|SRI LANKA: An Analysis of the Military Situation –02-July-2008|
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That small real life experience comes to mind when we look at the current military situation in the Eelam War-4. The military developments are in some order, just as political developments are in disorder.
Sri Lanka security forces made the strategic link up in the north between 57 and 58 divisions, capturing a large chunk of the territory between A32 Mannar-Pooneryn highway fromt and the A9 Kandy-Jaffna highway. It is no mean achievement for any army, considering that this was achieved in three weeks time, after a few bloody battles and loss of quite a few human lives. For the Sri Lankan army it is a creditable achievement showing how a learning army can overcome its own past shortcomings and reach new levels of operational efficiency. The strategic link up, if held, could block the free transportation of LTTE supplies smuggled from India arriving at the Mannar coast either eastwards or northwards movement along the A32 highway. It also provides launching pads for Sri Lankan offensives to wrest Vidathaltivu and later Pooneryn.
And the army should be able to hold on to the gains, considering that two divisions plus the newly raised 61 Division are there to defend. It is doubtful whether the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) still retain the capability to launch a sizeable conventional strike to dislodge the army form their gains. The arithmetic of force levels is against the LTTE and probably it would rather reinforce its Wanni defences and safeguard the line Pooneryn-Elephant Pass-Kilinochchi- Puthukudiyiruppu than deplete its forces in launching a counterattack.
Sri Lanka Army Commander Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka vocalised the recent achievements of the security forces while speaking to foreign correspondents recently. “The LTTE has lost the capability of fighting as a conventional army. Although they are (still) fighting us, they (are) not in the same manner as was in the past. That type of resistance is not there anymore.”