How the LTTE was 'military' defeated: A Soldier’s view - Part Eight

Written by Day

(May 11, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) r. SLAF Fighter Planes: Though it is expensive to buy, operate and maintain or was not meant to engage in dog fights with rudimentary Tiger Air Force’s four in number Zlin Z-143s small aircraft, the Israeli built Kafirs, Russian built MIGs and Chinese built F7s played a vital role in the final war to defeat LTTE. These aircrafts performed three vital functions:

1. Accurate or pin point bombing of an LTTE boat in the sea, an artillery piece being towed by a tractor or in action, a military or jungle training base, a top leader’s hide out or a super bunker because these aircraft have the capabilities to electronically ‘lock onto target’ and can take counter measures against LTTE anti-aircraft fire or MANPADS.

2. Targeted air strikes on top LTTE leaders and their hideouts–Remember the best day in SLAF’s history-02 November 2007 in Killinochchi-it was payback time for the Anuradhapura Air Bass attack-Brigadier SP Tamilchelvam along with Lt. Col. Anpumani-LTTE Communication Director(Alex), Major Mikuthan, Major Kalaiyarasan (Nethaji), Major Selvam, Lt. Maavaikkumaran and Lt. Aadchiveal of LTTE were buried at 0600hours on Friday, 02 November 2007 in a heap of ruble by Sri Lanka Air Force in Ki'linochchi, unfortunately ‘without’ full military honors!

3. Provided vital gun camera or onboard camera footage for the reasons I have described elsewhere.

s. Sri Lanka Navy Crafts and Ships: It is heartening to see the commendable expansion of the inventor y of Sri Lanka Navy from the gunboats named after JR and SWRDB, locally built two OPVs named after Jayawardena, two landing craft, two passenger craft, Surveillance Ships-Abeetha, Edithara and Wicrama, Auxiliary ships:A-524, A525 and A526, a few Dvoras and an assortment of other small craft to an impressive inventory of Offshore Patrol Vessels, Fast Missile Vessels, Amphibious vessels, Auxiliary vessels –a large fleet consisting of combat, support ships and inshore patrol crafts. The roles they played and functions performed helped expedite the demise of tigers as an innovative and fanatical terrorist outfit with conventional military capabilities. Here are some vital roles or functions SLN played in the final war and humanitarian operations.

1. Though difficult, maintaining a naval ‘cordon sanitaire’, nearly ‘non-porous’ sea boarder around the island to prevent LTTE movements in and out of Sri Lanka by boat. Also to deploy SBS and ABS to prevent or engage and destroy LTTE men and material redeployment along the coast and sea tiger training and maneuvers. The SBS and ABS also provided the vital fire support to FAC in distress. Also created small camps with craft and radar units around the island to increase the effectiveness of surveillance and naval engagements.

2. Created a very vital MSR (Main Supply Route) through a sea line of communication in the absence one on the land, without which logistics (food, tools, fuel, barrier materials, ammo, toiletries for personal hygiene, major end items, medicine, spare parts, farm or construction equipment) needed to fight, sustain and win a war would not have been possible. I am also aware that SLAF could do and did some cargo lifting. What we are talking here is huge quantities or bulk.

3. Transformation from a brown water navy to a blue water navy; to lie in wait, self sustain, and give the LTTE lethal cargo (and pleasure cargo for selected LTTE leaders ) laden ships with seasoned LTTE seamen onboard a sea burial, again ‘without’ full naval honors with ‘underwear-less bagpipers‘!

4. Transporting safely to and fro, military personnel on redeployment or leave and the injured civilians or displaced civilians as a humanitarian mission to calm down the international community hell-bent on forcing GOSL to stop the wiping out of tigers or negate their outcry.

5. More than any other service, SLN provided doctors, paramedics and medical equipment and services in the humanitarian operations to take care of the Tamil civilians injured or sick on the battlefield.

t. Special Task Force (STF): STF, since its inception, provided a very silent service throughout their deployment mainly in Batticaloa and Ampara districts. They suffered minimal casualties, lost no huge quintiles of arms or munitions, and lost no major camps to LTTE. They protected border villages from LTTE attacks and maintained ethnic harmony among Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslim communities. They also provided material support and acted as staging areas or logistic or operations centers for small boat teams and naval radar teams and army commando teams. All these are force multipliers. They conducted very successful ‘Kanchi Ops’ to set stage for the clearing of the East by Sri Lanka Security Forces.

u. Civil Defence Corps (CDC): We need to look at the eventual graduation from Home Guards to CDC and their contribution to the victory of the final war with LTTE. As you already know ‘training’ is a force multiplier. The CDC personnel were better trained, better armed, better compensated and better dressed than Home Guards. The keyword you have to remember here is ‘better’. They are the ones who had the biggest stake in wiping out the tigers as their border villages, households, livelihoods and families were day in day out at the mercy of marauding bands of tigers. Though they were the lowest level of the food chain they had the distinctive advantage the other services did not have. The vast majority of CDC personnel in the north and east spoke ‘Tamil’ and knew the terrain very well. They could easily cut off a withdrawing path of a LTTE hit squad, lie in ambush for them or act as jungle guides or scouts for a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) of the military in case of a hit and run by LTTE. This advantage also paid dividends at roadblocks, in apprehending and interrogating suspected or fleeing LTTE carders or/and finding and locating explosive rigged vehicles or hidden caches.

v. SLAF (Regiment Branch) and SLN (Patrolman Branch): They were involved in more and more ground combat roles or were tasked to hold the more and more ground army was liberating day by day. This eased up army infantry troops to smash through and clear earth bunds, bunker lines and other obstacles. They could be also used as road clearing parties, in cordon and search operations, as beach patrols, at roadblocks in Colombo and suburbs, to name a few other tasks they performed that helped army to fully concentrate on the final war.

ECONOMIC: The economic aspect of the instruments of national power. There is no wealth more valuable than human wealth/capital. A living example for that is China. A decade or two ago where was China? With technological boost, today you can see the quality of life of more than billion people in China where literacy rate is not even 100 per cent. Can imagine what would be the annual economic growth if the literacy rate was 100%?

a. Literacy Rate: Sri Lankans rather the entire world wonders how a tiny nation, an island in the Indian Ocean could manage or afford to wage full scale fighting, halted for a few years intermittingly for the failed rounds of peace negotiations, suffering a huge human cost, thousands of deaths and the material damage running into billions of dollars. How Sri Lanka could be that resilient and did not end up like a poverty-stricken African nation whose citizens either kill each other in food riots, scavenge food from dumpsters to survive or die of starvation. The secret lies in the Sri Lanka’s highest literacy rate in Asia next to Japan.

b. FOREX Earned by Overseas Sri Lankans: How this nearly three decade long war was viable? FOREX or foreign exchange remitted by expatriate workers and overseas Sri Lankans, FOREX generated by exporting apparel made with sweat, blood and youth of poor, innocent village girls, from whatever tourism industry that was left and selling software or Information Technology (IT) products.

c. Goodwill or Quality of Products: A little noticed thing by majority in Sri Lanka was that when the London Stock Exchange (LSE) decided to supercharge its trading platform provided by MillenniumIT, a Sri Lankan software and services company it bought for $30m last year. With shares changing hands faster than a blink of an eye in today's financial markets, it has never been more important for stock exchanges to complete trades in lightning-fast time and this electronic platform can shave one thousandth of a second from the time it takes to trade a share through the exchange. This caused sort of uproar in the Drealamists’ world as it was a bold assertion by the LSE, regardless of UK government’s interference in the humanitarian and final war, to do business with Sri Lanka. This sort of major corporate decisions in favour of doing business with Sri Lanka packs more punch in capitalist world or counters all the negative publicity by AI, HRC and FMM, who are prodded or paid by Drealamists with sex or money or their ‘honey’ or ‘bun’.

Victoria’s Secret did not keep any secret when it was or placing orders and buying apparels made in Sri Lanka. When high society was buying the lingerie, made in Sri Lana, in bundles, it made a fashion statement in bed and was an approval statement in the market to show the willingness to do more and more business with Sri Lanka. That was why the Drealamist were parading in front of the VS stores asking people to boycott Sri Lanka. I bet those rascals inciting others to boycott were most definitely dressed in clothes bought in Sri Lanka, cheaply from House of Fashion, French Corner or Odel!

As long as Sri Lanka’s valued and loyal customers like London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Victoria’s Secret (VS) had total confidence in quality of Sri Lanka’s products and were willing (and their customers buying) to do business with Sri Lanka or held Sri Lanka in good stead.

d. Calm on the Streets: There were no food riots. Schools were open and offices functioned. Simply said, if the atmospherics I have mentioned elsewhere were positive, GOSL could wage the war and win, even after 30 years!

The benefit of high literacy rate coupled with free education and medicine allowed the insurgents and terrorists, rich and poor, and Sinhalese and Tamils ‘equal opportunity’ to follow same island wide education syllabus. If you were born with a good IQ (Intelligent quotient) level you would be perfectly alright though the parents may be too poor to afford access to tuition or a city school due to high costs or expenses. In that case you can win a Grade 5 scholarship to Ananda, Devi Balika, Mahamaya or Polonnaruwa Royal!

Your future is set if you know your only obligation is to study without playing truant and you are determined to fulfill your parents’ fervent hope and dying wish to see you as a fully-fledged doctor or an engineer. My bother started schooling in a village school then went to a Maha Vidalaya where he secured 8 distinctions at O levels then received education at a College, entered university, and returned to Sri Lanka, recently, with PhDs for him and his wife. The cost of education: literally speaking or when compared to other countries, almost nothing!

That is why my blood is boiling when I see and hear the Drealam terrorists who or whose fathers have received the same free education, and clamour now and hell bent on censuring or boycotting Sri Lanka! If I have my way I will ensure that they or their same thinking kith or kin will not ever set foot on Sri Lankan soil or live on Sri Lankan soil. If I am accused of some sort ‘cleansing’, so be it. My idea here is to rid a country of hypocritical and opportunistic terrorists and their accomplices or sympathizers. I let only good Tamils, like the bereaved families of Kadir or Thiru, live in Sri Lanka.

To be continued...

Read previous parts:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven