Army Task Force II to open new battle front
As ground troops continue the military thrust on the Wanni defences
the Sri Lanka Army is planning to further increase the pressure on the
LTTE, mooting plans to form Task Force - II to open a new battle front
from the East of A-9 road from the Mundimurippu area.
Initial steps have been taken to from this Task Force appointing
Brigadier Ralph Nugera as the General Officer Commanding of the Task
Force - II. Seven battalions have already been allocated for the Task
Brigadier Nugera was the Brigade Commander of the newly formed
Mechanised Infantry Brigade based in Jaffna. Lieutenant Colonel Dhammika
Jayasundera is due to be appointed temporarily as the Brigade Commander
of MaC Infantry Brigade.
Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka
In the process of launching a major military thrust Army Commander
Lt. General Sarath Fonseka has so far formed five offensive Divisions
including the 53 Division which was only Reserve Division in the Sri
Lanka Army at the time Lt. General Sarath Fonseka was appointed the Army
With the completion of the Eastern liberation the 57 Division was
formed under the command of Brigadier Sumith Manawadu in January 2006.
Later it was commanded by Brigadier Jagath Dias who was then promoted to
the rank of Major General.
The task of the 57 Division was to clear the areas in the West of
Vavuniya. By this time troops attached to 57 Division had advanced into
Periyamadhu area after cutting off all the supply routes connected to
Periyamadhu after liberating sacred Madhu Church.
Fierce battles are expected to erupt in Periyamadhu once the troops
are poised to capture this terrain which was used by the LTTE to launch
artillery attacks on both Mannar and Vavuniya fronts. However, troops
are determined to capture this strategic location with minimum
casualties to ground troops.
As the 57 Division continues its task on the Vavuniya front, the
second offensive Division was formed in 2007 as Task Force -I in the
Mannar front. Initially it was commanded by Brigadier Chagi Gallage and
later it came under the command of Brigadier Shavendra Silva.
With the completion of the Silavathura operation to liberate the
areas in the South of Mannar, completed without firing a single bullet
the troops attached to the Task Force -I or the 58 Division are now
engaged in the task of liberating the Mannar rice Bowl.
In the Mannar Front troops are now operating North of Adampan after
the capture of Adampan in a strategic move and domination of more than
95 per cent of the Adampan Andankulam road which leads to the Madhu
shrine from the north of Giant Tank.
On the Mannar Front troops captured yet another vital trench line of
the LTTE in the north of Adampan securing a one kilometres line which
runs into Pooneryn amidst heavy resistance from the LTTE.
It was in January this year the 59 Division was formed under the
command of the Brigadier Nandana Udawatta and deployed to man the 12
Kilometres front from Kokkuthuduvai to Weli Oya facing Mullaitivu
The troops are now stepping towards Nityakulam tank located at the
edge of the Mullaitivu district. They are poised to confront the Tiger
cadres at the famous 14 Base on Mullaitivu front.
According to ground troops to secure this terrain from troops'
infiltration the LTTE had created a massive open area removing all the
jungle in a nearly 400 metre belt. The battle on the Weli Oya front is
expected to be massive as the loss of this ground will lead the current
military operations into a turning point.
Therefore, the idea of forming Task Force - II will contribute
immensely to increase the pressure on the LTTE on six fronts for the
first time in the history of the North East conflict as the LTTE had
never faced such a massive threat from the Security Forces.
This will definitely restrict the Tiger leaders' ability to deploy
their cadres from the front to another front in the event of a fierce
battle on one front which was the key point in their successes in the
battles upto third Eelam War.
The diminishing man and fire power of the LTTE will definitely lead
them into defeat in the Wanni battle. As ground troops are taking
successful hits on the battle front the officers in the Sri Lanka Army
are expected to be categorised into two groups for the convenience of
selecting them for commanding appointments and for administration
purposes under the Officer Career Planning of the Army.
This system has been evolved after studying the systems now in
operation in Pakistan and India to provide chances to skilled officers
to climb into top commanding positions of the Sri Lanka Army regardless
of their seniority.
According to this system the officers above major ranks will be
categorised into common and main streams. The officers attached to
services and Signal Regiments will automatically be categorised in the
The officers of the common stream cannot hold commanding positions
except for commanding their battalions of their own regiments.
The Officers from the Infantry, Artillery, Mechanised Infantry,
Armour and Engineers will be categorized into common and main streams
according to their battle experience and commanding skills. Only those
who are categorized into the main stream will be eligible to have
To become the Commander of the Army, Volunteer Forces Commander,
Chief of Staff, Security Forces Commanders, Division Commanders, Brigade
Commanders, Battalion Commanders and other commanding appointments the
officers should be categorized in the main stream.
They should obtain 40 marks out of 50 for their battle field
experience and commanding skills, 10 marks out of 10 for discipline and
integrity to be eligible to be categorized under the mainstream. Those
who fail to achieve these targets will be categorized under common
However, provisions have been made for those who are in the Major
General rank in the common category to hold the general appointments of
Deputy Chief of Staff, Commandant Forward Maintenance Area North, East
and North Central, Chief Signal Officer and Chief Engineering Officer.
Apart from that the officers from the common category will also be
eligible to hold the commanding appointments in the Training Centres of
They will be categorized into these two groups after reviewing their
Annual Confidential Reports and their performances.
These provisions are included in the gazette notification issued in
1983 and also in the Officers Service Regulations.