Tuesday, January 09, 2007

LTTE's "Stanley Base'' falls to the elite STF Commandos - Map

LTTE's "Stanley Base'' falls to the elite cops- Ampara

The Police Special Task Force (STF) personnel captured a huge terrorist camp named "Stanley Base" located in Kangikadaichi Aru in Ampara this afternoon (Monday the 8th of September).

The STF sources said the terrorists having failed to withstand the STF's retaliatory thrust, deserted the camp leaving most of their belongings. The marching STF personnel entered into the " Stanley" base's parameters around 2.p.m and presently consolidating their defences in the area.

During the search carried out in the Terror camp, the STF personnel recovered a Canter truck loaded with ammunition, a water bawser donated by the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), 4 motor cycles, a 50kv and a 25kv Generators, and few satellite antennas.

A fully equipped hospital believed to be funded by a reputed INGO was also discovered by the STF personnel in the captured terror base located deep inside the thick jungle of Kangikadaichi Aru. The STF sources said they were amused by the facilities provided by the particular INGO to a hospital where no civilian would expected to have received medical treatments.

A large haul of arms and ammunition, a repeater rifle, a rifle and a large number of anti-personnel mines were also among the recovered items.

The STF sources further revealed that they had no option than to retaliate to the LTTE's ever increasing attacks that has recently come to an alarming level. The captured camp was of a strategic importance to the LTTE terrorists where they used to fire mortar and artillery to the security forces camps in the Akkaraipaththuwa, Thirukkovil and Poththuvil areas.

Further, the camp has been used to hoard abducted children from various areas in the Eastern province and to train them to be suicide bombers.

Two sub camps, an Intelligence cell, a large warehouse filled with dry rations that had been robbed from aid convoys, a circuit bungalow were also found in the area.

The STF troops are still continuing their search further into the jungle to ensure that the people in the Southern part of the Eastern Province will be free from LTTE threats for good.

Three STF soldiers suffered injuries during the confrontation and were rushed to the General hospital Ampara.

Security forces capture explosive-laden truck meant for targets in capital, military says

Sri Lanka's elite anti-terrorist commandoes seized a truck packed with explosives when they overran a key Tamil rebel base in the country's east. The military said the vehicle was destined for targets in the capital.

Separately, the U.N. warned that renewed fighting has left thousands of civilians cut off from food and other basic needs in eastern Sri Lanka. The Defense Ministry said Tuesday 52 Tamils from 15 families crossed over to government-held areas overnight in the region.

Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe, the military's spokesman, told reporters that a rebel base in eastern Ampara district fell on Monday to the Special Task Force personnel, who also recovered a large quantity of arms and ammunition.

Rebels were planning to use the truck and the explosives to carry out suicide attacks in the capital of Colombo, the Defense Ministry said on its Web site late Monday.

Special Task Force chief Nimal Lewke said four personnel were wounded during the operation, and that a search was on for rebel fighters who escaped.

Eastern Sri Lanka has become a hotbed of violence between the military and the Tamil Tigers, who have been fighting for over 20 years for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's 3.1 million minority ethnic Tamils after decades of discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

Both sides claim to be adhering to a 2002 cease-fire, but violence has escalated since late 2005, with over 3,600 people killed last year.

Lewke said guerrillas had used the Ampara base to launch attacks on government forces and as a training camp for new recruits. He said it also had a hospital.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan confirmed a battle in the area but denied that the base had fallen.

"They (the Special Task Force) have been trying to infiltrate our area and there was also a confrontation. But I deny that the camp has been captured," he said by telephone from the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi.

The United Nations, meanwhile, said 15,000 Tamil civilians have been trapped by fighting in rebel-held Vaharai, in the eastern Batticaloa area.

"These persons are the most vulnerable of the vulnerable. We must always recall that it is the most weak who remain behind _ the elderly, the sick and the disabled," a U.N. statement quoted Amin Awad, Acting Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, as saying.

The government says about 20,000 civilians have moved into government-held areas to escape violence.

Awad said no food, medicine or other humanitarian supplies had been allowed into Vaharai since Nov. 29.


Sri Lanka rebels suffer fresh setback, lose control of a major camp in Amparai by Munza Mushtaq

The LTTE has suffered yet another major setback, after losing control of a major (LTTE) camp in the Eastern province on Monday afternoon, the media centre for national security told the Asian Tribune.

The camp named 'Stanley' situated in Amparai's Kanjikudichcharu was often used by the Tamil Tiger rebels to attack security forces. The camp was also reportedly a training base for the rebel's under age recruits who underwent arms training there.

"The camp came under security forces control by 2.00 Monday afternoon. The entire operation was carried out by the police Special Task Force unit," a centre spokesman said.

The rebels who were present at the camp at the time of the operation reportedly fled the camp leaving behind all their belongings as they were unable to defend themselves successfully.

On a subsequent search operation, the special task force had recovered a large cache of explosives, arms/ammunition and anti-personnel mines.

"In addition to the Stanley camp, the STF personnel have found a fully equipped hospital funded by an INGO, a warehouse filled with dry rations meant for civilians, 2 sub-camps, an intelligence camp, a circuit bungalow and a cafeteria, abandoned by the fleeing tigers.

STF had also found a water bowser donated by the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), 3 motor cycles, Generators, satellite antennas and coffins," the centre said.

Three security personnel who sustained injured during the operation was rushed to the Ampara hospital.



The elite commando forces of the Sri Lanka Police , the Special Task Force overran one of the largest Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) jungle bases in the besieged Eastern Province of Sri Lanka that has been also widely used as a combat training center for child soldiers. The large base named Stanley was successfully captured by the special Task force when cadres of the LTTE decided to abandon it after a pitched battle with the police Special Task Force (STF).

The STF said three of their men sustained injuries in the battle and were admitted to Ampara Hospital. Camp Stanley, named after a military leader of the LTTE is at Kanjikudichcharu in the Ampara District ( coordinates 7. 10-12N, 81.46-48 E)and the take over by the STF happened at 2 p.m. January 8 , the Ministry of Defense said. A spokesmand said, Stanley, the leader after whom the base is named was also among the people who fled. Independent reports show that the LTTE is severely hampered by a severe shortage of manpower in the area.

Eastern Province LTTE bases, according to Sri Lanka intelligence sources are being widely used, to send suicide bombers to pre destined targets specially in the Colombo and South and the STF announced they discovered a ‘Cantor” truck filled with explosives and a motor bike prepared for the same purpose. Such vehicles are being widely used for suicide missions.

STF said that they also found a water tanker truck donated by , the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), a front organization of the LTTE, who collect funds especially in the United States and Canada purportedly for civilians, but actually for the terrorist group. The TRO is now banned from operating in Sri Lanka and their funds frozen by the Central Bank.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement, “STF personnel have found a fully equipped hospital funded by an International Non Government Organization, a warehouse filled with dry rations meant for civilians, 2 sub-camps, an intelligence camp, a circuit bungalow and a cafeteria, abandoned by the fleeing tigers.”

They also listed the following as other things found at the camp, “ 3 motor cycles, a 50kv and a 25kv Generators, satellite antennas and coffins, a large haul of arms and ammunition that included repeater rifles, and a large number of anti-personnel mines.”.

The Ministry of Defense further said, “It is considered as a significant and a strategic step forward as the tiger terrorists were posing severe threat to the security forces and the civilians from this camp.”
The Ministry of Defense said, “The captured camp was of a strategic importance to the LTTE terrorists from where they used to fire mortar and artillery to the security forces camps in the Akkaraipaththuwa, Thirukkovil and Poththuvil areas.”

The Ministry of Defense added, “A fully equipped hospital believed to be funded by a reputed INGO was also discovered by the STF personnel in the captured terror base located deep inside the thick jungle of Kanjikudichcharu. The STF sources said they were amused by the facilities provided by the particular INGO to a hospital where no civilian would have expected to have medical treatment.”

The Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, Lt. General Sarath Fonseka has vowed to oust the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam who are also known as Tamil Tigers from the Eastern Province. They are now restricted to few square miles in the jungles of Ampara District and at Vakarai from where thousands of civilians have already fled.

The LTTE is fighting for a mono-ethnic separate state in the country’s Eastern and Northern provinces.


Paramilitaries: a Civilian’s Experience by Dilrook Kannangara

It was in 1988, September 12 to be precise; Colombo schools closed for 3 months till January 1989. Again in March 1989 schools were closed officially till September the same year. During these times, workplaces, banks, markets, sports and recreational activities, public ceremonies and many more were at a standstill. Things changed dramatically by July’89 and stayed same until October 1994.

I felt safe and secure and so was almost everyone I knew. Investors obviously felt the same as investments increased dramatically, skyscrapers were planned and after a few years later they all came up frantically. No economic nerve centres were attacked by terrorists in spite of intermittent aerial bombardment on LTTE controlled areas. Also military operations were taking place without any civilian and economic casualties. All this prosperity is squarely attributable to the acts of paramilitaries.

Although a considerable number of acts of paramilitaries and the government forces during this time were not in the interests of the nation, they were successful in sustaining investor confidence, public security and the national economy. If I remember right there was no bomb scare at all and not even slight damage to economically important places were inflicted. STF was manning many places in Colombo and elsewhere and was considered a paramilitary under the laws existed then. Troublesome elements were screened out by nobody-knows-who and were eliminated ahead in time. There was no need for curfews or post mortems.

Things changed after CBK assumed office in 1994. Instead of preserving the good of paramilitaries, the CBK administration uprooted them exposing the people, economic nerve centres and investors to the brutality of terrorists. In November 1995 when the Oil Refineries were set upon by the terrorists, residents attributed it to the transfer of the STF camp in the area. Many more attacks followed targeting civilians and the national economy.

Engaging the terrorists at the door step of the Central Bank, Kalanitissa power station, Sri Dalada Maligawa and in the inside of the premises of the BIA and oil refineries proved the sheer ineffectiveness of the security forces in restraining suicide bombers. Even the world superpowers are rendered helpless against suicide attacks. Another destructive outcome was the “blame game” that our politicians and some officials are very skillful in playing.

What should have been done in 1994 was to support the paramilitaries but to restraint them against political victimization. They should have been awarded immunity only where terrorists were targeted.

This grave mistake costed the country dearly and continues to haunt us with insecurity, etc. Economic mishaps include the poor tourist season of 2006/07.
Encouraged by all these, the terrorists continue to threaten to destroy our dams, hospitals, ports, etc. If it is to happen, the economic, human and strategic loss would be enormous. Also it will give enough ammunition for the NGOs, the “international community”, peace humbugs, etc. to force their solutions on us; as if we are a failed state.

I urge the government to bring back the days when we felt completely secure and safe, devoid of its evils (political victimization). There can be no political ideology that promotes terrorism, division of country and ethnic disintegration. It is a terrorist phenomenon and hence made to pay at the hands of the paramilitaries.

Make use of the strengths of the paramilitaries to maintain law and order. The masses will not be affected at all as they are all peace loving, law abiding citizens. However, there will be bad but necessary “side effects” that has to be taken into account and proper systems for justice resolution should be in place to minimize them.

I urge the government to consider a pragmatic approach to paramilitaries than a utopian ideological approach. The difficult part of terrorist war is that the enemy is not fighting face-to-face, but there are advantages as well. These include the ability to destroy the enemy by delicate operations. Infiltrators can be destroyed without any resistance and also be vital sources of information. Let us capitalize on the advantages of a terrorist campaign waged by cowards who seek protection among civilians and some terror aligning politicians.

There is no justification for the continued suffering of 20 million people just because of the fantasies of a megalomaniac supported by about 30 thousand terrorists. Also the human rights of the 20 million should be upheld even at the expense of possible human rights violation of few thousand suspects. This is the right perspective of the economic and security concerns we have today and we need tried and tested and practical remedies. Failure to do so will ensure that the enemy gets what it wants; killing of ethnic Sinhalese and Muslims; incite ethnic intolerance and prove its case for an armed struggle in the face of ethnic violence against Tamils


STF overruns key Tiger camp

The Special Task Force yesterday registered a major victory when it overran the Ampara district Tiger main camp - Stanley Base in Kanjikudichcharu - after a fierce battle, the military said.

“STF personnel overran the Tigers main camp in Kanjikudichcharu yesterday afternoon forcing the surviving Tigers to retreat,” military spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe said.

He said the STF recovered a large haul of weapons, ammunition and other military items left behind by the fleeing Tigers.

The spokesman also said the police elite force personnel had found a hospital within the LTTE camp. “This camp had been built by a Non-Governmental Organization and we are investigating into the matter seriously,” Brigadier Samarasinghe claimed.It is considered as a significant and a strategic step forward as the Tiger terrorists were posing a major threat to the security forces from this camp. Continuous targeting of the security forces position in the area by the LTTE provoked the STF to clear the area and bring it under its control.

LTTE was also housing a large number of child soldiers conscripted by them in this camp, the spokesman charged.


PTSD may emerge late in injured soldiers

Among battle-injured soldiers, the severity of their physical injuries is a significant predictor of the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression several months later, researchers report. Early psychiatric evaluations do not always identify those who will later develop these disorders.

In a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the researchers examined the rates, predictors and course of probable PTSD and depression among 613 seriously battle-injured U.S. soldiers during and after hospitalization.

Standard screening assessments were performed at 1, 4, and 7 months after the injury. Combat exposure, length of deployment, and severity of physical injuries were documented. All of the assessments were completed for 243 soldiers.

The study was conducted by a group of investigators from the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Thomas A. Grieger and colleagues found that 4.2 percent of the soldiers had probable PTSD and 4.4 percent had depression at 1 month. After 4 months and 7 months, 12 percent of the soldiers were diagnosed with PTSD and 9 percent were diagnosed with depression.

The team reports that 79 percent of soldiers with a diagnosis of PTSD or depression at 7 months did not meet the diagnostic criteria for either condition at 1 month.

Severe physical injury at 1 month increased the risk of developing PTSD by more than ninefold and the risk of depression by almost sixfold after 7 months, independent of demographic factors, combat exposure and deployment duration.

“This study should help to guide physicians treating these troops,” Grieger commented to Reuters Health. “They need to consider psychiatric problems in soldiers reporting high levels of physical problems.”

“Soldiers with such problems acutely or chronically might benefit from a mental health evaluation and potential psychiatric treatments,” he said. “The course of illness and treatment in war-injured soldiers from these conflicts is complex and unlike that seen in civilian victims of physical trauma.”

Grieger and his colleagues are currently examining long-term functional problems and ongoing physical and mental health distress in this group. “We also hope to examine in greater detail the early predictors of later problems,” he added.