Friday, February 6, 2009

Where will the final stand be?

With the LTTE being cornered into a smaller and smaller area of land, everyone has been waiting for the "final stand", a battle where the LTTE launches a fight till the death against the Sri Lankan army surrounding them. The first question that comes up in regards to a final battle is where would the LTTE choose to defend themselves. All military analysts have been expecting the final stand would take place in Mullaittivu, where for years it was believed the LTTE had stocked their heavy weapons. It came as a shock to most when the LTTE withdrew from Mullaittivu without a fight. It was then thought that the LTTE must be planning to hold their final battle in Chalai, since that is the head quarters of the sea tigers, which would give the LTTE more firepower, plus a chance to escape by sea.

The problem with this thinking is the foolish military analysts are looking at the LTTE as an ordinary military force, and based on that they are extrapolating what they suspect the LTTE must be planning. It is true that most armies, when faced with insurmountable odds, would definitely keep "escape" as a high priority in their war planning. Thus Chalai and Mullaitivu would be the obvious places to hold a "last stand"... but only if we were talking about an ordinary army manned by hired staff. The LTTE is not an ordinary army. They are as unconventional as could be imagined, and escape is the last thing on their minds during combat.

When the LTTE withdrew from Mullaitivu, military analysts were shocked and confused. Everyone had been 100% certain the last stand would take place in "the rebels main military bastion". What we all need to realize is the LTTE had fooled the entire world. Their military might had never been based in Mullaitivu. Why would you station yourself in a place that was previously your enemy's military base? Only a fool would mass all of their military power into a place that was completely known to the Sri Lankan army. The Sri Lankan army ruled Mullaitivu for years, and it was they who built the military fortifications in Mullaitivu.

The LTTE are much more intelligent than what the world is giving them credit for. They made everyone believe Mullaitivu was the center of their military power, and that Chalai was the center of their naval power, but when the Sri Lankan army marched into both of these places with little confrontation they found nothing at all. The LTTE had completely withdrawn from both of these cities without any signs of the great "last stand" that everyone was expecting.

As we get closer to the end game, it has now become apparent that the LTTE is going to make their last stand in Puthukkudiyiruppu. If you study the satelite maps of the region this makes the most sense, as the built up city of Puthukkudiyiruppu extends all the way to the coast. Though the newspapers keep mentioning that the LTTE will resort to jungle warfare, the fact is most of the jungle exists south of the A-35 road, which is government controlled territory. There is very little jungle left in LTTE controlled territory. The final battle plan of the LTTE does not involve jungle combat, but urban combat.

Day after day the Sri Lankan army makes claims of more LTTE camps being "overrun". In each case they make claims of recovering 10 or 20 bodies of LTTE fighters. But while they are able to show photos of broken tractors recovered from the "battle sites", as well as empty plastic barrels supposedly filled with petrol, they have never been able to show the bodies of these LTTE fighters they claim to have recovered.

Oddly, the morgue in Vavuniya, which only has a capacity to hold 40 to 50 bodies is not hitting its capacity. The morgue is not allowed to burry the bodies of LTTE soldiers without receiving a court order, and only two such orders have been given since the beginning of this year. Those two orders covered the burrial of around 70 LTTE bodies in total, and they were from the fighting in Kilinochi. So from this it is clear that the claimed recovery of LTTE bodies is false. If these bodies were actually recovered on a daily basis:

1) there would be photographs. The army is willing to show photos of every little thing they recover, from empty barrels to broken tractors, yet not a single dead LTTE body.

2) the morgue in Vavuniya would be full.

3) the morgue would be applying for court permission to burry these bodies.

Since none of these three are occuring, it is clear that the LTTE is not being overrun, but it has been withdrawing from all sides, bringing their forces into the Puthukkudiyiruppu area for their final stand.

It is known that the LTTE possesses around 10 main battle tanks, several armored personel carriers, many large artillery pieces, and perhaps a couple multi-barrel rocket launchers. Yet the Sri Lankan army has yet to find a single piece of heavy weaponry. The one recovery they did make was of a damaged 152 mm artillery barrel that was abandoned by the LTTE.

What will be interesting will be to see how the LTTE chooses to use these heavy weapons in the defence of Puthukkudiyiruppu. They must carefully hide these weapons to avoid Sri Lankan air strikes. From past experience, the LTTE's tactic is to bring their tanks out and fire on a target for a few minutes, before quickly moving the tanks to other locations for hiding. We must remember that the LTTE possesses advanced radar facilities, which warn them of any incoming air strikes much in advance. It is for this reason that the Sri Lankan army has resorted to using helicopter gunships, which can fly below radar level.

If we look closely at the satelite photos of the region, we see that both Chalai and Mulaitivu are split in the middle by water inlets from the ocean. These create ideal natural defence lines. If the LTTE was to try to make a stand against the Sri Lankan army, it would be intelligent to try to hold the advancing army at these two points and then send the bulk of their fighters to the middle (south and west of Puthukkudiyiruppu). The inlets in Mullaitivu and Chalai allow the LTTE to defend these positions with minimal manpower. Basically the coastline invasion has been sealed off on both sides, tying up two full Sri Lankan divisions, while the LTTE has to commit a small fraction of soldiers in return. The Sri Lankan army will have to resort to ferrying their armor across these inlets, which will leave them completely vulnerable to counter attack pushes. Any soldier or armored vehicle that crosses the inlet will be unable to retreat, and thus a sitting duck. It is highly possible that the LTTE may allow the army to cross these inlets to trap them, and then make a large push against them to completely wipe out the trapped forces.

While two divisions are sealed off on the coast, the remaining divisions are approaching from the South and West towards Puthukkudiyiruppu. What is interesting in these places is that the LTTE has given them the forest. The LTTE is defending the city, and the Sri Lankan army is positioned in the forests to the South and West of Puthukkudiyiruppu. While all military analysts expected the LTTE to make their stand in the forest, they have done the exact opposite, and have given the forest to the enemy. What could be the reason for this?

Militarily the LTTE is brilliant. They have convinced the entire world that they would make their stand in Mullaitivu and Chalai, and then resort to fighting from the jungles, but in reality they have done the complete opposite. They have given the jungle to their enemy, who is not used to defending from the jungles. It is a death trap for the Sri Lankan army. The LTTE is planning huge counter strikes into the jungles occupied by the army. In such a situation the Sri Lankan army will be completely unable to call in airstrikes, as the thick jungle canapy will not provide the necessary visibility.

The basic strategy is as follows: Allow the Sri Lankan army to take positions in the jungle, while LTTE holds the urban city line. When the Sri Lankan army brings in supplies to their jungle base camps, launch heavy surprise attacks under the cover of the thick jungle, leading to panic amongst the enemy soldiers. For the Sri Lankan army, resupplying their forces deep in the jungle will be extremely difficult, and airstrikes will be completely blind.

But how long can the LTTE continue this strategy? If we go by the estimates given by the Sri Lankan army, there are only 500 LTTE fighters left. If this was true, they would not be able to hold off the 7 approaching Sri Lankan divisions on 7 different fronts for a single day. We should note that all of the videos coming out of the LTTE held Vanni show one thing: order. There are no signs of panic. If the LTTE had only 500 soldiers left, we would not see people peacefully moving about in an orderly way. The LTTE infrastructure is very much still existant and functioning in the cities they control.

Let us look at it from another angle. What if there really are 400,000 civilians displaced in the area they control. The populations of kilinochi and mullaittivu are much more than 500,000 people. If 250,000 people displaced from kilinochi, and if 150,000 people were already in Mullaitivu, then that would total 400,000 people. Out of that 400,000 people, how many are ready to fight and how many have received defence training? What if 10% of those people were prepared to fight for their country? 40,000 new soldiers. And what if the LTTE actually had 15,000 hardened soldiers under their command? That would give them an army of 55,000.

So its up to you to decide whether you think the LTTE was administering 15,000 square kilometers of territory with only 500 soldiers. Its up to you to decide whether you think the LTTE spent the last 6 years building roads and skyskrapers, or whether instead they spent their time training their civilian population as a defence force. If its the later, then the Sri Lankan army is going to be in for a surprise in Puthukkudiyiruppu. The final stand may not be as final as you expect.

As a last note, let us analyze the numbers on each side. The Tamils are fighting to the death, knowing full well that they will likely die. That is their glory. The Sri Lankan soldiers on the other hand are poor farmers who are only there to receive a pay check. They don't want to die, and if things start going badly they will run to save their lives. There are 7 divisions, each with around 8,000 soldiers in them. For ever 1 soldier killed, there are another 2 soldiers injured and taken out of combat. In addition to this, for every soldier killed, there is another soldier that will desert. If a division loses 50% of its personel, it is effectively defeated and will not be able to go into battle. For this to happen each division would only need to receive 1,000 soldiers killed in battle:

1) 1,000 soldiers killed in battle
2) 2,000 soldiers injured and removed from combat
3) 1,000 soldiers desert

This adds up to 4,000 soldiers, or 50% of the entire division removed from combat, which would make the entire division unusable.

All the LTTE has to do is inflict 1,000 deaths to each division, and this battle will end with a huge loss for the Sri Lankan army. That is an impossible feat if the LTTE is down to just 500 soldiers, but if the LTTE actually has 55,000 soldiers as some suspect, then there is no way the Sri Lankan army will be able to sustain their invasion.

This battle may actually be the turning point in the war. In just a few weeks, Sri Lanka's international image has completely changed. It is now looked upon as an international villain, perpetrating genocide, bombing hospitals, etc. The president has given interviews where he has repeatedly stuck his foot in his mouth, making himself look like a fool in front of the entire world. His statements justifying the bombing of a hospital, his criticism of murdered journalists, and his calling aid agencies as terrorists have exposed him to the world. If this war does not end within a matter of days, and if instead it is dragged on for months, the world view will likely shift dramatically towards the Tamils side. There is a strong posibility that the LTTE will emerge from this with full international backing, along with a strong military victory against the Sri Lankan army. If such a scenario comes true, this battle would surely be the decisive turning point in the struggle for Eelam.


Anonymous said...

You have written same stories before but LTTP withdrew (Tactically as per you) starting from Mavil Aru. LTTP also tactically left a lot of ammunitioans, vehicles, camps, boats, factories used to manufacture war items, submarines etc. But these are useless as per you.

As per you LTTP did all these just to attract all military divisions around Puthukudirippu and make them station in the jungle and narrow coastal belt.

Now LTTP is ready to start the real war with 55000 cadre and huge amount of artilary power and soon they will crush SLA as per you.

We all believe you and soon Peelam will be restored.

Thoughtful Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thoughtful Guy said... is a small refresher

This is what you said a few days back (its in your blog)

"Breaking News: Heavy Fighting Between LTTE and Sri Lankan Army Kills 3381 SLA
500 SLA dead bodies recorved and 5000 SLA has been arrested by Tamil Eelam army, Unconfirmed Reports says. WAITING FOR THE OFFICIAL REPORT FROM WANNI, TAMIL EELAM FOR MORE NEWS.

Ferociously heavy battles ensued between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lankan Security Forces (SF) in Mulaitivu causing heavy casualties among the combatants. Sri Lankan Army soldiers, heavy tanks and artillery were bogged down in the ensuing fighting, according to the sources in Vanni."

SO ACCORDING TO THIS, AS 3380 WAS KILLED, AND 5000 WAS TAKEN AS PRISONERS..THE LTTE HAD ALREADY TAKEN OUT MORE THAN 8380. SO according to your calculation, 8000 taken out-->16000 injured-->8000 more desertions = 32,000 SLA is out of action .... but SURPRISE SURPRISE...the WAR is still going on, and the SLA is within 1km from Puthu... SO SURELY THERE MUST BE SOME MISTAKE? OR maybe its the US Army which is fighting in the Wanni??

Can you explain this paradox??

NOLTTE=Peace said...

This Puligal is just Pulli and Gal.. no substance!

LTTE survives another day only because of the civilians that they keep as hostages and human-shield. If it wasn't for the civilians, LTTE has seen their vapor about a month ago.

Army has all the upper hand now.. The final battle would be fought in the "No Fire Zone" marked by the SL Army. This would happen when 70% of civilians have been released from the LTTE clutches by the Army.

The rest (30%) would be the most unfortunate ones, as they would be having the highest danger of getting caught in cross-fire!

Tamils should pressure LTTE to release all the civilians from their grip. Then they can come and fight with the Army on face to face!

Anonymous said...

All I can do is LOL

Anonymous said...

Why Don't you start to write a Novel....
You have the creativity and you have the ability to build dream worlds.

Anonymous said...

I like this article...The people who commented above me are fucking stupid! Keep up your writing bro...Take care...Tamil Eelam and Tamil Nadu is Tamil Homeland...Cheers

Neutral Guy said...

Indian corporate and bureaucrats are on top of making this happen. Congress and DMK started a Umbrella front to plan this at the grass root level they did earlier. Already the opposition has floated their own version of a umbrella organization in support of the separatists. All these are aimed at perpetuating the internal war in Lanka. Instead of helping the LTTE immediately now, they plan to help the LTTE just when they really ask for it. But nevertheless India NEVER WANTS THIS WAR TO END. For that matter NO ONE WANTS A CLEAR VICTORY FOR ONE SIDE OR THE OTHER, EVER , IN THIS RECESSION STUCK ECONOMY.. HAHAHAHA ..

Tharaka said...

You can next episode of Austin Power movie. You surely can dream.

Anonymous said...

Oyie.. Badrinath, tell me, what are you trying to achieve by writing this? Or are you high on some drug? Delusional is all I can say. Wake up and smell the coffee. It's all over. Get over it and let's try to build on what is left. The poor people of the north and east need some urgent help. So far you delusional thinking has achieved zilch! If you are smart enough you will try to change. If not there is no hope from people like you who funded this mess. You could do so much more for the poor people in the north and east instead of this drivel. Shut up and get on with it!

NOLTTE=Peace said...

It is fantabulastic man.. ! Fantabulastic..

He has stood and delivered like our Sana Boy delivered.. !

He has taken the rags, falls teeth and hair, and even the dirty undies off of UN, ICRC and HRW in a great comeback.

Standing ovation to Prof. Rajiva Wijedasa the only batsman who has come out to bat against the mighty LTTE c*ck s*ckers, especially in the UN and ICRC.

Oh man, man you got a read this.. you got a quote this.. you got a use this.. In one article he has done the justice to the nation. He has super eloquently told how the whole pack of lies have been formulated and delivered under the blanket of impunity brought by UN and ICRC.

If these goons of UN and ICRC had any self-respect, they should leave the country with immediate effect and let some decent people who are none C*ck S*ckers of LTTE to come to the office.

Read and quote guys, he has exposed the nudity of UN and ICRC.

Professor Rajiva Wijedasa exposing nudity of UN and ICRC (whoa!)

It looks to me that he has been sympathetic towards these goons and has been light on them.

Plaster this article on every online site guys.. every online site!

ReJLoRd said...

This is by far the best read I have read in ages. Besides all that bullshit from MoD ellalanforce and the crap oozes out like pus from all the defence sites. This is a really good insight into what the Tigers are really building up to.
sla seems to want to try and 'crush' the Tigers at all costs. Although we all know this is not happening, this is precisely what the Tigers want. More more over confident and hasty the dumbasses who can't even tell what a paintball gun is, the better it is for a counter attack. The element of surprise and shock will be a reeling effect when they do eventually get knocked back by a massive offensive from the Tigers.
Think about it for a second, it has been close to 2 and a half years since this war of attrition was started by the singala army. Don't you think Tigers would have planned or have been planning in all those peacekeeping+defensive fighting years? Give it a thought and you will realize how much bullshit the singala propaganda machine is churning out in order to cover their losses. singalas are getting real desperate.

Nishanthan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.