Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No man left behind!

The MCNS (Media Center for National Security) has posted a story about a rescue mission conducted in November 2001 to evacuate a Commando from a 8man Recce Team injured in an AP mine.

Both before and after the recent escalation of hostilities, a few such isolated rescue missions were planned but only a few were executed after brave soldiers from the Special Forces and Commando Regiments made their way back from the dead. Some however were less fortunate.

One such incident occurred in 2006 (names and places withheld) when the location of a small team of LRRP was compromised by accident. The LTTE surrounded the entire area with around 3000 auxiliary and elite soldiers and started combing the jungles. The unit was so very well camouflaged that the Tigers could not find them. Unfortunately, the Tigers laid siege to the area for many days and the team was forced to make a move.

The unit broke through the LTTE cordon and made to the unguarded forest area beyond. Unfortunately, a highly seasoned Sergeant from the unit was hit on the knee and the bullet traveled through-and-through, making him completely immobile.

His colleagues carried him on their shoulders with the LTTE units on hot pursuit. The unit's getaway was being delayed by the Sergeant's injury. Finally the Sergeant convinced his colleagues to stop running and to listen to what he had to say.

He then took his gun and a few grenades and asked his colleagues to leave him behind. His arguments were very convincing and he spoke without the slightest fear. After many arguments the rest of the team had no option but to leave the Sergeant behind.

As the team sadly retreated without their colleague and leader, the Sergeant started engaging enemy troops, even managing to kill a few of them and prolonging the advance of the enemy.

Finally, short of ammunition, injured by enemy fire and facing possible capture by the enemy that could jeopardize the secretive mission, the brave soldier committed suicide by removing the pin from a grenade in his person and bid farewell to his motherland.

Alleged 'DPU' soldier killed between Nainamadu and Puliyankulam TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 June 2006

The loss of quality men is a risk in war, yet there are always new methods of reduce such risks in the modern battlefield. The use of technology, for the rescue of such troops from a battlefield less than 50 miles from base, should not be a serious problem to any reasonably equipped armed forces.

Like in the MCNS story, Armies around the world use helicopters to evacuate elite units from the battlefield. US Special Forces, for example, use the Black hawk for infiltration and extraction of elite troops.

There are other much faster methods of evacuating trapped units from the battlefield. The Skyhook or variations of the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system are in use in most developed militaries. The system uses a lift line tied to a balloon, a harness for upto two men and an air hook fixed to a C130 plane for speedy extraction of troops from the ground. Fulton Recovery System by C-130 Hercules at Edwards AFB in 1966 and at Phang Rang AB in 1968.


Sam Perera said...

What a loss. This is a story of a great Sri Lankan hero we have to include in school books and make movies about. Jeez, I wish our politicans and civilians are as patriotic as this soldier.

tikira said...

Hats off to you brother,and to the mother who fed you

Sam Perera said...

This is a story of a great Sri Lankan hero we have to include in school books and make movies about. Every child in schools should know this heroes life story by heart. That will inspire generations to come in the way we get inspired by past heroes. Also we must include his name in the next chapter of Mahawamsa. Engraving his name in Mailapitiya stone walls won't be sufficient at all for this kind of heroism and patriotism he showed in the face of enemy fire. I bow down in front of him with the greatest respect and admiration I can ever offer.

LKDOOD said...

very sad story about the sergeant :(

LKDOOD said...

Iran to invest in expansion project of Sri Lankan oil refinery


LKDOOD said...

Tamil Nadu back as LTTE's safe haven ?


Anonymous said...

I beleive there are so many untold heroic stories. Some even may be burried with the death of brave soldier without knowing anyone. These brave soldiers will live in our hearts forever.

I have a question about this article. I hope I don't insult the brave heart. If I don't ask some tiger will do it later.

So if the team left him how did we know what happened after that? (Killing tigers and suciding.) This also says some tamilnut reports are true and the obviuos wrong generalization is all reports true.

Sam Perera said...


If it is not sensitive, it will be a great service to identify this hero. It is very unsettling if we can't honor him in the way he truly deserves.

Defencewire said...

Good question. The first I asked myself. As we suspected the auxiliary forces has had a MI mole. This mole had been pursuing the unit along with the rest and this is how we know the Sergeant's last moments. He came to government areas several weeks later and gave a detailed report to his handler. We did not know the exact details until his info arrived.

Whenever a soldier like this goes down, a quiet investigation is done. The mole's info was cross checked with the rest of the team who had heard firing and a blast. The remains of the Sergeant provided further evidence. However, quite unlike previous times, Tamilnet etc., was dead quiet about it. Not even a word.

We are sorry but the identity was never obtained by us. In this type of Op we do not usually ask, they do not usually tell. Its a closely knit group in the Army who are best let alone. We wouldn't have even revealed this except for the release of the MCNS report.

Not even his records will show how he died until the war comes to an end. You will know it then.

REMEMBER, this is just one such story. There are some more. Corporal Gamini Kularatne wasn't the last, we assure you that!

Pundeyeelam said...

Correct me if i am wrong.
I thought DPU never wear uniforms,and be like normal citizens, or they wear the LTTE uniforms?

Please Explain.


Unknown said...


Credit is due where it is due.Eventhough you have taken this story from the MCNS web site it originally appeared in the Sunday OBserver.In fact every week they publish a heroic tale about our forces.More often than not they are linked to promotions and other honours awarded to those heroes.Therfore no doubt about the credibility of those stories.

Hats off to Sunday Observer.We sri Lankans are so fond of political junk I don't think these articles get enough attention.On the other hand Sunday Observer publish these stories in their Magazine section which is normally read only by jobless housewves.

Who ever is doing this section at Sunday Observer I urge him/her to put them together as a book one day,as a symbol of honour for those great men & women.

uthum said...

Hats off to this brave lion-heart. He will live on in all of us patriotic Sri Lankans. May God bless him. Thanks for this defencewire.

Just one question though, is that really his body in that picture? According to you he committed suicide by grenade, if so I don't think his body would have been that intact after a such an explosion.

Unknown said...

We have seen this kind of work in crappy US films only. Real son of Sri Lankan mother, hats off.

Defencewire said...

They wear the tiger stripes when they have to, when there's a chance of being spotted--to create confusion in the minds of the LTTE, just enough to counter attack and getaway.

The sunday observer must take the credit for this not MCNS then. We just hope someone someday does an article in the local newspaper about the story we just revealed.


Correct. This is the body of a Lieutenant (name withheld) killed while planting a claymore on Nedunkerni road by a mob of LTTE who suddenly appeared around 11am for a road picketing. The Lt lied on the spot. A soldier assisting him and 4 members of the same team hiding in the bushes escaped in two different directions. The 4man team returned in a few days but the lone guy got surrounded. Almost ten days after he was surrounded, the guy made it to base. He had only his uniform and boots. The Lt's body was mistaken for the soldiers as it was decomposed beyond recognition by the time it was handed over (army denied he was theirs for obvious reasons). But without clear confirmation as to which of the two had died, the army was in limbo telling the two families who had died. We did not know if the soldier was alive at the time. it was assumed both were dead.

The Lt's family couldn't recognize the body so the soldiers family took the body. It is usually the custom of the Army, specially SF to check the household where the funeral was being held. To our horror we discovered the soldier's parents house was so small that the coffin wouldn't even fit through the entrance. Bud finally the body was buried. THEN, several days later, the soldier returned to base, a little exhausted but very much alive. He identified that it was the Lt who had died. Then the body was exhumed and handed over to the Lt's family. The morale of the story is, unless definitely killed, SF soldiers WILL return from the dead, no matter what! The gist of our article is, thanks to technology, there should be easier ways of getting them home fast.

Unknown said...

a True Soldier...

but no where close to what our tamil soldiers have done.. but too bad the spot light is not on them yet! but truth will never fade... it will eventualy float...

so what happend with wiping out the tigers in 7 months? the rate of killing was suppose to be atleast 70 LTTE per day... but it seems it has reverse lately?

you people have any shame? don't just talk the talk --> walk the walk... FOOLS!

Unknown said...


hey brother...

You from Mars ?

Rover said...

I expected the DPU soldiers to be wearing Gilli clothes, but this doesn't seem to be the case here. Did he have to shed it when he started running?

Another question - does our snipers make their own Gilli clothes for themselves? This must be the best thing to do to cut down on expense and to use local material for a better camouflage.

The pickup by the C130 is crazy, to say the least. This could only be done in open land. The elasticity of the harness and rope probably helps a lot in preventing a very bad jolt!

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