Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Findings and Observations

Main Observations

The attack has all the hall-marks of the LTTE Leader's thinking. Eye for Eye, Assets for Assets. LTTE's sensitive spots have been touched by the Military. They were the floating warehouses. They can counter or replenish the loss of 10-15 cadres a day. This means they are not particularly sensitive to minor losses of men. But they cannot lose their supplies in such short succession. After all we are an island, remember?

The lost floating warehouses has hurt them much! The Sri Lanka Navy could be the LTTE's next target. Large warships particularly vulnerable.

The LTTE has a vast network of intelligence operatives in government areas, including Anuradhapura (one might say, of course!) but who has raised this issue so far and actually dealt with it? This could include safe houses, weapons smuggling etc. Was there an Army Intelligence Officer for Anuradhapura. I do not think so. Some Police and SLAF officers are in on the game. No planners considered Anuradhapura unsafe. But why? Isn't it a strategic location, like Vavuniya or Mannar, or even more?

Scenario-building: Worst-case Scenario

The LTTE has proven itself as a capable unconventional military force. adversely affected morale of the Tamil Diaspora will reverse. LTTE morale, fundraising, money-laundering, recruitment etc. will increase. LTTE will recover lost assets, replenish stocks and prepare for semi-conventional warfare. It will take own sweet time for next unconventional attack. Weakest point will be assessed/being assessed right now. Meanwhile Military Operations by Security Forces will be handicapped or 'intelligence blind' without aerial surveillance. No air support for ground troops. Once LTTE replenishes stocks and launches semi conventional war, there won't be any SLAF contribution on the ground. Unless new UAVs and Beachcraft procured, Kfir and Mig-27s are white elephants. Takeover of security coordination by Army, deployment of elite troops for missions other than those originally assigned for will put enormous strains on the Army's human resources.

Govt will shift cost of replenishing lost assets on the people. Economic burden on people will increase. Government will become unpopular with the people. Political pressure on government will also increase due to outbidding and outflanking by UNP. Government's attention will be diverted on two fronts. One will be military, the other Political. The support-base for a military solution will be strong but silent and calculating on the government's ability to deliver such. The pro-peace elements will have a field day!

Past Experiences

Joint Operations Command, Fort Railway Station etc bombed. LTTE Oyatha Alikal reached Jaffna City-limits. terrotory gained by Riviresa reversed. Agnikeela conventional operation results in severe losses. Katunayake Airbase and civilian airport attacked. Almost the entire fighter jet squadron destroyed. Insurance surcharge imposed by Lloyd's of London. Government forced to negotiate from a position of relative weakness in 2002 by reciprocating to LTTE's unilaterally declared Cease-Fire. Military debacles where over 1000 soldiers have been killed (Mullaithivu, Elephant Pass, Kilinochchi etc). One President killed, one maimed for life. Navy Commander killed, Army's 3rd Highest Ranker killed, Generals (Kobbekaduwa etc) killed. Foreign Minister and other important Ministers killed.

Recent Experiences

Army changes tactics. The Eastern Province 'liberated'. Navy destroys 11 LTTE floating ware-houses.

A Game of Choice

Which of the following do we choose as an option?

1. Neither party can win this war
2. Government will win eventually
3. LTTE will establish Eelam eventually

Given the recent and past events, a reasonable assumption would be that neither party will win the war. The other two options are what you make of them. For example, if a party wants to make the second choice 'Government will win eventually' a reality, we must make that happen. Similarly if the LTTE wants to establish Eelam, they too must make that happen. They both will use the same tactics; a mixture between military power and political power. They both will use the international community to legitimize its cause etc.


Ultimately, it all brews down to one issue. Its true that this battle has been won by LTTE. The Security Forces have won their battles too. But the bottom line is who will win the war will rely on who really needs to win?


GoldenEagle said...

The security must be beefed up in the Naval installations that contain our biggest warships.


tikira said...

well said DW,its the time that we have to face the reality, best stratergy is to prepare for the worst case scenario, mltiary must declare a virtual emergency situation, d day ahead. one attack took the heart away of many patriots. for any one had high hopes for the up coming offensive this was a big blow.'this is like argentinian intercepted try wich they stole the ball on their own 25. not to forget that it helped them to snached the game from the favorite french'.

tikira said...

coming 35 days gonna be crucial for the nation.incidents that will occur might take the coutry few miles backwords.all depend on few good men.if im right our planed operations must posponed for 1 year(at least).

londonistan said...

The loss of these treasured souls is in my view the biggest loss from Monday: http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20071023_07 What we owe them, and those who have gone before them, is singular and unequivocal - the complete destruction of the LTTE. To those who complain of the CoL due to the additional military expenditure, I would say this: The LTTE is the 21st century equivalent of the NAZIs with REALLY good PR. We must stay the course whatever the cost. Britain faced starvation and arguably annihilation during the Blitz but they stayed the course We must do the same.

tikira said...

britain faced starvation when fighting the nazis that's true but thats under a charismatic leadership. do we have such leader ship.i dont think so.im not blaming MR, at least he had balls to stand up against ltte, unlike ranil.but due to the political culture in sri lanka any patriotic leaders wont suceed.they try to emerge but not allowed to blossom.this is the situation unfortunately.if the JVP can help the government it will be a great step towards recovery from this debacle.but they dont trust MR,cant blame them can we?if IM the president I would solumnly request the JVP to support the government for the sake of the nation and for the sake of all patriotic forces.

Illegal.existence said...

tikira, I'm sorry to tell you this, but the day you become president and bend over for the JVP, Sri Lanka will end up as messed up as Zimbabwe is right now.

The emergence of the likes of the JVP is the worst thing that has happened to the country. The LTTE's strength is directly attributable to them.

GoldenEagle said...


We must protect our navy's bigger warships.

Don't we have a kind of fence/net thingy that encircles the stationed warships so it protects the ships from underwater attacks?

NOLTTE=Peace said...

Hi Defencewire,

I am very impressed by the quality of your output.

When talk about worst-case scenarios, there is one check-mate scenario for GOSL. That needs to be avoided at all costs. I am sure that you know what that may be.

It needs to be avoided at all costs.

We are lucky that still we have some UAVs left for recon. But the beechcarft is a huge loss.

Will see how GOSL recover. Sure they will, but needs to avoid 'check-mating' at all the costs!

Unknown said...

I too agrre with Noltte=peace...
You're reporting is much more factual and the analysis also really helps to understand the problems at hand and possible the way to tackle them.
It's such shame we were caught napping yet again after Katu.
I hope all the OPV's and other SLN key assets are under heavy security and also SLA heavy hardware. we can't afford to loose our major weapons like this when we had lots of things going our way

RomeoAlphaFoxtrot said...

DW,DR,DA et al,

have there been any instance in the history of sri lanka where a commander or an officer has been found guilty of a attack of this nature ?

I can only think of the Galle Harbour attack. What action do they normally take against them ?

tangara said...

Very impressive article...

Stay the cause...

NOLTTE=Peace said...

The KAB or Anuradhapura attacks can not be attributed to a single person.

It has happened owing to a line of failures. Firing one or two persons will not ever guarantee that a similar thing will not happen.

People perform differently under different frameworks. Mainly many great people fail, because of shortcomings in the framework they have to adhere to. The entire framework should be analysed and changed adapt to new circumstances. It should take a holistic (360 degree) process approach.

tangara said...


If you want to discuss anything...

you can write to my email...

tangaratosla at yahoo com

I am aware that it is a very hard thing to avoid being exposed...But i will see...

anyone intrested in anything to help the GOSL with anything, please do write....

Renegade! said...

Hey,DEFENCEWIRE..keep up the great blog!! awesome.i especially like the detailed analysis..thanks for the aircraft loss count.Seems like the government is slow in even counting their losses,just like they are in anticipating tiger activities.

C'mon sam perers,this is the era of globalisation & information is deliverd almost at the wink of an eye..if the tigers want detailed info,they have a wide network of spies within the forces,plus they can subscribe to google earth or some other satellite feed service & obtain detailed views on anuradhapura AB & its environs.

However,exceptions are obviously any planned & forthcoming operations & tactics,troop maneuvers which should not be disclosed.After the operation has been successfully completed or almost completed,then we would like to know the Finer details,

DEFENCEWIRE,can u confirm that our total UAV fleet comprised of 8 IAI SEARCHER-2 UAV'S & the the older IAI SCOUT UAV'S?


NOLTTE=Peace said...


Perhaps it would be best not to disclose the details of losses.

Jambudipa said...

I feel the missing piece in the puzzle is the Tamil element in the military - i.e. the "Velu-Sumana" among other giants.

There is a story that I heard from a Tamil old timer. He said way back in the 70s when the problem was just starting, Srimavo Bandaranayake ordered the army to go and crush the unruly elements in the North. She went against the advice of a senior Tamil Police officer who warned her it has to be handled with utmost sensitivity by someone like him who knew the problem and how to handle it well. She arrogantly ignored his advice. We will never know now whether the officer would have succeeded. However, we may have missed an opportunity to keep this problem just as another law-and-order issue without giving the impression "Sinhala forces" were invading "Tamil Land". The moronic Lankan leadership played right into the hand of the extremists.

Its no secret the military is 99.0% Sinhala. I feel even at this late stage, the forces must recruit more Tamils, not just for symbolic value but, that may be edge needed over LTTE. Its well known Paliayan/TMVP helps the forces in the Eastern theater. I believe he should taken in at least Brigadier rank and make him in charge of a new regiment representing all communities. The perception one gets is we used and discarded him where he is no longer useful. We must show we reward people who are loyal to us. There will inevitably be some issues that needs ironing out and managed. We need to think out of the box to solve this problem. Input from him and involvement of his regiment in the north may prove vital in defeating LTTE.

Also, Anandasagaree keeps asking MR to offer something politically. It would be a mistake not to listen to him.

Defencewire said...

It seems that the total number of planes+drones lost must be reduced to 19 now. This is because some of the drone lost weren't even ours. They were brought for testing purposes. I would assume this is a loss in any case since we might have to repay them.

MathaMathica said...

who will win the war will rely on who really needs to win

Need is not an absolute thing. It is most of the time imaginary except for basic necessities.

At the moment diaspora has a big need to bring us to our knees.

Protect our assets, neutralise any further attacks and then destroy the diaspora funded
assets, make the whole things go down the drain.

Dont let a glimmer of hope that Eelam is a possibility.

Lost money will make the diaspora needs to change.


Unknown said...

SLAF jets in action...

are you sure, have we lost all our air reconnaissance crafts?

mottapala said...

I think most of the senior officers in the SLDF esp. in the airforce hasn't quite grasped the fact that there is a war situation in the country. It is no longer a matter of getting in to a posh uniform in the morning, play tennis in the afternoon and have a drink in the mess in the evening. That was the days when we had a ceremonial army. When the present Army commander was Commander of Jaffna he walked sevaral kilometrs a day along the FDL's inspecting the bunkers and advising to improve them. That is why Jaffna is still in our hands and extermely difficult to breach.Likes of SF soldiers train everyday and are ready for anything anytime. It is time for the Air Force to wake up. Good decision for MR to hand the perimeters of airports to the Army. Any sophisticated heavy weaponary is helpless like a child when on the ground.
Even in hospitals doctors do drills for rare events regularly so when something happenes they instictively know what to do. Lack of contigency plans were a disgrace. Would thay learn somrthing at least now?

NOLTTE=Peace said...

...if our guys had the brains of 'mottapala'... that's my wishful thinking

jiffy said...


how many personnel were inside AAFB at the time of attack? Raman writes that AAFB came under complete control and remained so until 9am. is this time line accurate and did the base in fact fall into tiger hands at any stage?

many thanks

defenceAnalyst said...

Political Theorists no-longer use the word 'Will' because politics and will got USA Iraq. They talk more in terms of interest now.

Needs are quite apart from wants and are more specific. Example. you may have many wants like a luxury car etc but you need to get from point A to B. Therefore if govt needs to go from point A to B, what should they do? How about changing the SLAF structure? This could get them closer to the national NEED of eliminating terrorism!

Defencewire said...

Unless they had some UAVs hidden inside somebody's ___ yes, we lost all. However, this situation is now being rectified, as a matter of urgency. The aerial sorties were carried out on pre-gathered info.

The base could accommodate over 500 SLAF. Exact number present is unknown. LTTE unit was planning to raise eelam flag when Special Forces attacked around 9am (To Eelam Flags were later discovered by SF). By 11am, it was under complete SF/GR/SLAF control. No resistance offered to Tiger infiltrators marching 500-600m from outer-perimeter fence. They broke into two groups and separated. SLAF knew they were under attack when they heard explosions of Tigers blowing up the aircraft. They were mostly snoozing after Gajaba SuperCross 2007.

jiffy said...


many thanks! my next question (if you dont mind me asking) is what did those slaf men in the base do next? did they try to organise a search-kill party in the darkness? how did the tigers manage to corner and confuse so many personel that night and prevent any headway from happening till 9am? to me this is still the most astonishing part. also, was 9am when the first outside help arrived?

thanks again

mottapala said...

You are asking a very good question. Who do you think you are ask the airforce guys to get down from their comfortable beds and take the guns and fight. They had a long day, had a few drinks and they need a good nights sleep. Ground fighting is for the those army chaps. What they are supposed to do is get up in the morning, get ray bans on and inspect the damage. Bieng in the airforce is a white collar job. The good officers in airforce regimental has already gone. Same in the army.

There should be a major change in the SLDF. Whatever the change should affect the ground troups. Do you know the ordinary foot soldier doeasn't get proper food, good clothing or even adequate leave to see their families. The present structure doesn't allow the ordinary soldier to keep thie head up and be proud of who they are. They are generally treated as dogs by their superiors.

Treat them well, make them be proud of who they are, they will even be ready die for the country. I remember asking a SF officer just after a deep operation how was it. He said ' not much fun'. What he meant was not enough close counter fighting. That is the morale we should aim at. Untill we get that correct no beech craft or millions worth of stuff are not going to help.
Can you imagine what you can do for the ordinary foot soldier with even one million us dollars!

Unfortunately the LTTE use their money more effectively.

Defencewire said...

Some airmen tried to fight but paid the supreme sacrifice. we are talking about a suicide unit here. There's one unit that has the guts to fight them, and they did their job.

One of my close friends was saying the other day that until the son of a Punchi Banda from a rural area becomes the Air Force Commander, these problems will persist!

MathaMathica said...


When we have no will to live, we die. I am talking about that specfic "will", the adhistanaya.

SF fought the zombie thugs, because they have the will to fight even the Mahaaakaali.

AF did not have that will and you know the rest…

What I want to convey is that it is the mind set that matters:



Roshan G is a mattaya groomed by the Brit tradition who will advice his son - if he becomes a judge - to continue to wear the famous white wig at 40 DEG tropical weather!! Genetically selected to serve the Empire!!!! They got 100 ton slave shackles in their brains.

However these mattayas can be useful as a front to talk to the west… but some keen brains must handle them. Same with the princess Ranil .. That is the job of an agency responsible for the State Security(yet to come).



CALIFORNIA IS BURNING: 1 millions displaced to escape fire!!!

Red Indians ask pardon even from a tree before cutting it.

Great reading all you folks, thanks.

SLWATCH said...


SAAG site has some analyses by Col. Hariharan and B.Raman (is he from a military background?. Would like to see your comments.

jiffy said...

Thanks comrades, yes i think i'm starting to see what you're all saying. too much "why should i do it, thats not my job" going on here. passing the buck is biting all our asses now. as for our elites, i think there we still suffer from a mentality of "white collar knows best". to develop our country we need an attitude of "hands on knows best". practical, technical, pragmatic people with a background in actual fighting would be able to better relate to the realities of the common soldier.

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