Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The March to Pooneryn and beyond

58 copy

Up until November 1993 the POONERYN defence complex formed a complementary defence mechanism encompassing EPS and the Jaffna islets in safeguarding the peninsula from the Tamil Tigers. Since the fall of the POONERYN defence complex, it has been of immense strategical value to the Tamil Tigers providing it with a base to disrupt the naval/air bridge connecting the Jaffna peninsula with the South using its T59I 130mm howitzers and coastal littorals to launch its Sea Tiger assets and smuggling operations.

Pooneryn defence complex used to overlook the Jaffna/Kilaly lagoon and proved to be the nemesis for Tamil Tigers' free movement/logistics activities in this sector. It also proved to be a hindrance for Tamil Tiger radio traffic between Wanni mainland and the Jaffna peninsula which, barring the PALAY/KKS HSZ, was under complete control of the Tamil Tigers. This was the primary reason for Operation Thavalai (frog) to take place to overwhelm this isolated defence complex. This land mass also provided a suitable base for the Tamil Tigers to use the T-59I 130mm howitzers to disrupt the vital air/naval bridge at PALALY/KKS HSZ and any other target that falls within in its range spectrum. It also proved useful for launching its sea tiger assets during its many assaults on Jaffna islets and during its failed Jaffna offensive of 2006.

With 58 Division making headway along the A32 bagging Tamil Tiger bases at VIDALATHIVU, ILLUPPAKADAVAI, VELLANKULAM, MULANKAVIL in a matter of weeks, the Tamil Tigers possibly borrowing a leaf out of Hindenberg's book set about to build their own Hindenberg line from PANDIVEDDIKULAM to AKKARANKULAM west, fortified with bunkers, deep trenches. The machine gun posts were positioned such that it severely limited the attacker's ability to exploit cover by providing interlocking fields of fire.

Despite its immense fortification, the troops of 58 many months ago succeeded in punching through certain points along this earth bund and held on while the rear was exploited. Such limited 'bite and hold' operations are means to exploit and seize terrain which were major sections of the Tamil Tiger's defensive positions and considered important by the SLA battleplanners. The advantage of such limited ops is that it avoids the SLA overstretching themselves hence reducing its vulnerability to an impending counterattack. Soon as the 58 Division troops took up positions, the Tamil Tigers using its elites launched its own limited counterattacks to regain the lost strongpoints along the bund, without any success. One such area was the KARAMBAKULAM area where the Tamil Tigers had used the tank bund of the defunct reservoir for its defensive purposes. This area was breached on the 17th of September 08 with much sacrifice.

Through the exploited KARAMBAKULAM area troops of 582 and 583  forged ahead. While 581 lay siege on the NACHCHIKUDA jetty from the South and the East, 583 moved North ahead of the earth bund and cut the A32 from the North of the NACHCHIKUDA base.

Meanwhile 582 concentrated on expanding the breach head. A narrow penetrative corridor such as the one at KARAMBAKULAM means that there are fewer smaller routes of access for supplies. Fewer smaller routes of supplies means the troops that poured in through the defences or exploitation forces in military parlance will move slower with slower commitment. A small supply route also means, it can only sustain a smaller exploitation force. Further such a narrow frontage means it increases the vulnerability of a potential counterattack for, the counterattacking Tamil Tigers require to only advance a short distance to cut the supply route.  Mobilising troops through a narrow breach of a formidable defence line without further expanding the penetrative corridor always inherently risky. This is the reason why troops of 582 along with 571 troops of the 57 Division set about to completely dismantle the Tamil Tiger earth bund by expanding their punch holes in pre-determined stages. This was a slow process.

In order to achieve the objective by destroying the hostile forces while preserving as much as SLA's own, increasing the ability to take and hold ground in minimum time; 582 ventured North towards MANNIYANKULAM, KUCHCHUKKULAM, NOCHCHIMODDAI and ANAIVILUNTHAN - North of KARAMBAKULAM to disrupt the flow of reinforcements and engage them North of the objective and make them battle fatigued by the time they reached the defenders at the earth bund.

There was another objective in this move. MANNIYANKULAM holds a five way junction located 4Kms North of KARAMBAKULAM. This junction from the West connects to the A-32 road at the 11th and 12th mile posts, from the North to the Pooneryn - Paranthan road and from the South to the Akkarayankulam road. Hence this area alone provides the 58 battleplanners many avenues of approach for the future.

One such avenue - the PARANTHAN-POONERYN road- bears the potential to cut off the entire POONERYN peninsula from the Tamil Tiger controlled Wanni and bring forth 58 Division's  long term objective - POONERYN. Once this road in under control it provides the SLA battleplanners the opportunity to enter the North of KILINOCHCHI town via PARANTHAN which once housed the outermost satellite camp of the EPS base complex.

With the fall of NACHCHIKUDA on the 30th of October, 58 Division can be expected to lay siege on the VALLAIPADU sea tiger jetty located North West of NACHCHIKUDA. The PALAVI jungle areas surrounding VALLAIPADU is ideal for SLA's small unit independent manoeuvres, making it effective for cover and concealment. Even though a direct route exists to VALLAIPADU from the VALLAIPADU junction located South of JEYAPURAM, the current SLA strategy involves small units to leave exposed land and roads and take circuitous routes. Such routes require accurate ground reconnaissance, advanced scouting to map out minefields, enemy positions and strongpoints, prepositioning and rehearsals. All this in reality accounts for more time than the actual assault. However if 58 forges ahead up the A32 up to PALLIKUDA the entire DEVIL'S POINT landmass will be cut off from the Wanni mainland. Such a move will also prevent the Tamil Tigers from fortifying its positions close to POONERYN and will render the VALLAIPADU jetty inoperable with no land route available.

The advantages to the military establishment of the fall of POONERYN is manifold.

  1. Opens up a land based MSR across the SANGUPIDDY-KERATIVU jetty linking POONERYN to the JAFFNA mainland.
  2. Thus reduces the workload of the Navy and SLAF in maintaining the bridge across the sea and air.
  3. The Tamil Tigers are set to lose its entire Western Coast and hence a logistical nightmare to its sea faring wing in smuggling its supplies from the TamilNadu warehouses.
  4. Provides the SLN to establish itself again at NAGATHEVANTHURAI overlooking the KILALY lagoon thus an observation point against Tamil Tiger infiltrations towards the Jaffna peninsula.
  5. And allows the SLN to block any refugee or fleeing Tamil Tigers cadres from entering Tamil Nadu.
  6. Provides the 51 Division which is based in the WALIKAMAM area to expand across the lagoon and perform holding duties.
  7. Puts the Tamil Tiger long range T59I 130mm howitzers out of the range of vital security establishments within the peninsula.
  8. Provides vital intelligence to the military establishment on Tamil Tiger artillery pillboxes at K-point
  9. Allows the 58 Division to concentrate on areas North of KILINOCHCHI along the POONERYN-PARANTHAN road
  10. Removes the Tamil Tiger artillery and W86 120mm heavy mortar pads that were within range of the operations sphere of 55/53 Divisions
  11. And provides the SLA additional fire support bases to conduct suppressive fire towards known enemy fire support locations.

Since the days the earth bund was pierced, the Tamil Tigers made sure they repositioned their long range artillery from POONERYN's K point. Currently they are stationed at a location East of PARANTHAN giving the Tamil Tigers the opportunity to engage 55 troops at MUHAMALAI, 57 troops operating at AKKARAYAN, 58 troops operating at NOCHCHIMODDAI and 59 troops IF they manage to enter areas North of the Nayaru lagoon.

If 58 Division decides to move East once it has achieved its objective and reaches PARANTHAN, the Tamil Tigers stationed at the former EPS complex may face the same harsh annihilation endured by the 54 Division troops at EPS in April 2000. That is of course, is if 53/55 commanders decide to position the 58 Division at PARANTHAN during their war gaming process. With the current mood among troops operating various crumbling operations at the National Front translating to something like "if we breakthrough, only 59 will stop us", the day the national front will flare up again is not far off.

As always only time will tell...

44 comments:

cable said...

As always a great piece!

Thank you sir!

Shan said...

hmmmmmm..

the best one in recent times. back to your best ranger!!! thanks.

shoring up the morale of the elite53 and 55 must be a major task with their colleagues in 57, 58 and 59 in full throttle.

It'll be a haevy roller rumbling through the western side of A9 when 58 moves to Paranthan or even Nallur when 53 and 55 also move down. 7 divisions on the move is one huge roller

cable said...

Could you please answer the following if possible

How long do you think it will take roughly to reach pooneryn. There is a lot of hoopla around that SLA will take take pooneryn very quickly is this just a PR gimmick for the govt to pass the budget (much like Ratnasiri wickramanayakes statement that Army will enter killinchi next week on eve of the NCP election)

I am just asking on the basis of your experince and inside knowledge from the ppl at the battlefield. If this is too sensitive a question to answer than its ok i can understand

After the fall of Nachikuda I was wondering where 58 will go next is it Vallaipadu sea jetty or ignore it and go straight up the A32 to pooneryn which if successful will as you have already said cut off Devils point land mass. I guess it will be too sensitive to reveal this sort of info so we will have to wait and see

waruna said...

Dear Ranger

Thank you very much for your analysis.

I have one question for you

During these operations, SLA couldn't capture any Artilery and Motar guns. Which mean they have taken them all to their control areas, probebly east of A9.

The question I have is once SLA captured the whole areas of KILLI, What will happen if LTTE rain with their large stock of artilery and motar guns? Isn't it devastating?

Thanks

gontayas dad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tikira said...

Excellent post sir..................

keep up the good work.

Nish said...

Excellent post.. as always..

Vigilante said...

Excellent article..
Keep them coming..

Long-Ranger said...

Cable,

"How long do you think it will take roughly to reach pooneryn."

At the present situation, it can be taken in a matter of days.

HOWEVER the present strategy revolves around what I have mentioned in my brief. That is destroying the hostile forces while preserving as much as SLA's own, increasing the ability to take AND hold ground in minimum time. So the time frame is calculated with the perfect balance with the above objectives.

For example if the theatre assessment provides information that there are significant number of Tamil Tigers are defending this sector, 58 will concentrate on engaging these units right then and there and removing them from the battlefield instead of engaging them somewhere else such as MULATIVU. If there are no significant amount of fighting cadre in this area, 58 will concentrate on occupying land and enticing the enemy to engage them. And so on. I hope it is clear.

Long-Ranger said...

Waruna,

"During these operations, SLA couldn't capture any Artilery and Motar guns. Which mean they have taken them all to their control areas, probebly east of A9."

The situation of VAHARAI I am sure you have in mind is different, mainly due to geography. VAHARAI only had two access/escape routes from KATHIRAVELI and PANICHCHANKERNI. Once the SLA sealed of these two routes there was no way the Tamil Tigers could have moved their heavy weaponry via boats across the lagoon. What did they did instead was to dismantle the guns and bury them. They had plenty of time to do so before the SLA entered the town despite them being only

What I am saying is, it doesn't take much of an effort nor time for the Tamil Tigers to move their heavy guns from one location to another. For decades they have done so for much dismay of SLA's MI.

I can reveal in this portal, one of the initial battleplans was for one certain division to forge ahead bypassing two key towns and reach a certain coastline and add the pressure by it's complementing Division and thus creating a similar situation to that of VAHARAI. Unfortunately the weather, a second earth bund put a spanner to the works. :-)

Long-Ranger said...

To all,

Many thanks for the warm compliments. Appreciate it while apologising for my failure of being 'regular'. Take care.

Defence Column said...

Thanks Long Ranger for the wonderfull post.

#Troops focus on opening land route to Jaffna soon

Click Here!

Katch said...

Thanks for your excellent analysis Ranger.

I have a question regarding 53 & 55 Divs. Since the big guns have been moved out of K point in Poonaryn, why can't the 53 & 55 come down to EPS without incurring high casualties. My understanding is that the guns from K point was the reason that they couldn't come down?

Thanks

mazeB said...

excellent post.

mboi said...

looks like whoever's at nagarkovil r getting ready to make a move. army.lk reported that soldiers have broken an 'earth bund'.

sldf said...

Long Ranger, yet another great analysis I must....flawless :)

After reading your posts I think so called experts of the Sri Lankan conflict like Iqbal Athas and B. Raman have long way to go before self appointed themselves as 'Defence Analyst'. Your input of the current operations is much appreciated.

Apart from the weather constrains I'd would like see SLAF playing a more offensive role complementing Army operations on LTTE positions. There is no doubt SLAF have more offensive capabilities in store than what we have seen thus far. I also hear our LRRP SF and Commando teams are well ahead in Pooneryn and Mulathive sectors. As you said it would great to see our battle harden 53 and 55 divisions in action. Hope the division commanders take every precaution to avoid past mistakes in this sector. Looks like Pooneryn will fall before Killinochchi and Mankulam.

cable said...

Thanks Long ranger perfectly understood

nemesis said...

A masterpiece as always LR! Thanks,

You ought to be given a chair at the Chief of staff's map room!!

Btw, Don’t you think the 57th is holding a line a bit large considering the terrain they have, It must be quite a logistics efforts to keep the lads in front supplied around the clock. Some officers I speak to still complain that there is a lack of available ISR over the battlefield edge, and that it takes ages to run through the lines of command to get a UAV or some recon platform airborne to have a look see.

Don’t you think it would have been useful if the army was allocated some (at least a hand full) of TUAV’s (crewed & serviced by SLAF boys; we don’t what the air staff pulling their hair off in protest at this stage now do we?) kept under the Div’ GOC’s banner so that as required “real time” big picture comes in,

It’ll also make our batteries and MRL’s more accurate and allow us to do battle damage assessment on the go.

Well I guess we didn’t have enough in the piggy bank for it..or may be there were too many long faces from the flyboys? Darn!!

Long - Ranger said...

Katch,

"Since the big guns have been moved out of K point in Poonaryn, why can't the 53 & 55 come down to EPS without incurring high casualties"

The big guns causing the bulk of casualties in previous MUHAMALE episodes is a misconception. The bulk of the casualties of the previous engagements were courtesy of 120mm/122mm units. Splash damage of one shell of such units can account for around a dozen casualties if lands in close proximity to troops. The 130mm howitzers were primarily used to engage rear support units of SLA while the 122/120/82mm units engaged the forward units.

In addition there's the defence in depth factor. This increases the distance the attackers must travel for a breakthrough. The essential doctrine for a defender in such a scenario is depth, reserves anf counterattack which the Tamil Tigers successfully carried out in 3 previous occassions. Refer to my El-alamein brief for a detailed brief. You will find your answers there. :-)

Long - Ranger said...

Nemesis,

"You ought to be given a chair at the Chief of staff's map room"

Interesting thought...

"Don’t you think the 57th is holding a line a bit large considering the terrain they have, It must be quite a logistics efforts to keep the lads in front supplied around the clock."

The current 'word' is to station a logistics base or bases and disperse the logistics hence avoiding all eggs in one basket. How this pans out remains to be seen.

"Some officers I speak to still complain that there is a lack of available ISR over the battlefield edge, and that it takes ages to run through the lines of command to get a UAV"

C4ISR as it is now called certainly is a problem, and I agree with your view. The biggest drawback as I see it is financial as well as limitations in doctrine and assets.

With the lack of assets, it always boils down to who gets the priority. To decide the priority and optimise the C4ISR it always falls on the lap of the SLAF, particularly on the FAC - Forward Air Controller.

However, things are improving. After much discussion two MI24s are assigned for CAS purposes along with a capable FAC.

As the USSOCOM - Special Operations Command- does SLA will require both man-portable and endurance systems for the man-portable systems lack the required endurance.

Long - Ranger said...

SLDF,

"Apart from the weather constrains I'd would like see SLAF playing a more offensive role complementing Army operations on LTTE positions."

In the same vein one must comprehend the limitations of air power as well. For example despite three days of extensive bombing by USAF at Bai Beche in Afghanistan failed to stop the Al-Qaeda fighters from pushing back General Dostum's Northern Alliance in November 2001. Similarly the 2002 operation ANACONDA, only ground incursions revealed Al-Qaeda hideouts despite an extensive prebattle recon effort.

Hence one must allow limitations on part of the SLAF which can boast only around 5-10% of the recon ability of the Allied forces in Afghanistan.

Patriot said...

Long-ranger,

Couple of questions regarding Maj. Gen Perera that always bothers me,
1. Why he joins the UNP (most disgusting party for me)
2. Why he couldn’t join the present military and
3. Apart from the main question do we have a veteran panel to assess the war time to time like
- What weapons & gears are suitable, what operation to carryout, what technologies should use etc… (Basically to take good decisions)

Katch said...

Thanks Ranger, Certainly gives me a better idea of the national front.

CASC said...

Thanks for your insightful article.

Side Effect said...

nice post, as usual :)

Long - Ranger said...

Hello All,

Many many months ago I posted the below words to a fellow blogger.

"Moshe Dyan,

Like I said to a pro-Tami Tiger member earlier

If the Tamil Tigers were only interested in making the Zling 143s to land at the Iranamadu airstrip it does not need to be a tarmac with centreline and threshold markings. Meaning it was prepared for much larger aircraft with much larger endurance in mind. I believe your little organisation is resourceful. It would not spend such resources and time on a white elephant.

Another pointer to note, the arrest of Victor Bout, even though not deemed 'significant' with regards to Sri Lanka according to the media, I hear otherwise."

http://defencewire.blogspot.com/2008/03/su-25-frogfoot-flying-tank.html

And now Jane's has revealed a similar theory.

http://www.janes.com/news/security/countryrisk/jir/jir081113_1_n.shtml

Long - Ranger said...

I also revealed on the same day;

Some interesting exerpts from the Charge list compiled by the US Department of Justice

"At that time, BOUT requested
SMULIAN and CS-1 to fly from Bulgaria over Chechnya, and to air
drop crates and boxes over Chechnya. While never explicitly told what was inside the crates, CS-1 understood that the crates contained arms shipments."

"On or about January 28, 2008, at the direction of the DEA, CS-1 and CS-2 met with ANDREW SMULIAN, the defendant, in Bucharest again. During the meeting, which was recorded, SMULIAN provided CS-2 with a digital memory stick, which is an electronic device used to store digital information, that contained the following:
1 an article about VIKTOR BOUT, a/k/a "Boris," a/k/a "Victor Anatoliyevich Bout," a/k/a "Victor But," a/k/a "Viktor Budd," a/k/a "Viktor Butt," a/k/a "Viktor Bulakin," a/k/a "Vadim Markovich Aminov," the defendant, which includes a photograph of BOUT; and

2 documents containing photographs and specifications for the Igla surface-to-air missiles and armor piercing rocket launchers that SMULIAN had previously said BOUT could provide."

For the interested the full document can be found:

http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2008/March/
bout-complaint.pdf

A pretty interesting read. :-)

mboi said...

hi long ranger,

so victor bout was captured earlier this year in thailand. was that at the same time when there was a rumor that the chief weapons procurer for the ltte was capture by thai police, and a few days later we heard that they never captured him or he escaped? was there any connection between the two or was it all just a hoax?

nemesis said...

Thanks Long ranger,

Interesting indeed, I’m sure you would do a good job there (at the C-f-Staff's that is..unless you have been there before ;)

Glad to hear logistics is decentralized behind our lines to offer flexibility and survivability.

Yes it would be wise for the SLA to acquire some Man portable short range UAV's for their own use for real time and the works, It would cost around $1~3 mil to equip the
Current offensive Div's with several systems (basic versions, handful) . NZ and others have also got them in the last few years. But I guess the FAC’s will have to do for the time being; too bad the tigers fried those new TUAV’s at anuradhapura eh? :(

The two Mi-24 for on call CAS must be welcome by the lads, we should have assigned some in to “Army Liaisons” role and had a few light AC for observation/FAC duties like the Bird dogs in WWII (L-3’s) or the O-2’s in Nam, sad to hear the O-2 we had are not serviceable (Not sure) or they could have fit the bill and done a good job at it too.. I was also impressed how the Rhodesian’s and French used it in COIN role. But I guess with the current “TAF” threat sending up single props might be a bit confusing in the current state, with our fire discipline and the over eagerness to bring one down..it might lead to a blue on blue!

Interesting stuff on victor… and I agree tiger had more in mind when they took time and trouble to pave that long runway, perhaps an old AN-12 cub or Coke?? One flight could bring them close to 5-10 tons of cargo..and all the MANPADS’s they need to make the SLAF jittery. We should also keep an eye on the lagoons and lakes, there are a few float planes and amphibians around and too many shady companies to operate them :)

Something seems to be stirring in the east as well; we need a thorough janitorial job there and fast!

Ranil said...

"You ought to be given a chair at the Chief of staff's map room"

well my guess LR is already there :)

nemesis said...

ranil,

:) yes that did cross my mind, or perhaps had been there..

Kalugalle said...

HELLO LR!
Found your Blog about 3 1/2 weeks ago.

'BATTLE IS WON BEFORE THE WAR BEGINS' Excellent analysis & Synthesis...
YES! It appears that the lion is really awake now - laying down the law of the jungle - justice and peace to our Mother Land-Sri Lanka.
My deepest appreciation to you all.

Also If I may add a comment on your
Saturday, 11 October 2008
Farewell General Sir...It is One of the best Captivating, moving. touching tribute....
sometime ago..I dreamed the leader of UNP asking the General why he wants the job of the Leader of the opposition. General's aid said 'Oh he does not want your job - he wants to be the leader of the UNP'



BLESSINGS; ISAIAH

Adrenaline_Grin said...

Nice work as always, Ranger. Spot on again. Pooneryn's in safe hands now. What next?

Cheers!

Anu said...

Lone Ranger, thanks for the excellent analysis.

As you may have heard, SLA captured Pooneryn today. I hhave been peering through all the media reports to see what happened to the howitzers and other artillery that the LTTE had positioned there.

Where they destroyed (SLA and SL-Air Force) or were those re-located?

Is the SLA going to march all the way to k-point? How are the LTTE artillery positions at k-point being supplied? From elephant pass across the Jaffna lagoon?

Eveyone seems to think that the focus should be on Killinochchi. I have read military statements about Mankulam and the majority of your readers (far more astute about these things than I am) seem to think its Paranthan. THen we have the so called defense expert (journalists) claiming that SLA will capture Elephant Pass.

I am interested to know what you are thinking the next step is.

I have also read that the reason the army has not marched shouthbound accross elephant pass is due to the k-point arti positions, so does negating the k-point arti positions open up that front?

Would Nagar Kovil and Champiayanpattu be captured before proceeding from the Muhamali front?


Thanks again for your excellent work....

waruna said...

Hi Long Ranger

Do you have any news about Muhamalai Offensive?

Pls Update

Thanks

Bomb Jack said...

Been an avid reader since I came across this via milblogging. I recall deaned teasing you if Wanni had wifi. That was a good laugh.

I think the Ranger has been quite the teaser revealing what's impending. If you read the ending punchlines of the last two articles, they both mention the North flaring up.

(As each day passes by, as troops inch closer and closer towards KILINOCHCHI and POONERYN, the day the premier battle hardened offensive divisions 53 and 55 will unleash itself is not far off)

(With the current mood among troops operating various crumbling operations at the National Front translating to something like "if we breakthrough, only 59 will stop us", the day the national front will flare up again is not far off).

Katch said...

Hi Ranger,

You were spot on about the difficulties of advancing from the National front in spite of the big guns missing from K point.
We have taken casualties there from what I hear :(

Looking forward to your next article. Thanks for the great work.

cable said...

LongRanger,

Today it was announced that Army has captured the 1st FDL in Muhamali & kilali. When we did this before LTTE used to launch mortars/arti continously with the help of well defined grid maps of their own FDL and Army had to abandon them due to casualties by Arty/mortar fire. Arent they firing mortars now? if so how are we holding on could you explain the difference between previous attempts and present situation

Moshe Dyan said...

thank you long ranger.

i remember that, mate.
time did tell this time!!

keep up the good work.

Sri Lankikaya said...

Long ranger

where are you? we are all waiting and waiting and waiting

Constantin Demiris said...

Its kind of weird when all the blogs go silent at the same time.

annonymous said...

Wouldn’t there be a massive counter attack east of paranthan and west of pudukuduirippu
West flank of kumulamunai
Infiltrated foraging attack on interior in west of A9, and through A9
Seaborne attack from tamilnadu at Mannar
One or few simultaneously when they are hard pressed

Long - Ranger said...

Hello All,

I will update the portal with another brief soon which hopefully will answer any outstanding questions.

During the last few weeks heavy volumes of civilians have been crossing into GOSL territory. This is mainly due to Tamil Tiger defences that kept the civilian movement in check crumbling due to operation further North courtesy of TFIII and II. It also must be noted the diligent services provided by the Engineers in clearing forest tracks. As I've said before filtering out civilians is equally important in COIN operations. With the dwindling population in mind the Tamil Tigers have only one option left for a counterattack that could tip the balance in their favor: JAFFNA. JAFFNA holds a larger civil population base. With the inherent risk of a counterattack and the attrition that comes with it, the Tamil Tigers can easily replenish its cadre base and assets (via TN)once they are in the peninsula.

This is why I earlier briefed you all with "Tamil Tigers' worst nightmare: A Counterstrike, too little too late" with a map indicating the 53/55 Divisions having broken through.

Take care all.

londonistan said...

Long Ranger,

One question: Do you think prabakaran will be killed? Certainly he will not surrender or enter the path to democracy (nor will Pottu Amman), there are reports that he has already fled the Wanni. If he has indeed fled, we need to start Mossad-style operations... i fear that is the future (both for Sri Lanka and India... seek out the perpetrators where ever they are and end them before they have a chance to strike home.