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Tigers in Dunkirk-type evacuation from Jaffna Peninsula

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Operation Dynamo” was the codename for the successful exercise that succeeded in evacuating trapped soldiers from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk in France in May-June 1940 during world war two.

I don’t usually like to compare battles fought by the Sri Lankan armed forces against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) to those of world war one and two.

When comparisons were made between the fight for Kilinochchi and the siege of Stalingrad, I pointed out that the similarity was only superficial and that equating both amounted to the fallacy of false analogy.

It is with some reluctance therefore that I invoke “Dunkirk” to describe an event unfolding in the Jaffna peninsula right now. But then I do see shades of Dunkirk there!

Dunkirk harbour wall

[Dunkirk harbour wall at sunset-by Roland Ellison]

What happened in world war two was that the rapidly advancing German army had separated and cut off the Allied army confronting it in France and Belgium.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of stranded soldiers from Britain, France and Canada retreated for three days and were trapped in a coastal strip of land extending from Dunkirk in France to Poperinge in Belgium.

It was then that the British launched the massive “Operation Dynamo” to evacuate trapped soldiers from Dunkirk across the English channel to British shores.

In a nine-day exercise from May 26th-June 4th , 42 British naval vessels and 860 other smaller ships and boats called the “Little ships” engaged in maritime evacuation.

The so-called “Little Ships” comprised fishing boats, pleasure cruisers and commercial vessels manned by civilian volunteers.

Together they made several trips back and forth facing great danger and brought back to safety 338, 226 soldiers.

These included 45,000 men of the elite British Expeditionary Force who later went on to accomplish many spectacular feats.

Earlier it was feared that the entirety of trapped soldiers would be killed or imprisoned by the Germans.

British Prime minister Winston Churchill warned the house of commons to expect” hard and heavy tidings”. Later he called it a “miracle of deliverance”

When the British press portrayed the Dunkirk evacuation as a “Disaster turned to Triumph” the realistic Churchill was to caution “We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory.Wars are not won by evacuations”.

The Dunkirk evacuation is now embedded in British national memory. The phrase “Dunkirk spirit” is descriptive of the British people’s ability to face up collectively to impending disaster and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

What is going on in the Jaffna peninsula now (I am writing this on Jan 6 th night) is also an evacuation exercise. It is nowhere near the scale and scope of Dunkirk. But in some ways it amounts to a “kutty” or “punchi” Dunkirk.

Why do I say this? Let me place evnts in perspective:

One of the strongest defence lines maintained by the LTTE is in Jaffna peninsula. This 12 mile long line extends from one coast of the peninsula to the other.

It is along the axis of Kilaly on the west, Muhamaalai in the middle and Nagar Kovil in the east. Soldiers of 53 and 55 divisions are stationed opposite the LTTE forward defence lines.

The 53 and 55 divisions have been conducting several operations in the past to break through LTTE defences. The LTTE has been resisting fiercely.

The tigers have attached tremendous importance to the need to retain their presence and hold in the peninsula. An elaborate system of trenches,bunds and bunkers have been constructed with three lines of defence.

The LTTE’s northern commander “Col” Theepan himself was until recently in the peninsula supervising defences personally.

The LTTE retains areas in the South-west, south, south-east and east of the peninsula. These include the Pachchilaippalli AGA division and parts of the Pallai and Vadamaratchy east AGA divisions.

Once during July-August 2006, the LTTE had deployed nearly 10,000 cadres to this front with ambitious plans of launching a peninsular invasion. This did not materialise.

Later the numbers dwindled to around 6,000 tiger cadres being in the peninsula.

With the tigers coming under increasing military pressure in the northern mainland of Wanni, cadres from the peninsula were transferred to augment fighting formations.

As a result there were only around 3,500 to 4,000 cadres within the peninsula as the year 2008 ended.

Earlier the tigers were able to resist a series of offensives and mini-offensives by the army inside the peninsula.

It was at this juncture that the military balance shifted rapidly in Paranthan-Kilinochchi.

Task Force One or 58 division commanded by Brig. Shavendra Silva succeeded in taking Paranthan on the eve of the new 2009 year.

With that success, the army was in a position to move north towards Elephant Pass.

This, the 58 division did and within a few days moved up to Kurinchatheevu adjacent to the Elephant Pass Isthmus.

As is well known the Elephant pass Isthmus linking Peninsula with mainland by land is of strategic importance and described as the “gateway to Jaffna”.

The LTTE had vacated positions in the mainland areas adjacent to Elephant pass after the fall of Paranthan.

Elephant pass Lagoon on the A9

[Elephant pass Lagoon on the A9-pic: by Parthiban Manoharan]

The army is now in Elephant pass at the southern end of the causeway. Troops are staying put as the tigers have established fresh positions in Northern Elephant pass and are capable of inflicting heavy losses on advancing soldiers.

The tigers however were caught between a rock and a hard place.

It was only a matter of time before the 53 and 55 from the north and 58 from the south would move closer and link up in a pincer-like move called “double envelopement” in military parlance.

This had to happen and was inevitable. The only question was “When”?

Initially, the LTTE seemed to have other plans. Instead of withdrawing from the Peninsula well in advance the LTTE cadres continued to remain there. The tigers seemed determined to resist the army at both ends.

There may also have been contingency plans to move into areas east and south of the Jaffna-Kandy road or A-9 highway and hold on to the region. This would encompass a coastal strip from Thalaiaddy to Chundikulam lagoon.

Another possibility is that the LTTE in an unconventional gambit was thinking of a limited counter-offensive inside the peninsula.

Also a communication “gap” though highly unlikely cannot be ruled out entirely.

Whatever the reason the tiger cadres continued to remain in the peninsula despite the over hanging Damoclean sword .

Suddenly, a change of plan seems to have occurred. “Why” ? is yet an unknown.

[Cattle on Paranthan-Mullaitivu road in the morning-Feb 2005 more Pics: by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai]

A plausible reason may be the belated realisation that the army could move further east of the A-9 in a push parallel to the A-35 or Paranthan-Mullaitheevu road and seal off the coastal areas adjacent to the Chundikulam lagoon.

If and when that happened the existing supply route to the peninsula would be knocked out, rendering entrapped cadres in the peninsula vulnerable.

The series of ground-based drives by soldiers to reach the Kandawalai-Ooriyaan region along the lagoon complicated the situation further.

Meanwhile the 53 and 55 were “revving” up their engines to launch a multi-pronged assault.

Against this backdrop a late decision was probably taken to evacuate. Soon frantic efforts were underway to bring the boys back.

Unlike in Dunkirk there were no civilian volunteers to assist in the efforts. Besides the beleaguered Tamil civilians were in no shape to do so.

So the LTTE began its own “Dunkirk-type” evacuation. Two routes are being used.

One is for the cadres to move eastwards to the Vadamaratchy east coast where sea tiger boats transport them to the Mullaitheevu coast.

The other is for cadres to go to the south-eastern area to a place called Kombaatty and then go across the lagoon to Ooriyaan on the mainland.

There was a time in the nineties of the last century when the people of Jaffna used the Kombaatty-Ooriyaan route to go across and return to the peninsula.

Later another route across the lagoon between Kilaaly in the peninsula and Paranthan Nalloor on the mainland was used.

To strike a personal note there was an occasion in 1986 where I was stranded in Paranthan. I had to reach Jaffna but transport through Elephant Pass was suspended then because of an escalation in the fighting

So some of us went to the Ooriyaan area. Fortunately the waters in the lagoon were shallow. We got into a tractor-trailer. The driver charged 100 rupees per head to go across.

He navigated the vehicle through very shallow waters. At one stage it got bogged down in the mud and all males had to get down and push.

It is this very route which is being used now.

Apparently an LTTE commando unit is engaged in ferrying across trapped cadres in dingy boats and rafts.

Seeing that the withdrawal process had begun the army also began moving. After resisting for hours, the LTTE began retreating from positions along Kilaly and Muhamaalai.

The army moved at least 500 metres and took over vacated LTTE second line of defence positions.

The Army is likely to push forward further in the next few days.

Withdrawing tigers have established a new line of defence in areas north of Puthukkaadu junction on the A-9 highway. Tigers are also sniping from the Pallai area.

Cadres stationed along the Nagar Kovil front continue to remain for now.

Current LTTE resistance is not likely to be durable as it is only a matter of time before the tigers would have to completely withdraw from entrenched positions in the peninsula.

The countdown has begun.

Meanwhile the evacuation goes on like a caricature of Dunkirk.

The Armed forces are shelling the fleeing tigers. Aerial attacks are also on.

Still large numbers of tiger cadres have been evacuated. The remaining cadres would also be evacuated within a day or two.

The resistance being put up now amounts to delaying tactics by the LTTE until cadres are safely relocated.

Howlong the LTTE would try and hold on to positions in the peninsula is not very clear. But it certainly appears that the bulk of cadres stationed in Jaffna are evacuated or will be evacuated.

[Banner by: Foundation for Better Life]

Already the evacuation exercise is being glorified in pro-tiger media as a glorious victory.

The tigers and fellow travellers would do well to remember what Churchill said after the miracle of Dunkirk.

“We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory.Wars are not won by evacuations”. – D. B. S.Jeyaraj

D.B.S. Jeyaraj can be contacted on: dbsjeyaraj@yahoo.com

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65 Comments

  1. One important factor remains unpublished by MCNS or the media is the LTTE weapons captured so far by the SLA.
    Secondly, ten thousand odd school students aren’t allowed to go back to school by LTTE in the wanni who are over 14 years.
    They are given arms training as we speak and they are the future LTTE cadres.
    What this means is that a protracted guerilla war will soon emerge in the “liberated” areas. The south will see more bombings and the SLA will be stretched in resources.
    This also means that the war spendings could escalate to a point where Sri Lanka cannot afford.

  2. Hats off to DBS!. you are reporting as if you are in the field. Your report comes first even before the news published by govt or tigers. Unbelievable!. Keep it up Sir!

  3. Congratulations on your new blog. Wish you happy blogging. Looks like the grand finale will be in Mulathivu.

  4. Good report but how sure are you of this? The LTTE is losing and Eelam is only a pipe dream now; Will VP be caught like Saddam ?

  5. Yea! Yea ! Yea!
    What a crap.!! Here comes the diaspora savior. While LTTE Diaspora is desperate and down DBS comes to save them. Because that will help to keep the money coming.
    DBS don’t trap into LTTE fake salvage missions that never happen or took place. Dangerous thing is you always trying to attach stupid LTTE tactics into some world war event in order to glorify LTTE terrorists. Unfortunately all of those glorified tactics failed in front of brave SL soldiers. “You can fool some people some time but you canno’t fool all the people all the time.!!”

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Another integral part of a blogging is reader comments.There will be a comments section. But bitter experience necessitates some monitoring. That’s the sad part of the blogosphere.
    I will welcome your comments but you do not have to post for the sake of posting or confront me or each other.

    There will be many readers who will definitely have more knowledge about or fresh insights into the subject matter of the respective blogs.

    Please share your knowledge and perspectives. Let’s make it informative and interesting.
    The idea is to have an amiable conversation not an indecent confrontation.
    I think I’ve said enough for now

  6. It’s time LTTE and TNA review their strategy, and of course Sinhalese leaders as well.
    If Tamils (LTTE) has lost militarily, Sinhalese has lost economically.
    🙂

  7. DBSJ,

    Please accept my sincere wishes for the “dbsjeyaraj.com.”

    May you ive long and prosper and write well!

    Best Regards

    Lalith

  8. DBS – you may consider your self an expert but this time tactics have changed man.Just wait and see in the next few months.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Another integral part of a blogging is reader comments.There will be a comments section. But bitter experience necessitates some monitoring. That’s the sad part of the blogosphere.
    I will welcome your comments but you do not have to post for the sake of posting or confront me or each other.

    There will be many readers who will definitely have more knowledge about or fresh insights into the subject matter of the respective blogs.

    Please share your knowledge and perspectives. Let’s make it informative and interesting.
    The idea is to have an amiable conversation not an indecent confrontation.
    I think I’ve said enough for now

  9. The ability of Tamil Tigers to operate as a traditional army force will end by the end of 2009, and they will just have to operate as a hit and run unit just like the rebels in Iraq. How long it will last will depend on the support of the Tamils in the North and East of Sri Lanka. They have to soon take a decision whether to end this 30 year old suffering or to reward this agony to their unborn generations.

  10. hahahha….lieutenant colonel db jeyaraj……thanks for the military insights on the warfront in the north…..

    DBSJ RESPONDS: Please read what I wrote in my inaugural blogI will welcome your comments but you do not have to post for the sake of posting or confront me or each other.There will be many readers who will definitely have more knowledge about or fresh insights into the subject matter of the respective blogs. Please share your knowledge and perspectives. Let’s make it informative and interesting.The idea is to have an amiable conversation not an indecent confrontation.I think I’ve said enough for now.Blogging is an evolving art. A blog is a creation information. So let’s progress together in the coming days and learn from each other

  11. DBJ is revealing his transparencies as usual.

    If these comments are those of an impartial journalist as opposed to someone who is LTTE friendly they have been cleverly worded where transparencies seem to show!

    They also could be those of someone suffering dementia and delusions whose comparative cognizances are steeped in fantasy!

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Another integral part of a blogging is reader comments.There will be a comments section. But bitter experience necessitates some monitoring. That’s the sad part of the blogosphere.
    I will welcome your comments but you do not have to post for the sake of posting or confront me or each other.

    There will be many readers who will definitely have more knowledge about or fresh insights into the subject matter of the respective blogs.

    Please share your knowledge and perspectives. Let’s make it informative and interesting.
    The idea is to have an amiable conversation not an indecent confrontation.
    I think I’ve said enough for now

  12. Still you are thinking of LTTE s fighting back!You are just a puppett of them and talk about Killinochchi will be a Stalingrad for the SL army.You are wrong mister.Your eyes are smoked by LTTE and you are loosing the battle with them. It is just time to realise that SL army is not joking this time as commanders are not like ones who were under traitor Ranil.You can join Piriharan and Thamilselvam soon.Godd luck buddy!

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Another integral part of a blogging is reader comments.There will be a comments section. But bitter experience necessitates some monitoring. That’s the sad part of the blogosphere.
    I will welcome your comments but you do not have to post for the sake of posting or confront me or each other.

    There will be many readers who will definitely have more knowledge about or fresh insights into the subject matter of the respective blogs.
    Please share your knowledge and perspectives. Let’s make it informative and interesting.
    The idea is to have an amiable conversation not an indecent confrontation.
    I think I’ve said enough for now

  13. “To strike a personal note there was an occasion in 1986 where I was stranded in Paranthan. I had to reach Jaffna but transport through Elephant Pass was suspended then because of an escalation in the fighting”

    Its remind us all Tamils crossing the lagoon for almost 3 decades ,When all its going to over,So sad ….

  14. Hats off to DBS. Your reports are credible and timely. You are one of the best journalists covering Eelam War IV.

  15. Keep it up DBS. Inspite of all the critics who don’t like the truth / reality you have done it for years. I hope you will continue for many more years. It is sad the because of one man’s Ruthlesnes and ove confidence on him self the tamils in their mother land are suffering. As Karuna let it out how even Anton Balasingam couldn’t change him(VP) in regards to the peace talk to get to the federal solution. I hope he can pull one suprice for the Tamils sake to push back the GOSL for another peace talk and hopefully the Tamil people around the world can push VP to change his mind. Otherwise we (Tamils( will be second class citizens of SL). Just look at the hill country Tamils to see what will happen to Tamil areas.

  16. Your narration of the 2nd world war is more interesting than what is happening in Jaffna evacuation now.

    Listening to the Tamil Radios in Toronto is a big tamasha nowadays. Not only the evacuation exercises every failure of the LTTE is being glorified as a glorious victory. Listeners are more interested in counting how many SL soldiers are dying but not concerned about their own children back home.

  17. Hey DBs, I love this comparison, I hate to study history. Now think I should have studied history. Because of you, I am interested to learn about past history as well. Well done.

    Now I can see how well those days war was conducted. LTTE should have you on their side to propaganda about our national struggle to International community.

  18. /*
    Listeners are more interested in counting how many SL soldiers are dying but not concerned about their own children back home.
    */

    The death of Sinhalese is the only condition that keeps Tamil cowboys abroad happy. Probably because it gets much needed attention of the Sinhalese. Very soon no will notice any Tamil thanks to these cowboys. Tamil in Sri Lanka will need speak in Sinhalese to get any attention. A kind of ‘Sinhala-Only’ but this time chosen by Tamil cowboys themselves.

  19. Real and good Srilankan born journalist are few and one of them are DBS.
    Others I would say Sivaram Tharaki,Igbal Aththas …
    More realistic writing and match to be true since I aslo been in those area and route he was talking.
    I expect he’ll write some x-ray report about LTTE’s future/activities/rising…etc.
    Is it going to be like ‘broken palmyra’?

  20. Crush all tigers. Even don’t leave a single dust of those bastards. They are the animals who brought bad name for all tamisl.
    Soma

    DBSJ RESPONDS: please read what I wrote in my inaugural blog on this siteI will welcome your comments but you do not have to post for the sake of posting or confront me or each other.There will be many readers who will definitely have more knowledge about or fresh insights into the subject matter of the respective blogs.Please share your knowledge and perspectives. Let’s make it informative and interesting.The idea is to have an amiable conversation not an indecent confrontation.I think I’ve said enough for now.Blogging is an evolving art. A blog is a creation information.So let’s progress together in the coming days and learn from each other

  21. Hei where have you been all these days? We missed you DBS. So what next for the LTTE & the SL ARMY?

    DBSJ RESPONDS: I was here. Where were you?

  22. wht a bull shit just awit and see end of LTTE BASTERD SPOIL THE COUNTRY.

    U GONA ON UR HATS SOON “”” JUST WAIT

    DBSJ RESPONDS: PLease read what I wrote in my inaugural blog on this site” Iwill welcome your comments but you do not have to post for the sake of posting or confront me or each other.There will be many readers who will definitely have more knowledge about or fresh insights into the subject matter of the respective blogs.Please share your knowledge and perspectives. Let’s make it informative and interesting.The idea is to have an amiable conversation not an indecent confrontation.I think I’ve said enough for now. Blogging is an evolving art. A blog is a creation information.So let’s progress together in the coming days and learn from each other”

  23. Dear Jeyaraj,

    From a strategic military perspective your anlysis of the ground situation in Jafna is brilliant. However, please try to understand your comparison of the SLA and LTTE with the German army and the Allied forces are not comparing apples with apples.

    You are very accurate to say that LTTE is trying to buy time in getting reorganised but remember, this time around there facing a different kettle of fish compared to times of previous SLA operations.

    Finally, keep your hopes and use your analytical skills for the betterment of all Srilankans not for individual ethnic groupes in a devided country.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    please note what I wrote about comparing. “I don’t usually like to compare battles fought by the Sri Lankan armed forces against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) to those of world war one and two.When comparisons were made between the fight for Kilinochchi and the siege of Stalingrad, I pointed out that the similarity was only superficial and that equating both amounted to the fallacy of false analogy.

    It is with some reluctance therefore that I invoke “Dunkirk” to describe an event unfolding in the Jaffna peninsula right now. But then I do see shades of Dunkirk there!”

  24. Every thing is going on my stommping ground yes I currently live inU.S.A. I was born in Mulaithevu and live there 18 years some of my most wonderful experiences has come from just taking my bike for stroll.What a beautiful country and what has happen to it??. We need to answer some fundemental questions As citizens of this country how have i and others have contributed to it’s growth and it’s development??it’s sad to say but British occupiers done more to this country than us.I know we like to blame the Britsh for all of this and kept u.s down for long but after getting blown to pieces in the world wars europe and japan were rebuilt within 20 years.When British gave independence sl was the richest colony of all good education system, good infarstructure and so on. Biggest reason for sl ethnic conflict is the cast system and Kids failiure to understand the rootcause of these 99% LTTE cadres were causualties of cast system. When I grew up in the late seveties and eighties I saw the evil of cast system.In the end VP’s only accomplishment will be liberating people from grip of cast system.

  25. Dear DBSJ,

    INteresting analysys.
    I hope that the army could box the Tigers in by getting to the east coast from Paranthan and ask for a mass surrender. But I know this will not happen as the tigers know when to withdraw. But there is no escape from the final box that the army nailing the LTTE in mullaithivu Jungles.

    Looking at the comments, I candt help not to remark that some of the readers here really understand what you wrote.

  26. I like this analysis. I do have some questions and I will appreciate if you enlighten us.
    1) Is there civillians being used as human shield by LTTE in this almost sandwitched Jaffna sector?
    2) Considering over 80% of the LTTE frontline fighters are conscripted mostly youngsters, SLA must be considerate and give them space to retreat. Those poor kids were taken away from their parents much against their wishes. The parents will definetly be thankful to SLA for this humane gesture. Is there any thing like this visible in the northern battle ground?
    Thanks

  27. dbs has given analytical commment about the war.those who oppose have to beat him with a more analytical view. it will enhance the knowledge and intelligence ofthe reader .calling him as tiger can be done by any fool.what can i say about this article is i have doubght about the number of ltte caders mentioned in the article.dbs is trying to give an impression that ltte in wanni wilbe stronger with this influx.

  28. My sympathy to the whole nation!!! I do not for see any bright future to the country, I may not be realistic to those who enjoys arguing for the sake of it, my comment or suggestion is that LTTE shoud by an island and get all tamils and should show the world what they can acheive by building their own nation. I am confident that they can really do well even better than singapore, this will win them elam, just thought of it…. I like to see others comments

  29. The difference is, the British had somewhere to retreat to… where exactly are the LTTE going to go?

    There’s a limit to how far they can “strategically retreat”

    I think it’s definitely time for the the Tamil community to call a stop to VP and his 30 year reign of death and destruction, after all, he hasn’t achieved anything but to put the Eelam cause back to where it started, as a gurrila outfit hiding in the jungles!

  30. I feel your logics is right,but by think nutraly there is going to be a massive dissaster in SLA very soon. “upea rata” will see blod bath.

  31. I am scared to write here but I thought of doing that for the sake of all Sri Lankans. In another web site there is a poignant photo of a crouching “Lion” by the side of a fallen “Tiger”. I felt very sad for the both as well as my country. VP has wasted lives and money and SL politicians have driven the nation to no where. The President has to be commended for the singlemided purpose of defeating LTTE but it would take a real Statesman in him to lead our nation to be One and the Same for everyone. I believe our Tamil compatriots are equal to our Sinhala, Muslim, Bugher, Malay compatriots. All of us should have the freedom to be Sri Lankans and enjoy the company of diversity. Thanks DBS for the blog: good analysis and the space for a Sinahala, Buddhist to express his views.

  32. Hi DBS,
    You are absolutely right in your analysis. I can see that you know the terrain very well and this helps you in predicting the events to happen. Unless a miracle happen with in the next 2 weeks, we can see a gurilla war being wage for next 2 years with out much success in the international front. However at the end Tamils will be victorious by acheiving the end results may be with the help of Tamilnadu.
    -Lankanexile

  33. One of the several root causes of this LTTE problem is the instigation of Tamil youth by selfish Tamil chuvanists.

  34. If DBJ happened to be a non recognized batsman facing a barrage of bouncers he would most likely have ended up in hospital despite a helmet and visor. But as the case may be he is a clever ducker highly skilled in ducking the bouncers aimed at his head with evasive ease and high faluting rhetoric.

  35. With Lasantha’s untimely demise, the responsibility for informing the world as to the undemocratic, unpatriotic goings-on in the government falls firmly on the shoulders of experienced journalists in Sri Lanka affairs who are working from abroad and ensure such a champion of the people didn’t give his life in vain..

    There was no greater ‘patriotic’ than Lasantha Wickrematunga who was a true Buddhist and a firm believer in ‘social justice.’ He loved his country so much that he refused to leave Sri Lanka and live abroad even though he knew well that his life is in danger.

    May his soul rest in peace!

  36. The jist of LTTE withdrawal is simple, do not take on your enemy at what he is strongest but what he is weakest at. LTTE has and always will depend on Mahinda. The realities of the geo political situation very much now point to the formation of an eelam. Congress even if wants it will not be the one to scantion it. Hence the BJP which will come to power will scantion it and probabily an impetus to threaten pakistan. The United States led by Obama a minority and Hillary will extend the support like Kosovo. Hence its very much a waiting game now.

    The Sri Lankan army had a slogan ” Let them die for their land” Guess what LTTE is and was doing that for a while. Sri Lanka as a state is going towards disintegration to a level where she after the loss of eelam will probabily end up a military dictaorship.

    Hence much as people tend to celeberate Greenspan once and now chastice him for most of today’s problem, Mahinda will soon meet the same fate.

  37. Hi DBS J

    congrat. for starting your own blog.

    We know you are highly critical of tigers and VP’s actions. still it is very strange many sinhalese call you ltte supporter .

    Is there any chance tigers repeating unceasing waves kind of attack? or it is going to be like in the East?

  38. Dear DBS,

    I applaud your investigative journalisim and your skills in analysiing the current developments of the war in Srilanka.However, I am reluctant to see how this kind of an analysis will be beneficial to any Srilankan. (Is this anlysis on the war going to stop or reduce the killing of people or help stop the influx of the displaced?)
    Your writing skills and knowledge of history should be used in a more constructive manner to instigate a lasting solution to the problem.For a start is there not any lessons in the history to be learned where wars have ended through negotiations by great leaders?Would it be possible you initiate a constructive dialog with all genuinly concerned Srilankans on how to achieve this using your blog?
    LTTE, has nothing to lose if they lay down arms and enter into negotiations now.If the Srilankan government is genuinly interested in finding a lasting solution this would be the best time to do so.On the other hand if LTTE gets wiped out it will still be the governments duty to put in place a resonable political solution for the long term.

    Let’s analyse what should be the future for all srilankans by using all resources from the history and drawing inspiration from great leaders of the past.Wars could be won or lost but everyone of us should aim at finding a lasting political solution whithin the next one to two years by using all our knowledge and analysis skills.

    “We could learn lessons from the history but if they are not used in a way to change cause of the future it will always remain as history”

    Jude Irugalbandara

  39. db
    so far your predictions are correct.when pooneryn was taken,you said that the army will go for paranthan and killinochi and elephant pass will fall. you also said the tigers will evacuate the peninsula because because they will get caught to a pincer movement. i was surprised that just after pooneryn the army went on a massive frontal assault on the muhamale tiger forward defences and lost a lot of soldiers and withdrew.the way you suggested o go for paranthan would have automatically got the rest of the peninsula.

    now what next db? what should the army do. should it go from paranthan straight to mullativu. why cant the 59div take mullativu fro alampil via the coastline?

  40. Comment # 37:
    If you are an independent journalist and open for others comments, why don’t you publish the whole comment I made?

    DBSJ RESPONDS: I am an independent journalist but this is my personal blog. It’s open to comments but that does not mean people can write anything they want here. Because I just launched the blog I took the trouble to delete part of what you wrote. But I dont want to waste my time editing stuff written in the name of free expression. I have no desire to engage in pointless arguments.There is a certain decorum to be followed here. If you dont like it you are most welcome to refrain from commenting.

    Let me end with an excerpt from my inaugural post about the comments section:
    Another integral part of a blogging is reader comments.There will be a comments section. But bitter experience necessitates some monitoring. That’s the sad part of the blogosphere.

    I will welcome your comments but you do not have to post for the sake of posting or confront me or each other.

    There will be many readers who will definitely have more knowledge about or fresh insights into the subject matter of the respective blogs.

    Please share your knowledge and perspectives. Let’s make it informative and interesting.
    The idea is to have an amiable conversation not an indecent confrontation.
    I think I’ve said enough for now.

  41. Just wondering if you know anything about those stories about Poddu Amman surrendering is true?

    Thanks.

    Dev.

  42. Talking about the geo political situation, it is absolutely absurd to think that it is turning in favor of LTTE. More or less it’s a mere fantacy of them because they want to ignore all the military debacles, and follow the natural state of mind that everything will be fine in the future.

    No matter who comes to power in India, they will not support the murderer of one of their prime ministers, and it’s joke to think an Obama administration amid US issues even look at Sri Lanka other than just issue some statements from time to time.

    There will be a protracted guerilla war which will only prolong the suffrering of Tamils in the North and East, and that is the only gift LTTE has given them. LTTE may have started their struggle with good intentions, but ignored all the chances for peace and prosperity pushing the Tamil People into an dark abyss where no end in sight.

  43. Good job DBS.

    Can you also right about the arms and ammunition seized from the LTTE and the real number of LTTE deaths. It seems like the government is hiding these details.

  44. As a Tamil man, I see this as a lose-lose situation for the Tamil people. The LTTE has not bee good for the Tamils of the North and East BUT the Sinhala-occupation is worse. I talked with a man who was Thamilselvam’s neighbour and he had seen a lot. When I asked him, he talked down about the LTTE’s strong-arm tactics and severe discipline. So, I asked him, ‘what are your thoughts on Sinhala occupation?’ He answered, ‘the LTTE is bad but the SLA is worse.’

    This is precisely why Tamils back the LTTE, not because we like them but because the alternative (and reality it would seem in ’09) is worse.

    One note for the folks who blog here: this is not a video game. This is real life and the real losers are my kith and kin, the Tamil civilians of Lanka. They are the ones suffering regardless of whether the LTTE rebounds or the SLA keeps winning. They lose either way.

    Heed a warning: Tamils are fighters, conquerors, and that runs deep in our blood. If Sinhala Nationalism is not removed and the Tamils and Muslims (who are mostly Tamils too) are not given equality, then militancy will continue without any problems and Lanka will fall even deeper into debt.

    If you want to crush the LTTE, it’s very simple: treat the minorities of Lanka as equal citizens and stop glorifying the SLA (and for Tamils, stop glorifying the LTTE).

    Then, the rich ancient cultures of Tamils and Sinhalese can be cherished and respected rather than divided.

    See how logic and open-mindedness can reveal the truth? Take this to heart folks.

  45. all what I see from Sinhala sri Lankans here in the comments

    1. All the problems got started with LTTE

    2. The only problem that we have is LTTE

    3. We Sri Lankans (read Hela Minisu) won

    4. We may give alms to Tamils

    Good Luck. Sadly the assasination of sunday leader editor had nothing to do with this situation.

  46. Pingback: indi.ca » What If I’m Wrong?

  47. Thirty years ago ,when LTTE started to assasinate journalists and other tamils who had different opinions and branded them as traitors, majority of the tamils were either supporting or turned a blind eye. And they paid the price for it.
    Now, The Sri Lankan government has started the same thing. So, My advice to the sinhala people is to protest against killing of innocent journalists, And try to stop it now, Or you may have to pay a big price(freedom and right to free speech).
    So, it doesn’t matter weather the government is winning or losing the war against LTTE.
    The same govrenment will suppress its own sinhala people.
    Mark my word , one day you all will tell kugan was right in the beginning of 2009.

  48. Dear DBSJ,
    Unless you come up with a new update soon, we may have to conclude that you don’t have much of an idea about latest developments in the war front, but you just take on a piece of news which was readily available and just try to “analyse” it.
    And just for the sake of “Comparative analysis” don’t you see parallels in LTTE getting cornered in Mullathivu and the Hitler getting cornered in Berlin during the final stages of WWII?

  49. Dear Mr. Jayaraj,

    We as easterners are wondering about what is going on between Karuna and Pillayan. We are receiving various media reports such as:

    1. Pillayan controls a big portion of TMVP cadres
    2. No, Karuna has the majority support from the lower level cadres.
    3. High level members are with Pillayan
    4. Eastern Muslims feel more comfortable with Pillayan
    5. Karuna has the backing of Govt.
    6. Ragu was gunned down by Govt. on the request/advise of Karuna

    Can you pls throw some lights on this subject? Who will be the winner at last?

  50. I missed the comments earlier. It is good that you started it. Some have been very interesting in the past, especially by people who are knowledgeable about history.

    Why don’t you just take out personal attacks and put them on a separate blog under the heading ‘attacking the messenger’ and only activate comments relevant to a particular column, which either counters the points raised or adds to them?

    After all we all know your past history.

    These personal attacks simply clutters up the page and reduces the quality of debate. But of course it also shows the depth of the problem.

  51. IF LTTE Falls, there’s any need for EPDP, Pillian group,Kruna group and so on we can go back to traditional UNP, SLP, TULF And Muslim Gongress. Every one can work within this group. But if LTTE is in the picture things will get interesting as you can see the people didn’t return to SLA captured area mainly because of what has happened in the east many kidnapping, murder and threats , having a sla army large enough to secure the area will be too large and srilanka can not affort it. Even all the hoopla is about the ltte area captured , reality seemed to be SLA is only stationed Along the High ways A9 ,A35 which about 100 miles and there are 50000 troups that will be 500 troops per mile just in the Hiway. You are talking 300 to 400 hundred thousand troops Needed which in comparison willl be the largest force in the world. U.S.A as example has about 110 thousand Troops.

    SL Government should’t not take singalees kid’s life for granted there are reports of 3000 to 5000 troops dead just in these five months vs LTTE cadres 2200 in whole of 08. Tamils should appreciate the hardships these singalees kids went through to open the hiway so tamils have access to Jaffna.

  52. I said this is many forums before and i will say it here again. When the germans had surrounded the 101st Airbone Division in Bastonge, the germans were blamed at not attacking all at once or else the town would have fallen. In actual fact the gemans were surrounded in one front by material shortage, the other fron be the pressure of the allies, the other front be the constant bombings etc.

    If Sri Lanka is winning the war why does Mahindha need to take over the media ministry and knock off two off his rivals. The facts is Sri Lanka is collapsing on many fronts.

    Her economy is as good as collapsed. Her human rights and other records have been so pitiful that another nation interfering in declaring support like the communist in India is getting so much closer.

    The LTTE is a rebel group. Hence unfortunately it does need to take out its rivals. India wanted to mimic what the US doing in Afghanistan. Hence for the LTTE to prevail it had to eliminate her rivals. Whether that was fair, well the relentless bormbarment on German and Japanese or now in Gaza never seems to feature so prominetly in telling of world war stories. The victor always writes HIS- story.

  53. Mr. Thayalan Suntharalingam ,
    Get your facts rights sir. You say USA have only 110 thousand troops. They have aout 3 million. There are about 200 thousand US troops in Iraq alone.
    Do not take the readers of this blog for fools.

  54. Tharu
    Point well taken Most of the service men You are mentioned are U.S. Reserves and U.S.A is 180 times bigger than SL and has a G.d.p in many trillion and Most important Fact is u.s builds most of it’s weapons. Srilanka G.D.P Is about $36b that ‘s smaller than some u.s company’s and sl spent 2b to buy wepons..

    I was tring to make the point that By withdrwing LTTE Might be forcing Sl to allowcate some of the resources in defence of this areas hence less troops for them in the offensive. I see you might be 22 ,at yourage when i just came to the states and I really understood the abilities of Vp.Indian forces just invaded Sl and I thought LTTE IS done India had a Much larger force and Vp used similar tactices basically beat them badly.

    Whether You Like Ltte Or not DO Not UNder Estimate The VP’s Military mind .

  55. Hi DBS,

    With reluctance, I do agree with your comparison to the Operation Dynamo and the subsequent events of WWII. I lived almost 20 good years in the area that is the focus of the current phase. And very familiar with the evacuation route that was used by the tigers. November to July is the worst period of time to use this path between Kandawalai to Puthukudiruppu. A single missed step would have trapped the LTTE fighters and their armaments in the Jaffna sector.

    Tigers are down not out for the following reasons:

    1. The well planned and executed withdrawal itself shows that the LTTE is not in a dissary as the governmment trying to show to the world.
    2. LTTEs strength predictions are competely wrong: the number of fighters remaining are much higher than the SL government predictions.
    3. Continuous shelling and bombardent have helped LTTE in increasing the strength of their auxilary forces.
    4. Heay weapons (i.e.: artillary, heavy mortors, tanks), naval assets, and air assets of the LTTE have not been distroyed.
    5. LTTEs senior commanders (Colonel or above) have not been killed.
    6. Contrary to the common believe, VP is not the one who plans the operations. LTTE has a highly trained (not at WestPoint, Of course) and experienced military planning and team. In the past, this Team had planned several successful operations including the one against Karuna. This team is still available for LTTE.
    7. Finally, the territory LTTE has been cornered (or withdrawn into) into still provide number of options for coutner offensive.

    Previous goverenments, India, and former generals, have regretted well into their retiremment for underestiating the strength of few thousand boys. It is very true that LTTE has suffered a heavy and humiliating loss during this phase of the Eelam war.

    We will have to wait and see to find out whehter LTTE has been cornered by SLA or strategically withdarwan for a counter offensive. Only time will tell.it is too early to light the fire crackers.

  56. DBS,

    When will all this be over. I am a Sri Lankan Tamil born in Malaysia. My parents are from Jaffna. I have been keeping abreast with events unfolding in Jaffna and bleed when i think about my people suffering over there

    At first, I was angry and approved the military stand that we took as rebels against the sl govt. But later i realised that that stand has totally cost us so much for the past six decades. If we sit back and think, we will realise that our people at this current generation has lossed out in everything from education to economy due to the war. The only thing we have gained is pride and anhilation of our people.

    Here I would hope that peace will soon envelope our people and the regeneration of a new and strong society beguns where wars are fought and won with the power of economics, intellectuality and wealth.

    This is my hope.

    GOD bless

  57. Hi DBS,

    First of all. congratulations on your blog. We need independent journalist of your caliber to spread your thoughts, and keep people informed. Thanks for creating a space for people to share ideas and opinions.

    Second, please ignore the hate mongers, who accuse you of being the agent of LTTE or the GOSL depending on the topic of each story. That’s an honor as it shows you are doing your job as a true journalist.

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