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Archive for September 11th, 2009

The necessity  of a Sri Lanka counter-insurgency operations institute

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has been considered as one the most  ruthless terrorist organizations in the world. But  almost four months ago they were  successfully defeated  by the Sri Lankan armed forces. This success is the main talking point presently among international and local defence circles who believe that    the unique strategies adopted by  the Sri Lankan armed forces  was the chief reason for victory .

Many powerful nations, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, China, Pakistan and India  are extremely anxious at the moment  to learn from Sri Lanka the new strategies introduced and put into operation in the battlefront by the  armed forces.

At the 6th Pacific Army Chiefs’ conference (PAAC VI) held recently  a number of powerful nations expressed their eagerness  to obtain information on this success from the Sri Lankan armed forces

The Sixth Pacific Army Chiefs’ Conference, held in Tokyo, Japan (24-27 August) was co-hosted by the USA and Japan. It was attended by 22 Army Chiefs from Asia Pacific countries, including Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the US.

Sri Lanka Army Chief Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya during his participation in the Conference held a record thirteen bilateral discussions with participating  other Chiefs of respective armies .

On his return he said that many participating Army Chiefs after taking stock of the successful completion of the Wanni humanitarian operations expressed their keen interest in a future military academia on Sri Lanka as a case study.

The participants expressed their desire to send high level military groups to Sri Lanka for this purpose.  The military chiefs also received a detailed account of the conduct of the insurgency operations and the victory won over LTTE terrorism from the visiting Commander of the Sri Lanka Army. The enthusiasm of these countries to obtain information on the military strategies adopted by Sri Lanka in their battle against terrorism showed how important the Sri Lanka armed forces initiatives  had been

A senior defence official at the Defence Ministry claimed that there were many request from these nations who were willing to make payment if Sri Lanka would  divulge these strategies  to them.

However, Sri Lanka has not formulated a plan to ‘sell’ these strategies to world, but continues sharing information free of charge.

Currently dozens of foreign military personnel are in Sri Lanka studying the strategies that the Sri Lanka military adopted  during the war  Although the Army Chief Jayasuriya  has on an earlier occasion told the media that there are plans to dissiminate,for a financial consideration, information on  the strategies adopted in the war against terrorism, still no proper plans have been finalized

South Africa, has a separate institute to educate any governments ,groups or individuals worldwide about the non- violent methods they adopted throughout their struggle. But this institute provides the  information on payment of a fee.  And by this method of payment  the institute and the South African government earns  a large sum of money.

If Sri Lanka had such a fee levying institute  many nations would be interested in making use of its services to obtain  information regarding the strategies and the latest military tactics adopted by the Sri Lankan armed forces   to defeat terrorism. Soon after assuming duties as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya said that since the world’s focus was  on Sri Lanka’s methodology  to win the war many countries would be keen to learn the Sri Lankan military training and planning methods . He commented that earlier, the world’s powerful militaries  used as guidelines  and training methods those used  by the British troops to suppress the Malay insurgency .

Although many armies in the world had during the 20th century and in the present century been engaged in many wars , including the Vietnam war, the Korean war, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,the suppression of the Malay  insurgency is yet considered as the most successful military operation.

Due to this belief  in almost every military training institute in the world, the methodology used in suppressing the   Malay insurgency is considered  as the main subject  of study. Recently , the army Chief had said that Pakistan has sought training in counter-insurgency operations from Sri Lanka.

Admiral (retd) Wasantha Karannagoda, a former Sri Lankan Navy chief and currently the National Security Adviser, had said at an international naval seminar in Britain, that the strategies and tactics adopted by the Sri Lankan Navy to tackle the LTTE’s naval arm could be of use to other countries. This is  because in the conflicts of the future, the navy would be facing not battleships and destroyers but small and fast boats of non-state rogue navies which would be engaged in insurgencies, piracies and trafficking of various kinds, Karannagoda had added.

Whenever Sri Lankan high-ranking  military  officials visit other countries for studies or any other official work, there has  been an overwhelming demand for them to provide a  briefing  about how the  military successfully dealt with terrorism

This is due to the fact that in the Sri Lanka army, small group operations and the navy’s special Boat Squadron operations, played a very significant role against the Tamil Tigers.

Considering these facts, the government and the Ministry of Defence should take action to set up an  institute similar to that in South Africa which will provide training and strategic information  on  counter insurgencies operations to foreign nations . Another point is that there should be a plan to create a think-tank with the officers, who had carried out these strategies. Ten years ago when the Sri Lankan Army celebrated  its fiftieth anniversary, the army released a book containing the history and other military operations of the Sri Lankan Army However, many defence analysts claim that the book had  not recorded  most of the secret operations  carried out by the army and had not given proper coverage to  the war..

A senior military intelligence officer said that most of the army officers, who played a major role in the battle field  had  information about the secret military operations.  But no one had approached  them to get this information for future reference. Since most of them knew only of their specific role,  a centralized military authority should combine and collate their information and make it available   so that even if some officer leaves the country the future generations would know  of the strategies of the military operations.

However, if the authorities do  not take immediate action to address this issue, and that of setting up a counter – insurgency operations institute , foreign nations will make use of Sri Lanka’s strategies and  come up with their own institutes in the future .

The Malayan Insurgency

(1948 – 60) A period of unrest following the creation of the Federation of Malaya (precursor of Malaysia) in 1948. The Communist Party of Malaya, which was mostly Chinese, was alarmed at the special guarantees of rights for Malays (including the position of sultans) and began a guerrilla insurgency, which was supported by only a minority of the Chinese. British efforts to suppress the insurgency militarily were unpopular, especially their relocation of rural Chinese into tightly controlled ‘New Villages’; when the British addressed political and economic grievances, the rebels became increasingly isolated, and the emergency ended.

Malaya, 1948-1960

The Malayan Emergency was declared by Britain in response to an insurgent movement launched by the Malayan Communist Party (MCP), whose guerrilla forces were labelled communist terrorists or CTs. The British exercised hegemony over the region as the result of treaties of protection that were negotiated with local Malay rulers beginning in 1874. A number of these principalities were banded together in 1896 to form the Federated Malay States. Malaya, like other parts of Southeast Asia, was occupied by the Japanese during World War II.

This hiatus in colonial rule had serious implications for Malaya-as well as for French Indochina and the Dutch East Indies-with the rise of communist and nationalist movements. British control was restored in 1945 with an eye toward eventual decolonization. Even though the British initially legalized MCP activities, the communists rejected a proposal in 1947 to establish the Federation of Malaya. When all the Malay states-save for Singapore-became part of the federation in the next year, the communists charged that Britain wanted to exclude them from power by manipulating the independence process. The MCP leader, Chin Peng, advocated an immediate armed revolt. The insurgency began with the murders of three British rubber planters in June 1948. The Emergency was declared two days later. A force of between 10,000 and 12,000 guerrillas targeted civilians indiscriminately to cripple the ability of the colonial authorities to maintain order.

After initial setbacks, the British adapted a wide range of civil-military initiatives, including the Briggs Plan-a massive resettlement of thousands of people from jungle areas where they were vulnerable to guerrilla intimidation to the relative security of new villages.

Britain also prepared the local people for independence, which was granted in August 1957. By 1960, the Emergency was practically over and only scattered remnants of the once formidable guerrilla forces remained, mostly in secluded areas near the border with Thailand. The Malayan government finally declared the end of the Emergency in July 1960.

In September 1963, Malaysia came into being, consisting of the Federation of Malaya, the State of Singapore, and the colonies of North Borneo (now Sabah) and Sarawak. Britain relinquished sovereignty over Singapore, North Borneo, and Sarawak from independence day and extended the 1957 defense agreement with Malaya to apply to Malaysia. In August 1965, by mutual agreement, Singapore seceded from Malaysia and became a separate nation.

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The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has been considered as one the most  ruthless terrorist organizations in the world. But  almost four months ago they were  successfully defeated  by the Sri Lankan armed forces. This success is the main talking point presently among international and local defence circles who believe that    the unique strategies adopted by  the Sri Lankan armed forces  was the chief reason for victory .

Many powerful nations, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, China, Pakistan and India  are extremely anxious at the moment  to learn from Sri Lanka the new strategies introduced and put into operation in the battlefront by the  armed forces.

At the 6th Pacific Army Chiefs’ conference (PAAC VI) held recently  a number of powerful nations expressed their eagerness  to obtain information on this success from the Sri Lankan armed forces

The Sixth Pacific Army Chiefs’ Conference, held in Tokyo, Japan (24-27 August) was co-hosted by the USA and Japan. It was attended by 22 Army Chiefs from Asia Pacific countries, including Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the US.

Sri Lanka Army Chief Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya during his participation in the Conference held a record thirteen bilateral discussions with participating  other Chiefs of respective armies .

On his return he said that many participating Army Chiefs after taking stock of the successful completion of the Wanni humanitarian operations expressed their keen interest in a future military academia on Sri Lanka as a case study.

The participants expressed their desire to send high level military groups to Sri Lanka for this purpose.  The military chiefs also received a detailed account of the conduct of the insurgency operations and the victory won over LTTE terrorism from the visiting Commander of the Sri Lanka Army. The enthusiasm of these countries to obtain information on the military strategies adopted by Sri Lanka in their battle against terrorism showed how important the Sri Lanka armed forces initiatives  had been

A senior defence official at the Defence Ministry claimed that there were many request from these nations who were willing to make payment if Sri Lanka would  divulge these strategies  to them.

However, Sri Lanka has not formulated a plan to ‘sell’ these strategies to world, but continues sharing information free of charge.

Currently dozens of foreign military personnel are in Sri Lanka studying the strategies that the Sri Lanka military adopted  during the war  Although the Army Chief Jayasuriya  has on an earlier occasion told the media that there are plans to dissiminate,for a financial consideration, information on  the strategies adopted in the war against terrorism, still no proper plans have been finalized

South Africa, has a separate institute to educate any governments ,groups or individuals worldwide about the non- violent methods they adopted throughout their struggle. But this institute provides the  information on payment of a fee.  And by this method of payment  the institute and the South African government earns  a large sum of money.

If Sri Lanka had such a fee levying institute  many nations would be interested in making use of its services to obtain  information regarding the strategies and the latest military tactics adopted by the Sri Lankan armed forces   to defeat terrorism. Soon after assuming duties as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Lt. Gen. Jayasuriya said that since the world’s focus was  on Sri Lanka’s methodology  to win the war many countries would be keen to learn the Sri Lankan military training and planning methods . He commented that earlier, the world’s powerful militaries  used as guidelines  and training methods those used  by the British troops to suppress the Malay insurgency .

Although many armies in the world had during the 20th century and in the present century been engaged in many wars , including the Vietnam war, the Korean war, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,the suppression of the Malay  insurgency is yet considered as the most successful military operation.

Due to this belief  in almost every military training institute in the world, the methodology used in suppressing the   Malay insurgency is considered  as the main subject  of study. Recently , the army Chief had said that Pakistan has sought training in counter-insurgency operations from Sri Lanka.

Admiral (retd) Wasantha Karannagoda, a former Sri Lankan Navy chief and currently the National Security Adviser, had said at an international naval seminar in Britain, that the strategies and tactics adopted by the Sri Lankan Navy to tackle the LTTE’s naval arm could be of use to other countries. This is  because in the conflicts of the future, the navy would be facing not battleships and destroyers but small and fast boats of non-state rogue navies which would be engaged in insurgencies, piracies and trafficking of various kinds, Karannagoda had added.

Whenever Sri Lankan high-ranking  military  officials visit other countries for studies or any other official work, there has  been an overwhelming demand for them to provide a  briefing  about how the  military successfully dealt with terrorism

This is due to the fact that in the Sri Lanka army, small group operations and the navy’s special Boat Squadron operations, played a very significant role against the Tamil Tigers.

Considering these facts, the government and the Ministry of Defence should take action to set up an  institute similar to that in South Africa which will provide training and strategic information  on  counter insurgencies operations to foreign nations . Another point is that there should be a plan to create a think-tank with the officers, who had carried out these strategies. Ten years ago when the Sri Lankan Army celebrated  its fiftieth anniversary, the army released a book containing the history and other military operations of the Sri Lankan Army However, many defence analysts claim that the book had  not recorded  most of the secret operations  carried out by the army and had not given proper coverage to  the war..

A senior military intelligence officer said that most of the army officers, who played a major role in the battle field  had  information about the secret military operations.  But no one had approached  them to get this information for future reference. Since most of them knew only of their specific role,  a centralized military authority should combine and collate their information and make it available   so that even if some officer leaves the country the future generations would know  of the strategies of the military operations.

However, if the authorities do  not take immediate action to address this issue, and that of setting up a counter – insurgency operations institute , foreign nations will make use of Sri Lanka’s strategies and  come up with their own institutes in the future .

The Malayan Insurgency

(1948 – 60) A period of unrest following the creation of the Federation of Malaya (precursor of Malaysia) in 1948. The Communist Party of Malaya, which was mostly Chinese, was alarmed at the special guarantees of rights for Malays (including the position of sultans) and began a guerrilla insurgency, which was supported by only a minority of the Chinese. British efforts to suppress the insurgency militarily were unpopular, especially their relocation of rural Chinese into tightly controlled ‘New Villages’; when the British addressed political and economic grievances, the rebels became increasingly isolated, and the emergency ended.

Malaya, 1948-1960

The Malayan Emergency was declared by Britain in response to an insurgent movement launched by the Malayan Communist Party (MCP), whose guerrilla forces were labelled communist terrorists or CTs. The British exercised hegemony over the region as the result of treaties of protection that were negotiated with local Malay rulers beginning in 1874. A number of these principalities were banded together in 1896 to form the Federated Malay States. Malaya, like other parts of Southeast Asia, was occupied by the Japanese during World War II.

This hiatus in colonial rule had serious implications for Malaya-as well as for French Indochina and the Dutch East Indies-with the rise of communist and nationalist movements. British control was restored in 1945 with an eye toward eventual decolonization. Even though the British initially legalized MCP activities, the communists rejected a proposal in 1947 to establish the Federation of Malaya. When all the Malay states-save for Singapore-became part of the federation in the next year, the communists charged that Britain wanted to exclude them from power by manipulating the independence process. The MCP leader, Chin Peng, advocated an immediate armed revolt. The insurgency began with the murders of three British rubber planters in June 1948. The Emergency was declared two days later. A force of between 10,000 and 12,000 guerrillas targeted civilians indiscriminately to cripple the ability of the colonial authorities to maintain order.

After initial setbacks, the British adapted a wide range of civil-military initiatives, including the Briggs Plan-a massive resettlement of thousands of people from jungle areas where they were vulnerable to guerrilla intimidation to the relative security of new villages.

Britain also prepared the local people for independence, which was granted in August 1957. By 1960, the Emergency was practically over and only scattered remnants of the once formidable guerrilla forces remained, mostly in secluded areas near the border with Thailand. The Malayan government finally declared the end of the Emergency in July 1960.

In September 1963, Malaysia came into being, consisting of the Federation of Malaya, the State of Singapore, and the colonies of North Borneo (now Sabah) and Sarawak. Britain relinquished sovereignty over Singapore, North Borneo, and Sarawak from independence day and extended the 1957 defense agreement with Malaya to apply to Malaysia. In August 1965, by mutual agreement, Singapore seceded from Malaysia and became a separate nation.

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De-mining expedited

Sri Lankan police commandos pile up explosive devices that were recovered from former Tamil Tiger controlled areas in Vavuniya, about 230 kilometers (144 miles) northeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009.

The Government has taken the initiative to import more de-mining machines to expedite the de-mining process in the North and to facilitate the speedy resettlement of the displaced civilians now living in welfare centres in the Menik Farm, sources from the Ministry of Nation Building told the Daily News yesterday.

The latest addition to the de-mining activities, five de-mining machines costing Rs. 270 million, will arrive in Sri Lanka from the Republic of Croatia. The five de-mining machines (MV-4 Flail machines) from the Republic of Croatia will be airlifted to Sri Lanka on September 12.

The Police Special Task Force too had engaged in de-mining activities to make the areas in the Vavuniya district safe for the public. The Police Special Task Force engaged in landmine clearing and de-mining operation under the Uthura Vasanthaya program has completed the clearing of a 27 km stretch of road along the Omanthai-Welioya road.

Within a short span of five months, 26,734 anti-personnel mines, 26 land mines, 20 death traps, 31 pressure bomb reels several hard bombs and huge quantity of detonators were removed by the STF team, Officer-in-charge Lal Jayathilake said.

They are now engaged in the operation along the Omanthai-Panikkanai road towards Puliyankulam. Accordingly, the villages of Alankulam, Navakkulum Junction, Sinna Pulleyarkulam.

Kovil Junction, Pulinda Kulam and Nedunkulam along the Omanthai-Welioya road have been made safe areas.

Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Minister Rizard Bathiudeen, Nation Building and Infrastructure Development Ministers Rohitha Abeygunawardena and Minister S.M. Chandrasena are due to receive these five de-mining machines worth Rs.270 million imported from the Republic of Croatia at the Bandaranaike International Airport.

Earlier the Government imported five de-mining machines from Slovakia at a cost of Rs.260 million to expedite the de-mining process in the North.

According to the officials the machines imported will expedite the de-mining activities as only 10 square metres can be de-mined daily through manual work. But these machines can clear 5,000 square metres per day.

“The arrival of these latest machines will expedite the process to speed up the resettlement of displaced civilians in the North with is now at a speedy phase under Uthuru Vasanthaya program implemented by Senior Presidential Advisor and MP Basil Rajapaksa”, Northern Province Governor Major General (Rtd) G.A. Chandrasiri told the Daily News.

He said the Sri Lanka Army and other organizations engaged in de-mining activities have completed the de-mining in the Giant tank area in the Mannar district and handed it over for cultivation.

According to Secretary to Nation Building Ministry W.K.K. Kumarasiri Sri Lanka Army and eight other organisations are engaged in de-mining activities in the North. The work is getting delayed as it is done manually. Meanwhile, the Government is also receiving support from various Governments to expedite the de-mining activities.

The United States is providing training and equipment to the Sri Lanka Army to assist its efforts to de-mine areas in the North.

The training will build additional military capacity to clear mines in the Northern Province and expedite the safe return of people displaced by the war to their homes, a US embassy statement said Wednesday.

The training is being conducted at the Sri Lanka School of Military Engineering at Embilipitiya.

The US Pacific Command also donated personal protection equipment (vest and visors) and de-miner equipment. The cost of the program is estimated to be over $100,000.

This is in addition to the $6.6 million the US recently contributed towards de-mining activities in the Northern Province, which was under LTTE control for years. The Indian Government also sent de-mining teams to Sri Lanka to assist the Sri Lanka Army to expedite the de-mining process.

“This will help the Government to expedite the process of resettling the displaced civilians in their villages within the shortest possible time frame as stipulated by the Government,” the Governor Chandrasiri added.

(Daily News)

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