Sunday, December 9, 2007

Mechanized Infantry Division concludes training phase

Sri Lanka Army (SLA)'s newest offensive fighting formation has concluded its training phase and is now ready to enter the heated battlefields in Northern province. The Mechanized Infantry Division, commanded by Colonel Ralf Nugera, consists of specially trained ground troops and armored vehicles.

Although it has successfully concluded its training phase, the process hasn't been a joyride. On February 14th, a meeting of army officials was taking place at 53rd division HQ. It was in this meeting the Mechanized Infantry Division was to be officially raised. However, LTTE shelled the HQ with at least four 130mm artillery guns (stationed in Pooneryn) wounding 14 including several senior military officials. Even the commander of army's 53rd division was injured.

Plans for the MID suffered another setback when LTTE's Victor (aka "Vetter") anti-armor unit destroyed 6 tanks and 6 IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) when the army tried to advance towards Pallei last year. The loss came at a time when the SLA were trying to boost its inventory of armored vehicles.

However, the Mechanized Infantry Division is now an active part of the Sri Lankan Army despite the early disturbances. Its primary use would be to invade enemy territory utilizing brute force of the armoured vehicles and then deploy its infantry to the heart of the battle. Due to protection from APCs (Armored Personnel Carriers), troop casualties are expected to be lower.

Mechanized Infantry Division currently consists of 3 regiments and has a wide variety of armored vehicles including BTR-80A, BMP-2 and WZ551 under its wing.


  1. I was searchin for more info abt this news since Saturday.Thnx DN

  2. Any news about the sea tiger caught in India?

  3. An LTTE Sea Tiger and two others who had attempted to procure a boat for the banned outfit, have been arrested by the police in Chennai.

    Police also seized Indian and Sri Lankan currency worth Rs 4.78 lakh from them.

    A boat, kept ready at coastal Mallipattinam in Thanjavur district to be sent to the LTTE, has also been seized, a release from the Q branch of police said on Sunday.

    The trio--Jayakumar alias Gowrishankar, a Sea Tiger who had fought against the Sri Lankan armed forces several times between 1995 and 2005, James alias Raja, a Sri Lankan national and Ravikumar, a city resident -- were spotted at the parking lot of Anna International airport terminal on Saturday night.

    When questioned on suspicion, Jayakumar, belonging to the naval wing of the LTTE, confessed that he had come to India clandestinely by a boat in February this year.

    On the instruction of LTTE 'naval wing' leader Susai, he had stayed in Thanjavur in March and had received Rs 4.80 lakh from another LTTE man, Karuppaiah, residing in London. With the money, he had procured a boat and handed it over to James to be sent to the LTTE.

    James, belonging to Mannar area in the island nation, had visited India thrice this year using his passport. His last visit was in October last. He had earlier procured computer spare parts, swimming gear and GPS equipment and smuggled them to LTTE-controlled areas in Sri Lanka, along with beedi packs.

    The third person, Ravikumar, was said to have assisted James in procuring material for the LTTE.

    Besides, Indian and Sri Lankan currency, two cellphones were also seized from the arrested.

    Sea Tigers is the naval component of the LTTE.

  4. Among other interesting news, AFP's head honchos are looking into the derogatory reporting that has been going on abt Sri Lanka.

    Again, this is the result of involving greater numbers of literate Sri Lankans and keeping them interested and involved in guiding and taking our motherland towards greater progress. Blogs and internet media has been the mainstay of this process and kudos to all those who've worked and continue to work tirelessly towards keeping the lines of communication clear, balanced and educational. Let's hope this process will continue to grow.

  5. Ill bet this paiyyah fellow has got a British passport.. i wonder if there is going to be any action taken against him in the UK.?..Probably not since there is no proof against him..Since the start of this LTTE "vyashanaya" these coolies have been murdering people in SLanka and coming home to England...Since they have not broken any british laws no action was taken against them..what a joke..

  6. Tropicalstorm dont have any hope about these AFp honchos taking any action against biased reporting..Actions on their part speak louder than their words.

  7. I dont think an armoured assault led by mechanised infantry is a good idea.I am no militery man but can someone please tell me the advantage of this?.IN my opinion what will happen is that a few LTTE cadres(worth shit) will destroy armoured vehicles worth a lot of money.

  8. Sumith De Silva and the team,

    You guys are heroes of our time,

  9. Tangara,

    You made my day with the following words of wisdom~

    "a few LTTE cadres(worth shit) will destroy armoured vehicles worth a lot of money." :-))

    Wow man... how lucky we are to have you here.

    Keep it up the good work man!

  10. Defencenet

    If we are deploying this new mechanized infantry division into the front lines, I think it would be wise to equip the APCs and IFVs with SLAT armor kits.

  11. Noltte=Peace,

    Sorry , It wasn't me, but those were the words of SriLankans colorful "French" (language skills)

    It was well said..I agreed Noltte=Peace

  12. AFP, asian tribune, bbc, all have hired tamil journalists who are paid by ltte to write biased reports to discredit the government and the image of sri lanka. Its amazing how vast the ltte network extends to. Imagine if al qaida did the same thing, US would be hunting down journalists like theres no tomorrow.

  13. The mechanised infantry was used in failed Muhmulai I offensive. Apart from bad planning, the other reason for its failure was LTTE's use of primitive yet very effective unconventional tactics (Read DBS Article). They dug camouflaged pits large enough for the armored vehicles to get bogged down easily. This is how most vehicles were captured I believe. Unless the military have found a way to counter this, its likely to happen again.

  14. Czech mil aid to counter the Zlins ?

  15. Guys,

    The days of big news organizations are numbered.

    In western world, the role of the news readers - who were celebraties in their own right - are diminishing faster than we can pronounce Vellupillai Prabhakaran.

    Youtube, blogs and the likes are becoming powerful by the day. So, the BBC, AFP, AP are losing their monopoly and customer base much faster than they ever imagined and the trend is irreversible.

    They are paying a heavy price for their excesses.

    Who will shed tears for them? not even crocodiles, as globally warming has overwhelmed them too!!

  16. The SL military needs to be like the boxer Floyd Mayweather.

    Hatton got knocked the f**k out!! LOL!

  17. Grious

    The problem is with the quality of readership, rather than the quantity. Just like the Wall Street Journal never lost the demand for its paper edition, there's an upper crust that reads and believes some of this media.
    And they usually are the movers and shakers in many powerful positions. That is why it is important not to under-estimate any media.

    By the way, are the tamil factions still armed? Haven't heard from Karuna's chaps, and the others like TELO, EROS, EPRLF..

  18. Gents

    Many thanks for your comments on my last article.

    Please find below link for another analysis I did in todays Island. Here's the link

    Also a section below, and references, which was edited by the Island.

    On another note, please write into the Island with your own articles etc. and access a wider readership. The editor there Prabath, is an excellent chap and vry helpful. He writes good editorials too.

    I am trying to find the contact details for the 3 tosser british MP's who attended the heroes day celebrations in the excel centre. Simon Hughes the gay ponce was also going to attnd but I heard his father passed away.

    But we have to write to these people and tell them a few truths

    Anyway, keep up the good work. Cheers Cakeboy

    Edited section

    Has any thought been given on providing financial rewards for information leading to the death of the LTTE leaders? Even a $USD 10 million reward (held by an independent party to guarantee payment) for the death of Prabakaran, Pottu Amman etc, payable to the person (or the next of kin) who pulls the trigger. This would be better value for money than spending $USD 1.2 million to kill a mere LTTE conscript.

    Which bra stuffing suicide bomber might not think of a more ‘productive’ target instead?

    At worst this could increase Prabakaran’s paranoia, which would lead him to die of a heart attack sooner from the added stress. Or best case – someone might, just might, pull that trigger.

    references for the article



    sorry the correct link

    Are the Sri Lankan Leadershipfighting an intelligent War?

  20. Defencenet,

    Will this armour rush strategy benefit our forces since the LTTE is already aware of the thread they pose? They can easily booby trap the entry points with Anti-Armour trap and use anti-armour weapons to disable our vehicles, similar to what they did in Muhamalai?

    Aren't the MBTs part of the MID? I thought they were.



  21. Cakeboy
    If all else fails there are a ready pool of university graduates, who demonstrate on a regular basis expecting a meal ticket for life from the government. If I remember correctly 15,000 of these worthies were promised employment in our already bloated and inefficient administrative service. Why not those who volunteer get first preference for these jobs, on completion of their national service? At least this would stop them going on pointless strikes all the time!

    Are you kidding me?

    the moment you recruit them they will start strikes in the army

  22. 'the moment you recruit them they will start strikes in the army'

    Not if they're taught some good old fashioned 'discipline' first ;-) Just what the doctor ordered for these wastrels

  23. This mechanized advance into uncleared areas is really worrying me.Why waste our resources including men?..As long as we keep killing large numbers of LTTE cadres..wont this "EELAM empire" fall?.We have 2 obstacles..they are..Long range artilery guns(nearly all intact-despite various air strikes).Second a large numbers of mines.What is the idea of sending a large number of mechanised units to face i understand they are troop carriers..even so..some fellow wearing an "amude" with those.god knows what..will destroy these units before the troops have a chance to be deployed.

  24. If this advance has an iota of a chance of succeeding..then the airforce has to play a very active part by softning defences meaning a lot of bombs..which we cn ill afford.but even this wont remove the mines..These LTTE "amudayas" are waiting for this chance.

  25. "IN my opinion what will happen is that a few LTTE cadres(worth shit) will destroy armoured vehicles worth a lot of money"

    "The mechanised infantry was used in failed Muhmulai I offensive.... reason for its failure was LTTE's use of primitive yet very effective unconventional tactics ... They dug camouflaged pits large enough for the armored vehicles to get bogged down easily"

    Mechanised infantry/armour might not make a big difference in a place like Muhamalai which is a very narrow front without much room to manoeuvre and heavily defended by the enemy.

    It might work in the Mannar/Vavuniya/Weli-Oya front, which is a much larger area so plenty of room to manoeuvre/flank. Also its too large an area for them to dig anti-tank pits all over it. However, any armour will still be vulnerable to small/mobile LTTE anti-armour teams equipped with RPG's/ATGM etc. So they would need to have ERA/SLAT to protect the vehicles.

    On the positive side, it would help to minimise casualties from LTTE artillery/mortar fire, which is responsible for the majority of our casualties.

  26. Thanks for your comments shay.i understand your reasoning.However i think that VP/LTTE field marshalls & co would have realised this and deployed a large number of small anti-tank units.(say 50 units of 5 kuruppiyyas with anti tank weapons) counter this.It still does not exclude the effect that the artillery pieces and mines will have on the battle.The way i see it.what they are doing now is perfect..short engagements..invite LTTE counter attacks..kill as many cadres as possible..

  27. "The way i see it.what they are doing now is perfect..short engagements..invite LTTE counter attacks..kill as many cadres as possible..

    Hi SL, only problem with that is how long the people and the country can withstand the economic strain of the undeclared war. Sooner or later they are going to have to fight it out. But I do see your point on the new units too. What to do, its already done, so now we can only wait and see what they can achieve.

  28. "Imagine if al qaida did the same thing, US would be hunting down journalists like theres no tomorrow."

    Er... AQ does it all the time. Never heard of Al Jazeera? Or our very own Sunday Times journo Izadeen who regular writes anti-US pieces?

    "the moment you recruit them they will start strikes in the army"

    Yes, but then we could just shoot them, or use 'em to clear minefields.

  29. SL,

    Mech Infantry is just one element in a much larger picture. There is no one weapon that can win the war. You need a whole range of weapons and strategies. So this is what the SLA is doing by filling in a few gaps in their inventory/capabilities. However, this does not mean that they will stop acquiring/upgrading their other weapons (i.e. artillery, aircraft etc).

    Like I said, armour has its vulnerabilities, so they would need to make sure they are adequately protected through ERA/SLAT other defences/strategies. I'm sure the SLA know what the LTTE's anti-armour capabilities are. Thinly placed anti-armour teams along a broad front wont have much success, as the SLA will break through and they will get circled in.

    Mech infantry would solve most of the problems with AP mines and indirect fire when advancing. Anything short of a direct hit by arti/mortar will not have much effect on armour. Being slowed down in the open due to AP mines while being pounded by artillery is what causes most of the casualties, which Mech infantry can prevent to a great degree.

    Yes, the current strategy of small scale infantry attacks on LTTE defences is having the desired result. However, eventually once the enemy is sufficiently weakened they will have to advance into the Wanni, otherwise the LTTE will not collapse as long as they control territory. I'm not saying this should be done now or in one big push, it might take a few years of small scale attacks/advances.

  30. Noltte=peace,Jack and Shay.. thanks for your comments.I agree with you all.On one hand the economy and on the other a swift response..I think the ideal solution lies with more intelligence and exactly where the armoured units are going to be used (which i really dont want to know for security reasons).Our most efficient mode of attack.. other than what we are doing right now.. is gathering more (accuate) intelligence.

  31. Cakeboy-
    Are n't those 3 MP's are very low profile guys?
    In my opinion no point writing to them, what we should do is some how start to send more details to editors in Times or other papers.
    Media in UK as well as Europe can bring down any politician, as long as we cab shows them the facts.

  32. Cake Boy,

    My hats off to you.

    Your Island article is a great eye-opener..

    Our forces keep going back to the old-school war, over time and time.

    But, what you are trying to do is to make the eyes open of this old-school.

    Great work man.. great work.

    Keep up the good work!

  33. Regarding the ongoing debate on an armoured assault,

    Armour is needed when ground troops encounter heavily entrenched and defended enemy locations. Tanks were originally designed to break through the trenches of world war one. Men were cut down in thousands by machine gun fire and thats why the tank was invented.

    You cannot use tanks alone to fight, they need to be supported by infantry units, especially in counter insurgency ops. Tanks have very poor sight, and thus need infantry to support them, and take out enemy anti tank infantry.

    As someone already pointed out, muhamalai, is a small narrow strip of land, so thus is easy to fortify, and its largely flat and open, you could spot a tank a mile away. Plus the operation was flawed at the tactical level for many reasons. So you cannot judge the contribution of armour by this one battle.

    The wanni heartland is totally different. If tanks are used in combined ops with infantry they can be devastating. Yes tanks are expensive, but we have bought them for a reason. Rather than just showing them off at parades we need to use them, and use them properly.

  34. Raptor..i take you points.However why do i get this sneeky feeling that some commanders are trying to make a name for themselves by risking their troops?..How do you know that such an offensive wont be "flawed at tactical level for many reasons"..this time round as well..

  35. I am curious how useful a mech div is in the Jaffna area, we don't have a good past with armored vehicles and jaffna area...i am always interested to know how they create these units, and calling it a division is probably a stretch


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