get your hair redone
    He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today

    You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over
    He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months

    You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight
    He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home

    You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday
    He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume

    You roll your eyes as a baby cries
    He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever
    meet

    You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything...
    He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers
    why he is fighting

    You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him
    He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded - and of the
    innocents who have no one to stand up for them

    You see only what the media wants you to see
    He sees the broken bodies lying around him

    You stay at home and watch TV
    He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat

    You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable
    He crawls under a tank for shade and a 5 minute nap, only to be awakened by
    gunfire

    You sit there and judge him, saying the world is probably a worse place
    because of men like him
    If only there were more men like him!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Dear ALGAM ROAD,
    Dear SIR.....We are in the middle of an interesting discussion and a heated conversation. Pls put something that is relavent to the discussion or either the blog. We are all hear to discuss and extend our knwladge about the issues related to SL defence becos as u and know we all love our forces and would like to wish them all the success. No need to put the same email text again and again. Pls post something relavent to SL defence.THNX...

    ReplyDelete
  52. Good to see some interesting discussions going on.

    "Imraan Pandiyan" forces would play a pivotal role. Is this a true remark or over exagrated fact?"

    Imran Pandiyan and Victor anti armor units of the LTTE were the ones which stopped army advance from Muhamalai last year. (SLA made it easy for them by extremely poor battle planning and by not implementing any effective mode of communication between ground troops).

    Puffy,
    20 of the LTTE's so called champion tigers were killed within 2 days by the 53rd division deployed in Jaffna when they infiltrated to gather targets for their artillery in Pooneryn an Pallei. This happened when LTTE launched an offensive to capture Jaffna last august. In the end, one of the artillery spotters were shot by the LTTE battle commander when he refused to venture into SLA territory.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Navin... his correct name's Rohan Gunaratna my former classmate at Ananda! Lately, ltte infiltration into Jaffna HSZ has doubled according to reports as in the case with the Arms Cache found last week. Now do they basically have grip on Jaffna now ? Just Curious Folks.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Beau Sri, according to reports its suspected particularly if DBS Jeyeraj is right and for what has been captured that there is a marked increase of infiltrations.

    What is more alarming is not the infitration into Jaffna but into the Southern regions. LTTE at present does not want to ivoke any civilian casualties because it wants the IC to reprimand Sri Lanka and cut off foreign aid.

    Most of these infiltrators are not tamils but sinhalese. Just like the guys caught recently. There must be a sizeable group of them in the South. They are what you can call the LTTEs TVMP. Hence they would carry out these acts in the comming months once the northern offensive begins.

    Guys forgive my spelling as I often write from memory.

    ReplyDelete
  55. DefenceNet,
    Good to hear from you again mate... and thanks a lot for the detailed info. on the fate of the champion tigers. It just proves my point even more, the so called special forces units of the LTTE are no match to our brave SF and LRRP guys...
    I just hope the present brigade commander of the SF is as good as Col. Prasanna Silva!
    Btw, the LTTE air force has been extremely silent for too long now... why do I get this feeling that they will go for a kill very soon?
    Anyhow, I'm pretty sure our SF and LRRP guys must be already looking for these paper planes...

    ReplyDelete
  56. Puffy, I want to remind you guys one thing. Sachin can sometimes single handely help India win a game but if you only depend on him then that results in an early exit.

    Likewise the SF is just one component. The army needs to be like the Australian team and have members who can produce winners from all sides.

    Comparing the LTTE and the SL armed forces alone is like comparing the US vs the Viet Cong. You can win on paper but not so on the real grounds.

    Counter Insurengency (Some good stuff you can read on the net) requires more then that. Indias experience in the North East was one of them. Ironically Indias experience is the North East of Sri Lanka had helped them refined their military approach very much in the North East of India .

    ReplyDelete
  57. LTTE intial air strikes has been phycological. Its effect will not be useful if they fail.

    Recently a Navy Plane was nearly shot down in Trinco. "Luckily they missed" Well the air defences are still not prepared.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Been out for a while… with regards to our so called air defences I think the MOD should distribute identification silhouettes of our aircraft and also one’s of the aircraft that they feel that the ltte have

    ReplyDelete
  59. Navindran,
    I talk a lot about the SF and LRRP because I have been a very big fan of them for a very very long time...
    However, I'm fully aware that the SF is just one component in this war... even the military knows it and all the battle plans are drawn by assigning specific objectives for the SF, just as they assign specific objectives for the armoured units and artillery units.
    For example, like we use Artillery to sofen up enemy locations before getting the infantry units to move in, the SF is also primarily used to infiltrate and sofen up enemy positions before regualr infantry moves in. This is just basic war tactics mate...
    However, during Eelam War IV, after studying the enemy, the mililtary top brass has decided to extensively use the SF for 'Hit & Run' type operations and this has proved to be very effective and the LTTE seems to have been caught off guard with this tactic :-)
    Further more, comparing with some SF units in other countries, we should be very proud that our current SF strength is around 2000!
    I'm sure the LTTE leadership must be having many sleepless nights cos of our SF and LRRP!
    One more thing, during an offensive, the task of 'sofening up' enemy positions is mainly handed over to the 53rd division. And this division is made up of elite units such as the Commandos, SF and the Gemunu watch (am I correct here guys?).
    So the SF is not another Sachin in this war dude!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Gemunu Watch, elite???? :)

    "Sinha Rifles, green beret!
    Killing Tigers all the way!"

    Ha ha

    ReplyDelete
  61. Is there any information about out latest addtions to the special forces, the SBS (special boat squadran) and airforce SF units. SBS seemd to have done very well and ppl say they have been trained by US seals.
    Yes navindran, the army needs to function as a single unit u r correct. but we have been fascinated by our heros in the special forces and thats why we would like this much to talk about them.U shud also feel that as a sri lankan.
    Furthermore, these guys bought fear to the LTTE ranks. Eailier tigers wreck havoc in the colombo and lived merrily in the wanni reagion except few arial attacks. Even though these heroic missions were exposed by traitors, it had changed the phase of the war completely.

    ReplyDelete
  62. The SF has been effective in the east for two reasons. One is Karuna/TVMP and its a new technique. Every tactic and techique has its limitations.

    The blitzering used by the Nazis were sucessfull till they reached moscow. The they completely loss the intiative and were stuck. At certain times certain techniques may work but not all the time.

    Its Stupid at this junction to remove COL Prasanna as he has been rudementary in the SF sucess. However I have been cautioning the use of TVMP/SF in the North which is a different ball game. The 8 who are caught and the 7 others from the SF were killed.

    What I am trying to say is not to favour one unit because it appears sucessful. This is because when the SF starts to be less effective, then many people not only in the blog but elsewhere also will get demoralised and this will effect the general morale of the soldiers.

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  63. I think Navindra is just trying a fearmongering exercise with his warnings about southeren TMVP. i.e Sinhala Tigers.

    Need to be circumspect about some people in here..

    ReplyDelete
  64. is it certain that the missing LRRP personnel have been killed by the tigers?
    I dont think that they will be ready to giveup and they might not be willing to be taken as prisinors and if that so the propaganda will be screaming about it specially tamilnet. If these heros are ready to be easily captured to the terrorists, they would not be doing this activity of going in to the lerrorist aras.
    We have to live with the facts..

    ReplyDelete
  65. Kiri, When there was a posting on the LTTE air capbility a few months back some people were laughing and making fun of it. I was not posting any comments then. However I would have posted the possibility of they carrying out air attacks. I believe guys like you then will also be telling that I have been trying to do fearmongering. Its nothing wrong to be cautious.

    MBRL, if they caught ordinary soldiers, they would reveal it. They are special forces and have vital information. Ofcourse they have usually limited information for their missons. However they can give strenghts of forces and potential targets.

    The SLA on the other hand would assume that they are caught and all the information has been disclosed. You cannot take the risk. SF have to undergo POW training. However its very diffucult when various forms of torture is applied.

    I am basing the info that they are caught from Iqbal Athas. I believe he is reliable. Neither the army or LTTE will confirm this even if it was true.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Guys! There is a program called "Uththama Pooja" which is aired on Rupavahini on fridays at 8.30 p.m. It shows real life stories of missions carried out by our forces. Last week they showed how a group of elite soldiers (I assume they were SF) carry out a mission to kill a LTTE regional leader named "Seelan".
    It was simply awsome! Just what the doctor ordered for all of us who are obsessed with such stories!
    Btw, if any of you guys think that it was wrong for me to use this blog to "advertise" this program, I simply say, please forgive me!
    Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  67. "Btw, the LTTE air force has been extremely silent for too long now... why do I get this feeling that they will go for a kill very soon?"

    Hi Puffy, Just to comment on this, I was thinking about it, could it be that they are laying low to avoid detection during a period of hightened recon? It seems the Beechcraft are flying again (given the jollys from some AAA troops in Trinco) and according to a Dailynews item more radars have been deployed. So perhaps, another attack is just what the SLDF wants in order to pinpoint launch or landing areas.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Check this article out!
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India_to_acquire_4_more_Aerostats/articleshow/2041886.cms
    This is the exact type of radar we need with the heavy vegetation in Sri Lanka and this will essentially perform the function of static AWACS system to detect low flying planes from far away!
    I will put money on it that india will stop from going for a very good system like this one instead we will have to buy their shitty indigenous ground based 2D and 3D radars.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Is there any information about out latest addtions to the special forces, the SBS (special boat squadran) and airforce SF units?

    ReplyDelete
  70. ""Is there any information about out latest addtions to the special forces,""

    SLA have launched a recruitment campaign for Air Mobile Brigade and Mechanized Infantry Division, both now part of SF.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I personally knew Col De Silva when he was only a Major. I liked his simplicity and commitment to his profession. He also had the same innate ability to relate to the ordinary rank and file. What I remember most is how often I've heard his remind his soldiers to put 'safety first' in everything they do, including when driving a vehicle in the streets of Colombo. Another incident I recall from almost twnety years ago was him laughing over something and quipping what it was like to live off of a 'soldier's pay'. This was a man who'd never sell his professional standards for money or anything else.
    Having known Prasanna, I do agree with DefenceNet that his loss will hurt the SF.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Jack,
    Ya... makes sense! May be the LTTE is laying low and waiting for us to drop the guard before they carry out another air attack. However, I get this feeling that they will use their air power to drop bombs on our advancing troops when we launch a major offensive in the north, and also, as previously stated by some gentlemen in this blog, to drop bombs on our Artillery/MBRL postions.
    TropicalStorm,
    U knew Col. Silva...? Man... you are one lucky dude!

    ReplyDelete
  73. This Navindran is just an LTTE operative trying to discredit SLA, SF et al

    ReplyDelete
  74. If any one ever knew the great leadership in the sl special forces , there cannot be any special forces withou col.fernando and col vijesiri who builded the core fighting strategy during 1992-1996.The rest simply followed theire leadreship.even that time major pp silva who was a squadron commander.But unfortunately the biggest lost our nation had was when col fernando had to resign from the sf due to morans in the high level of command who could not withstand his great leadership.For them , they looked like thumb sucking infants in the battle field compared to leadership of col fernando. He was an inspiring level one leader and his knoledge in counter revelutionary warfare is beyond allk measure.

    ReplyDelete

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