The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) will soon raise the 61st division, raising the number of active divisions in the army to 13. The new division will mostly consist of soldiers recruited during the period of 2007-2008. The 61st division, like the 57th, 58th and 59th divisions, will be raised as an offensive formation, a concept of Major General Sarath Fonseka. For more details of SLA divisions, please read this article.
The army has been running lengthy recruitment campaigns for the past two years backed by heavy advertising through electronic and printed media. According to our sources, the responses to these recruitment drives has so far been positive. 30000 personnel were newly recruited in the year 2007 alone and another 15000 are set to be recruited in the 2008. So far, 3000 personnel have joined the army during the past two months in year 2008.
In news from the northern front, Military Intelligence has now confirmed that Prabhakaran's official photographer, "Thavam", has succumbed to his injuries in Kilinochchi hospital. It is believed he was seriously wounded in the Radha base bombing on the 14th. Thavam, who joined the LTTE in 1981, has been promoted to Lt Colonel rank, the second highest rank in LTTE hierarchy.
Meanwhile on the 16th, several civilians in Mahakachchikodi alerted the security establishment of a possible LTTE infiltration in Erupothana region. A group of army soldiers who were dispatched to search the area came under hostile fire on the 17th. One soldier was killed in the incident. Yesterday (18th), a claymore mine was set off targeting an army Unibuffel in the same region. 3 soldiers were seriously wounded in the incident and the vehicle too received damages. Security has been tightened in the area following these incidents fearing Thanamalvila type attacks in the region.
Another electricity transformer was blown up today at 2.00AM in the Mundalama area. This is the third transformer to be destroyed in the past few weeks. The electricity board is said to have incurred a LKR 15 million loss due to the destruction of these assets. LTTE are seemingly revisiting their terror tactics in the 2nd and 3rd Eelam wars in a bid to disrupt civilian life in the south.