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Innovations won final Eelam war for Lanka army

[Express Buzz, Sunday, 16 May 2010 06:37 No Comment]

The island nation would be marking the first anniversary of the Eelam War IV, which resulted in the rout of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), from May 16 to 19. The Eelam War IV that began on August 2006, and ended on May 19, 2009, will go down in history not only for the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, but also for the many political and military innovations it saw.

One of the distinguishing features of Eelam War IV was the political determination shown by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to prosecute the war without bowing to international lobbies that were pressing for a ceasefire and resumption of talks with LTTE.

An important concomitant in the victory was that the demands of all the three services met. The army’s streng th was increased by 100,000. The navy was allowed to manufacture 150 fast inshore patrol vessels equip ped with 14 mm and 23 mm guns. And the air force was deployed on a regular basis.

The then Army Commander Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka broke from the practice of conducting shortterm, limited-objective and limitedarea operations, and launched a continuous and broad front operation, stretching from Weli Oya in the east to Mannar in the west and from Vavuniya in the south to Muhamalai in the north. There was no let up even during the monsoons.

Taking a leaf from the guerillas’ book, the army crept behind enemy lines on espionage and sabotage missions.

Its units searched and destroyed infiltrators. Ignoring human rights issues, firepower were exploited.

Departing from past practice, the navy ventured into the deep sea, and destroyed over 10 of LTTE’s armscarrying ships. The air force were also on bombing mission almost daily.

[Full Coverage]

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