Major General John Holmes: EXPERT MILITARY REPORT, 28 March 2015
- His page numbers are in RED on the left bottom of each page … followed by a line to indicate the end of that page
- His FOOTNOTE REFERENCES at the bottom of some pages are presented in purple italics
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I proceed, here, to extract motifs from the details on the happenings in 2009 within the principle theatre of war that have been summarized in Gash IV. This arena has been aptly identified as “the Vanni Pocket” by Serge de Silva-Ranasinghe and is in the north western corner of the island. My comments will be marked A, B, C, etc for ease of reference.
Situation Map, 2 February 2009
A= The Grand Strategy of the LTTE
In his secret situation report of the 28th January, Lt. Col. Gash notes: “The LTTE appear to have no options left, and the language on TamilNet and other similar platforms is clearly striving for international intervention to force a ceasefire on the GoSL. Further civilian casualties are now inevitable as they no longer have options to move away from the combat zone. Without the presence of the IDPs the LTTE would be subjected to unrestricted air and artillery strikes, so have no incentive to release them. The SLA is exercising restraint but, without a change in political mood, will not hold back entirely.”
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As evident then and as confirmed by subsequent accounts, during the last phase of Eelam War IV from circa December 2008 segments of the corralled Tamil population began to rebel against the privations and dangers they were being subjected to by the LTTE’s grand strategy. While a considerable section of the people remained loyal to the LTTE to the very end, others secured release from their situation through the efforts of international agencies working in cooperation with the LTTE and involving the ICRC acting in concert with the Sri Lankan Navy and the Red Cross.
Also see Roberts: TPS. Pictorial. Fig. 95 and its details
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Shenali D Waduge, reproducing here an old article in Lankaweb from 22 December 2013 which I had not seen even though I had interacted closely with Murali in Colombo in May-June 2009 (as well as subsequently) and been commissioned to write pieces for Frontline; while also been privileged to chat with Kanchan Prasad in mid-2010 after Murali introduced me to her, after which I gained access to her invaluable snaps of the Nandikadal war zone. These I placed in a special site, viz. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thuppahi/sets/72157626797805167/ et seq.
Waduge’s article is entitled “Sri Lanka’s War had Witnesses : Indian Journalist B. Murali Reddy”. In the reproduction below, the highlighting in red [as distinct from black] is my imposition as Editor, Thuppahi. Also see my SPECIAL NOTE at the end
Murali at entrance to LTTE bunker hospital at Last Redoubt –Pic by Kanchan Prasad
Firstly Sri Lanka’s war did have witnesses. The witnesses were however NOT – Gordon Weiss, Francis Harrison, Channel 4, the Darusman Panel, Charles Petrie and a whole list of others who have promoted themselves as witnesses when they are not because they were never inside the war zone. They were only passing between themselves a version they have contrived that fits well within a different agenda that has nothing to do with what they claim it is. Questioning their credibility further is their sources – who happen to all be pro-LTTE. However, there was a witness throughout. He was foreign and his name is B. Muralidhar Reddy, an Indian journalist working for The Hindu/Frontline and his account “Final Hours – An eyewitness account of the last 70 hours of Eelam War IV’ gives a real eyewitness account of what he himself saw. http://www.frontline.in/static/html/fl2612/stories/20090619261200900.htm Continue reading
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