Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Final Battle On...Officially
- Army Commander
The final battle to recapture the Vanni is officially declared. Army Commander Lt. Gen Sarath Fonseka, talking to local journalists have revealed the intention to recapture Tiger Heartlands. The declaration of intent comes after the abrogation of the CFA and observations of LTTE defensive actions, specially in Mullaithivu, Mannar and Pooneryn sectors.
According to reports and DefenceWire's own sources, five specially trained Offensive Formations comprising Task Force I (Commanded by Maj. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya), which includes the 57 Offensive Division advancing towards Vavuniya North, Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu from Vavuniya, 58 Offensive Division (Commando, 10GR, 8SR, 6,8 and 9GW) advancing from Mannar South to Mannar North and Kilinochchi (via Parappakandal, Adampan, Mullikulam etc), the newest addition, the 59 Offensive Division under Brigadier Nandana Udawatte, which commenced the advance on Monday towards Mullaithivu from Weli Oya and Task Force II comprising the 53 and 55 Divisions, including 1 Commando, 1 Special Forces, Air Mobile, 5th Gemunu (3 GW, Muhamale) and 8th Wijeyaba (8 VIR, Nagarkovil) Regiments advancing towards Pooneryn will trap the Tigers into their territory, forcing the Tigers to go on the defensive. In addition 2 and 3 Commando and 2 and 3 Special Forces Regiments will performing medium and deep battle-space operations, offensive raids and other specialized roles. Newly formed Mechanized Infantry Units integrated into each Task Force will spearhead the advance.

An unspecified, yet high number (possibly around 500) of LTTE fighters, including elite Charles Anthony, Soothiya and Malathi unit fighters have been killed and an equal number injured in recent fighting in North Mannar, North Vavuniya, Weli Oya, Muhamalai and Nagarkovil. The total number of LTTE killed since the start of fresh offensives in the last quarter of 2006 could be over 2500 with the SLA implementing a 'Kill Ten a Day' policy in the five fronts mentioned before, and SLAF's relatively accurate bombings.

Casualties to own troops is around 1000 killed and over 4000 injured since the last quarter of 2006, of which about 25% will never return to the battlefield. These figures are expected to rise to at last threefold by mid to late 2008. SLA's calculations are to end the war by the end of August 2008. Many casualties are due to booby traps.A heavy daily dose of mortars, artillery and rockets being fired at the Tigers every day, who are responding with own artillery. Face to face confrontations have been limited so far.