Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Weli-Oya : Next front in Wanni battle

Several small attack teams of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) moved ahead of their defense lines in Weli-Oya (referred to as Manal-Aru by the tigers) to conduct a pre emptive strike on LTTE positions on the FDL, yesterday (11th) noon. This limited operation was aimed at dismantling LTTE defenses in Kokkuthiduwai region. At least 9 LTTE cadres have been killed during the operation and 4 SLA soldiers too have been wounded. As capturing land was not an objective of this operation, all SLA units have returned to their original positions. Spearheading the assaults in Weli Oya sector are soldiers of the 59th division. Newly raised 59th division is an offensive formation modeled after the 57th division and elite 53rd division.

LTTE previously reinforced this area fearing a mass scale army invasion into Wanni from Weli-Oya sector. The Army, instead of marching into the heavily fortified defenses in Weli Oya, opened the Mannar front to divert LTTE attention.  Yesterday's limited operation shows the Army's intent to fight on multiple fronts. SLA are exploiting a weakness in LTTE outfit as their current manpower and ammunition shortage makes it difficult for them to fight on two different battlefronts. This fact was earlier  revealed by former LTTE colonel Karuna Amman.

Weli-Oya sector holds bitter past memories for the LTTE; One of their previous attempts to overrun the area went terribly wrong when the army thwarted the operation with an extraordinary kill ratio of 1:250 . Nearly 500 LTTE bodies (majority of LTTE casualties being child soldiers) were scattered near the FDL when SLA forces commanded by Major General Janaka Perera halted the LTTE offensive losing merely 2 soldiers. However,one should not expect the same type of kill ratios to be achieved in a new offensive in Weli Oya area. Although the army has the upper hand, LTTE too has heavily fortified defense lines (in this case 3 of them), which are manned by experienced cadres. According to military intelligence, defenses of the area were personally inspected by LTTE leader himself just a few months ago.

Meanwhile LTTE's elite Charles Anthony regiment offered heavy resistance to SLA forces conducting operations near Mannar defense lines. Both parties have suffered losses in latest rounds of fighting with the bulk of them being LTTE casualties. So far the Charles Anthony regiment have launched several medium scale operations with the intent of recapturing lost ground. They however have so far had little or no success against SLA's Commando and Special Forces units in the frontline. Not only have the army been able to hold onto every inch of newly gained ground but they at one point stormed a Charles Anthony brigade bunker killing at least 6 cadres who were inside.


  1. Simply very impressive my dearest Brothers and Sisters... I have no other words than saying IMPRESSIVE.
    Let's hope our bros / sis will keep the ratio up may be improve that...
    Sounds like LTTE brining the best they have now with Charles A' brigade. This could be due to LTTE are running out of children/women at present.
    I love the way we are doing hit and run or hit and come back policy. This used to adapt by LTTE long time ago. So let's keep taking terror tricks to attack terros.

    For now what we need is some possible pictures of front line LTTE terror (Either dead or live). That could bring lot more bad news towards LTTE. May be earlier suggested mail shot can come handy to distribute the news with pictures.

    Thank you for the ongoing details in front line and latest very good article with lot of details.
    Also Thank you and the team for answering the questions raised earlier.
    Keep up the very good work.

  2. Does any one know the size of Charles A's brigade?

  3. Defencenet,

    Thank you for update...This is great news...

    However we should not expect LTTE to sitting duck while their CA brigade taken appart by the SLA..

    It is quite possible LTTE would mount a major offensive on Muhamalee FDL's using all of their strength...To prevent this, we need real time updates beyond all our FDL's in Jaffna using sophisticated UAV's...If LTTE amased a force around 30000 to attak Jaffna, it will decimate the SLA.(we need to monitor all FDL's for this scenario...)..

    SLA's current strength of soldier for every 50 meters in Jaffna will not be enough for a massive LTTE attack..

    It is possible LTTE will abandon all of their FDL's in Mannar, Vauniya and Wellioya inorder to capture Jaffna...

  4. Tangara your absolutely right..We need to observe LTTE troop movements.An attacking force of 30,000 need a large number of logistics..transport at least..With our new airbourne UV's even if we dont see troops we can make a educated guess by observing the movement of supplies/transports etc.If what you say about the troop deployment(1 per 50m) is true at a guess they are just forward observers..

  5. Where are the tigers going to get 30,000 experienced and trained cadres from? They barely have 20,000 trained cadres, and keep in mind they have to guard two fronts, wanni and muhamalai, the majority of their cadres are spread on the wanni front given the length of it. So even if they use all their cadres to attack Jaffna, they still wont be able to muster 30,000 and doing this will give the army an open door to the wanni

  6. Raptor we are assuming that they give each and everyone including 80 yr old grandmothers AK47's.Dont forget they have the fantastic battle hardened "makkal padei"?..haven't you seen pics of their survival training..

  7. http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htproc/articles/20071208.aspx

    Check the comments tooo...

  8. Guys, guys your are very bold. LTTE gathering 30,000 to attack Jaffna is no where close to reality. Imagine a troop movement fo 30K with all the necessary supplies, and the idea of getting caders from other FDL's is far too long shot. This strategy is will never work under the LTTE's current strength. Unless every child, every woman, every elderly person decide to walk a death march towards Jaffna.

  9. Makkal Padei will run all over the place once they hear the Arty, MBRLs, Sonic Booms. Soldiers with courage win wars. Not Makkal Padei.

    In addition who is going to command a mass gathering of 30K people. It will be utter chaos. In battlefield you need at least 1 leader (officer) for six men. Other wise it should be SF.

  10. Tangara, Sri Lankan, I respect you, you are trying to pin point to a probable pit fall. I am just trying to bring some light considering how things work in this kind of a situation.

  11. Thanks for comments guys,

    >>>30000 LTTE force
    I based my guess on the fact that 10% of 300000 in Vanni will involved in this..

    >>>1 SLA soldier per every 50 meters..

    That was from a news report...

  12. Abhaya..many thanks for your comments..We are fully aware that a force of 30,000 cannot be mustered by the LTTE.I was just pointing out how these international media organisations have built up a bunch of coolies over the past 30 years to be a formidable fighting force.We all know in guerilla warfare the advantage is for the guerilla (since he decides when to atack)and yes they have some fighting ability..so do you amd i..Its incredible...Our biggest mistakes has been untrained people who have never had to fight thinking that an army is simply a fancy dress party..(until now),political interference and the number of traitors ever availabe for the LTTE to bribe...

  13. Abhaya and others

    What I meant by 30000 was , not that all are going to carry AK47's and attack..That includes the support force...This could be a gamble and appocalypse scenario for the LTTE...

    LTTE is running out of ammo and capturing Jaffna will save them...

    Do you think, LTTE will not going to attack Jaffna, if SLA advance to Killinochchi..?

  14. To start off with, you cant consider the tigers a guerilla force alone anymore. They have graduated in to a conventional army, backed by heavy artillery and a formidable navy. Their hardcore elements are highly motivated, and time and again, they have exploited the ill planning and weaknesses of the SL forces. So you cannot for one momment consider the tigers coolies in a military sense. If you look at them in any other way, they are coolies.

    Take the second EPS battle in 2000. It had all the hallmarks of a conventional battle. The amphibious landing that eventually secured Iyakachchi, the main base that supplied water to EPS. They laid seige to EPS and starved it of supplies. It was in no way a guerilla war. It was such a miserable day for the SLA and country as a whole, and I lost a very dear family friend in that battle.

    So they arent a guerilla force anymore. back to 30k attack. It is not practical, and is not going to happen. They simply dont have the manpower even if they pull all their fighting units of the wanni. And even if they do that, they will be unlikely to succeed, the army will bring down artillery, MBRL and air strikes on them when they are crossing the open muhamalai terrain, and kill most of them before they reach our fdl's. They wont be stupid enough to even try.

  15. Excellent discussion, rather than discussing politics or bashing.

    Would love if others too can contribute.

  16. Raptor, abahaya and others,

    Sorry to hear the loss of your close relative in EP's...

    Good points mate...I am not a millitary person...However with LTTE, anything is possible...
    They may not have the numbers but considering their previous attacks including the AAB(number involved was less than 50,i could be wrong), you should not under estimate them...May be with 3000(three thousand) of their most loyal and hardcore fighters given the enough support, might fight to the end till they capture Jaffna.....

    If LTTE could hit few of our ammo dumps in Jaffna it might distabilise the penninsula.Then their is the LTTE infiltrators already stationed their...

    No one can say this will NOT happen.

    What do you think?

  17. Raptor...Many thanks for your comments..very good points there..My contention is that these guys cannot face a well disciplined army that is allowed to do its job of defending the country run by competent people (not by showmen)..in the absence of political interfereence and traitors.May god bless your friend.

  18. It is even possible, LTTE will try everything to block the SLN's access to the North with an AAB style attack on Trinco before a major thrust towards Jaffna...

    As far as I can see, attacking JAFFNA is the only sensible thing the LTTE can do, if they loose their FDL'S in Vaunia...But they wanted to be 100% sure of capturing Jaffna..They never tested some of their formations since Ealam War IV started(thanks defencenet)..So you never know what is in store for the SLA in JAFFNA.
    Remember Muhamalee I last year....

    Any one got any idea?

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Defencenet and others,

    I read with great interest some of the updates over the weekend – all bearing some good news, esp the MID coming out of the formal trainings.Got some points to discuss…

    1 . With the Czech government providing us AA Missiles what sprung to my mind was the interview VP gave to the international media during the ceasefire. Posed a question as to whether they will rearm and procure new weapons during the ceasefire, he responded by saying that during the war is the time they get the most weapons – and their biggest “supplier” was the SLA! The weapons they get are mostly from the captured weapons of SLA. And the ceasefire was a loss to them !

    We have already lost MBTs, Dvoras, Mortars and many more weapons to the them. Good lord we almost los the MBRLS too, thanks to our 'beloved' Norwegians. We need to protect with great care the Anti Aircraft missiles and guns we obtain. The situation would be these assets would strewn across the island and many vital installations and the LTTE have proven time and time again in performing daring raids. It would be a disaster if they obtain the missiles and shot down our very own birds. We should also protect against rebel soldiers who would sell these weapons for monetary value sacrificing national security.

    2. Is it ethical, to man these Air – Defence systems with foreign personal (Czech) for our national security ? Would this not become an International issue?

    3. Lots guys have asked the questions – why should Czech Republic help us – I was just thinking … the tiger plane Zlins are Czech Aircraft and the anti aircraft missiles they are trying to sell us are also Czech…. Is this a coincidence or are you thinking what I am thinking ….. ???

  21. Abhaya, agreed mate - its good to be reading the defence related issues again !

  22. I have a little question abt these LTTE special units like charle's anthony etc.... Wut has made them special separating them from the rubber slipper gang with a AK 47 brain washed under aged carders (trained to kill... just like in the movie blood diamonds ) these leopard s, black tigers imran pandiyan charles anthony and all clown clans ..... is it only the battle experiance or

  23. romeoalpha

    It depends what type of missiles they are talking about. If they mean MANPAD's, yes these could theoretically be captured by the LTTE and carried away (or sold by corrupt troops). However, since we already have Russian MANPAD's, there wouldn't be much need to buy them from the Czech's.

    If they mean a larger short/medium range missile system, its unlikely these would be placed close to the front line. They are stationary systems and are too big to be taken away during a commando type raid by the LTTE like at AAB. The same applies for AAA guns, of which there were several at the air base. The terrorists could of course destroy them during such an attack.

    Yes, the Zlins are also Czech. However, several sources mentioned they might have been acquired in South Africa or some other place. Its a common aircraft, and second hand aircraft are widely available in many countries.

  24. shay,

    what if the SAM/AAA systems,are mobile ones? like an SA-6 or SA-8,etc?..in that case,coud'nt these be captured?..

  25. So if we go buy the logic pointed out here, i:e that weapons systmes will be captured so we should be hesistent to buy them, we might as well not buy anything and just pray to god that lighting strikes and kills all the tigers.

    C'mon, in any sense there is a certain amount of risk involved with weapons being captured, but just because that risk exists it cannot and will not preclude us from buying weaponery.

    Its like saying your not going to buy a car cuz there is a chance someone might steal it if you leave the keys in it and go. So the issue here is not that there is a risk that it would get stolen, its that you were stupid enough to leave the keys in the car. So what we need to worry about when it comes down to our weaponery is that we try as hard as we can to make sure they dont get captured, but to not buy something cuz you think it will be captured is just plain stupid

  26. Abhya, what's "Makkal Padei"? lol. And yeah, they can only use unrained and unmotivated civilians as canon fodder to defend their lines. Mounting an offensive using them would be suicide. They'll be massacred by our MBRLs. For instance low level cadres were manning the defence lines near Adampan. When the army broke through, the Charles Anthony Brigade was used to try and get the territory back.

    "I based my guess on the fact that 10% of 300000 in Vanni will involved in this."

    Tangara, they don't have 300,000 people machan. I think official estimates are closer to 180,000. Given that the LTTE doesn't want to conduct any census in the area, I'm willing to bet that number is much lower.

    The Army clearly demonstrated last August that they are more than capable of defending Jaffna. The LTTE know this, and I'd be very surprised if they actually launch another offensive to take Jaffna. We have superior firepower, and much greater numbers, they honestly don't have a chance.

    The LTTE's only hope right now is to hold out in the Vanni, and put pressure on the government and the economy by dragging the war on as long as possible and taking out weak targets in Colombo and in the south.

    In 4 years time, when all the elections are coming up again, if we are still bogged down trying to uproot the LTTE in the Wanni jungles, bombs are going off all over the place, they've mounted an attack on Trincomalee or some other crucial military base like they did at Katunayake in 2001 and the economy is steadily going south, it's very likely we will have another situation akin to 2001. People sick of the war will vote en mass for the UNP's promises of a new "final" peace process to bring about "lasting peace".

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. Patriot Guys and Gals,
    Call the The Norwegian Intelligence Service (NIS) (http://www.mil.no/etjenesten/) at Phone: +47 23 09 40 00 or
    E-mail: post.etterretningstjenesten

    and tell them to stay away from internal Srilanka affairs by supporting the LTTE.

    For international calls use the free service:
    to place voice calls to Norway for FREE.

    Tell the Norwegian Ass*** to stay away from Srilanka affairs.

    God bless mother lanka our homeland!

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Fellas, love this blog mates awesome !Keep it up Denet !But,ya right...eventual goal for VP iz....Jaffna ! Well, presented guys !
    My man, cerna, at flicr has pix of 3 tiger airstrips on google fellas ! I was totally clueless !can someone update us on these other runways in ltte land ? So,someone here mentioned one in mullaittivu ? correct ?

  31. rajarata, what is the link to this flickr album? Thanks.

    I know the Iranamadu strip is easily spotted on google maps, but wasn't aware of the other two mentioned.

  32. MOD we need to process UAV video with different polarization to get much more details than regular video. There are weapons currently being developed to use light polarization property to get more terrain details. MOD keep this in mind. Maybe we could find those bunkers with long range LTTE guns and Pigs hideout.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. Here a technical doc regarding polarization and better target detection:

    Let's discuss better ways to detect bunkers using UAV's regular videos.

  35. Guys,

    Slightly out of the topic: the British High Commissioner has spoken out against corruption and other things; in that he is right; the inquieries are laughable; but he was wrong to say that the British politicians are whiter than white.

    One of the most damning thing Tony Blair did was halting an inquiery into the bribes paid by BAE system to Saudi royals to win the contracts; the company was even alleged to have so-called slush funds for that purpose. He stopped it and the reason ? - British interests!

    So if our politicians are corrupt, the the hierachy of multinationals must take some blame for that; they offer bribes in so many forms to secure deals. If the High Commissionar says these things do not exist, he wears the mask of hypocrisy.

    I understand his concern about the ethnic issue; lots of Tamils seek asylum in his country claiming their lives are at risk. But the British public know very well most of them are economic migrants. So, public sympathy for it is on the wane.

    There are a liberal lobby in these countries who champion these issues quite vigorously. I doubt the High Commissioner is a big fan of that movement; his government is definitely not.

    Even in his own country, the police force was once branded as institutionally racist. The ex-director general of the BBC once said it is a haven for whites. So, no nation can claim sainthood when it comes to race relations.

  36. Hey Jack mate ! on flickr...type under search...cerno...ok ! Also, I see a couple from this site there too ! It's shocking to me to see the smaller airstrip, look south southwest about 7 or 8'clock from iranamadu. The 3rd ,I need help with puthukuduruppu ? Is that the right name ? SLAF recently Bombed the hell out out of it ! It's all dirt strip with trees cleared on one end ! Check his blog too !


  37. rajarata thanks for the link, take a look at this one:

    Bombed LTTE air strip

    it is even further south than Iranamadu strip and the second one you showed me, but you can clearly see bomb craters here (filled with water - green) but it looks like only one came close to hitting the 'runway' so this strip could still be useable. Of course we have no idea how old these photos are. because even Iranamadu is paved I believe, so that photo too was taken during its construction.

  38. what I still dont understand is, why couldn't the SLAF shoot down the tin can airplanes by MIG 27s. You dont need night vision, the MIG's have radar and you can use the radar to attack even at night. Or at least follow the airplanes.

  39. (Out of topic)

    -washinton post/from sri lanka amessedor to usa)

    A recent program on Sri Lanka in "Unreported World" by Britain's Channel 4, focusing on the current situation in the conflict areas, interviewed Sri Lanka Army Commander Sarath Fonseka on Nov. 9. When asked why unidentified gunmen still run amok in the east, the lieutenant general responded, "it will happen as far as the LTTE and its operations are continued." Pro-Tiger media twisted his words and substituted it "will happen as far as the anti-terrorist operations are continuing," to make it appear he was admitting to government responsibility, when in fact, his actual response left no doubt he held Tigers responsible. Nevertheless, Tiger intention was to deceive the international community. .........

  40. sl..my guess is that it is too "expensive" to fly a mig and also uses up the migs "flying hours"..just to take out a cessna.

  41. It seems that the government is in trouble over 3rd reading of the budget. Sri Lanka is in a political crisis....no one is better than the other...

    This will put all the hard work done by the forces in vain.

  42. Ya got it jack , listen there's a ANOTHER north of Iranamadu ! But,this one 's under construction at time of google image taken during 03-05 ! They all have paved or leveled runway now! Crap !

    See the one above iranmadu abt 10cliks angled 180deg. the jungle is still been cleared for it ! And the Road ajoining Iranamadu tank, man it's looks like paved straight and wide good for any landing by the Zlins. Note the jungle mate left of road ? you can hide any small Zlin ya want ? Right jack !

    Can ya get someone on this mate ? I'm clueless !

  43. raptor..I agree with you that the tigers have graduated to a conventional army.Our biggest problems are not being able to identify tiger cadres since they mingle with the population and the fact that we are trying to fight a terrorist organisation without proper weapons since we are too poor to buy them (intelligence is a weapon).All in all it reminds me of a "bass-unnahe" trying to get the last mile out of a very old car whatever means possible.When you read defense.lk..you read this statement..The tigers retreated with their damaged boats in tow?..what is this..a christmas party??.My point is if we had enough air assets we could persue these guys and take them out..Also the army must be used in conjuction with suitable air assets(depending on the ground situation)as much as possible..mostly to increase the offensive capability of the particular engagement and to save army lives.But we cant because we are worried about the "flying hours" of the air assets.This is one of the reasons that make these tigers "formidable"..of course not to mention they are on the defensive.
    illegal.existence..i take media reports very seriously..to me the "makkal padei" are a formidable fighting unit with devastating offensive capabilities.Have you seen photos of their training..formidable..!!

  44. "Can ya get someone on this mate ? I'm clueless !"

    Mate I am sure they military has far more current and detailed photos of these areas so they are sure to know these obvious spots. Which is why I half think all these are decoys to the real thing.

    If i recall during WW II the allies or Germans or both used to even paint bomb craters onto runways etc to make them look damaged etc, so the LTTE could do all kinds of things to try and disguise the real runways while the SLAF bombs away at these decoys. Just an idea not saying it is 100%.

  45. sl,

    The Mig 27's don't have radar, so it cant act as an interceptor. You definitely need night vision to fly an aircraft at night.

  46. sri lankan,

    The reason that the SLAF has not always achieved the desired results is because they don't have the right kind of air assets, not because they are afraid of using up "flying hours". The jets have sufficient flying hours for this kind of conflict. They don't have aircraft capable of intercepting so thats why the Zlin's are still flying.

    For attacking LTTE boats you need good coordination with the SLN. You also need night attack capability (since most of these battles take place in the dark) and other systems such as FLIR. We don't have many aircraft/helicopters equipped with such systems. Since the Muraj boats carry MANPAD's, our aircraft would be wary about coming too close, so gun's/rockets won't always be effective from a distance on a fast moving target. So they need some cheap missile's, which I don't think they have.

    The reason the LTTE boats often escape is because the SLN and Sea Tigers are more or less evenly matched. They both carry 23/25mm weapons (defencewire said we still haven't acquired 30mm weapons for the FAC's). So we still don't have a decisive edge over the enemy.

    If you want to defeat them and destroy all their boats in a battle, we would need bigger platforms capable of mounting modern automated CIWS systems with multiple 30mm guns and missiles, something like Kashtan, see link below.


    There is no way that some FAC's armed with single barrel 30mm weapons will be able to destroy all sea tiger vessels in a battle, since they have similar weapons/capabilities and performance characteristics.

    Basically, we still don't have a decisive edge over the LTTE in terms of weaponry. I think MBRL's and aircraft are the only weapons we have that they don't.

  47. Shay-Many thanks for your input.Your absolutely right.Many good points from someone very well informed.As far as the Navy is concerned will deploying more aircraft & firing flares help to destroy the LTTE boats in the night.It seems that in a single engagement most LTTE boats get away..The only time there is significant damage to LTTE boats is when the airforce is involved.

  48. DefenceNet

    I have the same question that jack raised..
    what make them elite????

    I like to know from U
    about "Major General Janaka Perera"
    as we know he's brave person,
    person who wiped out the JVP terror

    like to know more, could you pls.


All DefenceNet members will communicate using the account DefenceNet bearing profile number 11553575476849786179. This number can be found at the end of Profile URL. Beware of impostors.

Comments with racist remarks, personal attacks and misinformation will be deleted. Replying to any such comment will only encourage the saboteurs to post more. We request all our readers to ignore such postings and continue the discussion without diverting from the theme of the blog.