Major-General Ranjit Nadkarni (Retd)**…… with highlighting emphasis and photographs being the additions by The Editor, Thuppahi.
Introduction: Having read and digested afresh, the article entitled ” How Sri Lanka won the unwinnable war” written by Serge de Silva Ranasinghe and then the lucid thoughts penned by Michael Roberts on this article, I got thinking on what were the issues other than those pertaining to Sri Lanka, which contributed to the defeat of the LTTE and a win for the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. Some of my reflections cover the International Environment prevailing during E War 4; the role played by India, Pakistan and China; the internal environment which dictated success; and the Strategic Blunders of LTTE leading to its defeat. These issues surely and certainly contributed to the winning of the so called unwinnable war’, notwithstanding the kudos heaped on the Sri Lankan Government and Armed Forces by both authors.
Thamililam in late 2007
The International Environment: It is unthinkable that Sri Lanka would have won the E War 4 had the international community especially India not made soft bleating sounds asking for the hostilities to stop. This is so because 32 countries had banned the LTTE and declared it a terrorist group inhibiting a more potent reaction from the Western Countries and the EU. This coupled with a very lukewarm reaction from Asian countries, enabled Sri Lanka to withstand pressure and carry the offensive to its logical conclusion. Continue reading
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Rebecca Puddy in Adelaide, for The Australian, 27 September 2016, where the title is “‘Iron Man’ exoskeletons to give Diggers superhuman strength
Australian troops are set to gain superhero strength, with trials of the latest powered titanium exoskeletons likely to take place next year. Australian Defence Apparel chief executive Matthew Graham said the technology, which is being developed with the US Army’s elite special operations command, could then be rolled out to the general army in 2018. The custom-made titanium suit clips around the body, with its spine taking the weight of a soldier’s pack.
Victoria Cross recipient Dan Keighran with Australian Defence Apparel CEO Matt Graham in Melbourne. Picture: Aaron Francis
“Version one is not powered but we are currently working on a powered version for the US,” he said. “In the US, it’s called the Iron Man Project.” The powered suits sense muscle reflexes and activate to take the weight of the soldier’s movement. While the company featured its exoskeleton at a major gathering of military and defence industries in Adelaide this month, it could not be photographed, Mr Graham said. Australian war hero and winner of the Victoria Cross Dan Keighran said soldiers bore long-term physical damage from carrying packs that sometimes weighed more than their body weight. “Your knees and joints do suffer,” he said. “This technology doesn’t take away from any danger and as a soldier you’re still vulnerable. But where this will help is getting casualties out of hot zones, letting us do our job faster and being used for rehabilitation.”
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Shanika Sriyananda, courtesy of DailyFT, 7 September 2016, which carries the title “The Road to Nandikadal”... and also in http://sangam.org/road-nandikadalmaj-gen-kamal-gunaratne/. ..…Note that the highlighting is embellishment by The Editor, Thuppahi
Battle-hardened soldier Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne, who has shed his Army uniform which he wore for 35 years, yesterday urged political leaders of the country to maintain the hard-earned peace. Maj. Gen. Gunaratne, who is credited for commanding his troops of the 53 Division to fight the 45-minute final battle of the Eelam IV war, which killed LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and put the curtains down on the 30-year-long war against LTTE terrorism, will be launching his memoir ‘Road to Nandikadal’ today (6) at his alma mater, Ananda College. In an exclusive interview with the Daily FT, he explained the historical failures that led the LTTE to become a stronger fighting force, the motive of writing of his memoir, the downfall of the LTTE, transforming the SLA to a victorious Army, allegations on human rights abuses and the last days of the final battle. “I wrote this book for the poor parents who sent their sons to fight with the ruthless LTTE, the elite people in Colombo and abroad and the human rights activists, who were misled by a wrong picture about the our soldiers and the war,” he said, adding that he doesn’t want his memories to be buried with him after his retirement. Maj. Gen. Gunaratne said that for the LTTE to make a comeback with the same vigour it needed a leader like Prabhakaran, who was an equally committed, dedicated, disciplined and ruthless terrorist leader.
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The US-based Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI), engaged in provision of technical support for clearance of landmines world-wide, has selected the Sri Lanka Army’s Mine Detection Dog (MDD), Alvin and its handler, Lance Corporal G.N.W.M Nawarathne of 7 Field Engineer Regiment, Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE) as the MLI’s ‘Team of the Year – 2016’ to receive the MDD Award of the Year – 2016 during the ‘Clearing the Path’ Gala celebration on 26 October 2016 in Washington, DC. The two-member Army de-mining team, Alvin and its handler, Lance Corporal Nawarathne has been working together to-date since 28 December 2011, having de-mined approximately a land area of 73,340 sqm in the North and East. Their operations have so far recovered 20 Rocket Propeller Grenades (RPGs), 48 grenades, 137 Anti Personnel Mines (APMs), 24 unexploded ordnance, 18 detonators and 243 ammunition and other explosive remnants of the war. Continue reading
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Michael Roberts, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph
General Ratwatte in 1990s
President Kumaratunga in BBC Interview at the end of 1999
Preamble: When Generals Perera and Fonseka laid out contingency plans to evacuate the Jaffna Peninsula in April/May 2000 and appear to have been in panic, General Anuruddha Ratwatte, who was President Kumaratunga’s uncle and chief security advisor, stood sturdy and refused to countenance the planned evacuation of all troops from the Jaffna Peninsula.
Ratwatte had been among the chief architects of the disastrous military strategies in the period 1995-2000. But no one would dispute his fearlessness. On this occasion in 2000 the bravado was backed with political sense: when President Chandrika Kumaratunga (CBK) caved in on the 18th May 2000 and accepted the request from the Overall Commander in Jaffna, General Janaka Perera, to sign the evacuation plans (via VVT and Point Pedro) drawn up with guidance from his immediate deputy, General Sarath Fonseka, Ratwatte asserted that such a step would be the end of Sri Lanka.
SLA RM 70s firing
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Michael Roberts, reviewing Sri Lanka Armoured Corps. Sixty Years of History, 1955-2015 by Dr. Jagath Senaratne
Sri Lanka Armoured Corps. Sixty Years of History, 1955-2015 prepared meticulously by Jagath Senaratne (Colombo, 2015) is a substantial volume of 346 pages which will dominate any book shelf in ways reminiscent of armoured vehicles on parade grounds. Insofar as military histories are unfamiliar terrain for aficianados in the Sri Lankan book world, it is hoped that this tome will be an eye-opener.
The numerous images which adorn the book will certainly attract interest. Of particular significance are the graphic maps in colour that provide details of particular battlefield situations. These are supported by a number of striking and useful photographs. It is an alarming fact of the power-plays in the world order dominated by the self-appointed “international community” (read as “cabal”) marshalled by the West that serious studies of Eelam War IV have been assembled by so called “experts” (for instance, the UN Panel that is sometimes identified as the “Darusman Panel”) who are raw amateurs in battlefield experience – individuals whose office-room outlook was further clouded by total unfamiliarity with the Sri Lankan landscape. Continue reading
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I. Pepe Escobar: “Who’s Pivoting Where in Eurasia?” 18 May 2014, .… Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch.
Consider this: our advanced robotic creatures, those drone aircraft grimly named Predators and Reapers, are still blowing away human beings from Yemen to Pakistan. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is now testing out a 14,000-pound drone advanced enough to take off and land on its own on the deck of an aircraft carrier — no human pilot involved. (As it happens, it’s only a “demonstrator” and, at a cost of $1.4 billion, can’t do much else.) While we’re talking about the skies, who could forget that the U.S. military is committed to buying 2,400 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, already dubbed, amid cost overruns of every sort, “the most expensive weapons system in history.” The bill for them: nearly $400 billion or twice what it cost to put a man on the moon. Continue reading
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