Several days ago, a government television news bulletin showed a group photograph and accompanying video footage of a Sri Lanka army (SLA) Special Forces units who were engaged in the Thoppigala offensive when it was in its initial stages. We were shocked to see the footage because it showed images of the Alpha Squad of 2SF and clearly mentioned the names of its commanders. Alpha Squad was used in Long Range Surveillance (LRS) missions in the first phase of Thoppigala offensive.
Image: Special Forces cap badge. The four arrows depict the 4-man team regularly used for covert strikes and its DPU capabilities
Alpha Squad is a covert ops unit attached to the SF. Its soldiers are used to penetrate enemy lines and gather intelligence for air strikes and artillery strikes. Information about such units should never be exposed in media as the enemy intelligence in constantly on the lookout for them. Previous media debacles where sensitive information about covert units were publicly revealed ended up with the intelligence personnel paying with their lives. (best example would be the millennium city incident, where several newspapers irresponsibly published a full list of names of personnel involved in the clandestine DPU unit nicknamed "Mahasohon Brigade'). Although credit should be given to soldiers who put their lives on the line for the motherland, media should be careful not to expose too much specially when the enemy is the LTTE.