The Sri Lanka Army's ongoing operation into the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) heartland Wanni will be reinforced by two new divisions; the 61 division and the Task Force 2. With the inclusion of new divisions, the total number of SLA divisions taking part in the operation has risen to 7; 53, 55, 57, 58 (TF1) 59, 61 and TF2.
61 division will be commanded by Major General Athula Jayawardena while TF2 will be commanded by Brigadier Ralf Nugera. Already, two brigades of the 61 division ( 61-1 brigade and 61-2 brigade) have been deployed to the Northern front to assist the ongoing operations. SLA hopes to open new fronts in the Wanni battle through the latest deployments.
Meanwhile the LTTE has been blaming the army's 'DPU' for a series of attacks on civilians in un-cleared areas. Sri Lanka Army's Long Range Surveillance units did carry out several attacks in LTTE held territory during the past month. Special Forces units from the 3rd Special Forces regiment (3SF), Commando units from 3rd Commando Regiment as well as military intelligence corps took part in these attacks. However we have credible information that suggest that none of these attacks harmed civilians in any way. Deep battlespace operations are not easy to perform and each and every such mission has a specific, pre determined target. Being a conventional army, the SLA gains nothing by attacking civilians in deep battlespace ops (or in any other operation as a mater of fact) other than risking the lives of probably the best soldiers in its service. Usually the target of such ops is a senior LTTE cadre, intelligence wing member or a powerful regional leader.
Meanwhile the 59 division moving forward from Weli-Oya front was locked in fierce firefights and artillery duels with the LTTE fighters who are putting up formidable resistance. After the fall of Munagam base last week, LTTE's major military base in the area, the 1-4 (one-four) base, is now in 59 division's firing line. Infantry units have breached the forward defence lines in multiple locations during fighting which occurred yesterday and today. 10 SLA soldiers were KIA and a further 35 were WIA in these encounters. LTTE casualties are unknown.