Channa Wickremesekera’s Military History on Eelam War One

A Tough Apprentiecship: Sri Lanka’s Military against the Tamil Militants 1979 -1987… by Channa Wickremesekera



List of Maps
Chapter 1: A Modest Establishment: Sri Lankan Military Forces Before the Tamil Insurgency
Chapter 2: A Ragged Rebellion Comes of Age
Chapter 3: Struggling to Respond: the Sri Lankan Military
Chapter 4: The Siege
Chapter  5: Breaking the Shackles: ‘Giant Step’ and Liberation’
Chapter 6: Victory Denied: ‘Operation Liberation in Retrospect
List of images
  SF troops on the way to a mission
The Sri Lankan security forces that defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) in 2009 evolved with that military conflict .  Beginning as little more than ceremonial establishments of a few thousand men, they matured during the course of the conflict in to  large, effective fighting forces that were eventually capable of completely defeating one of the most dangerous guerrilla organisations in the world.
Using a wide range of sources Wickremesekera examines the challenges faced by Sri Lanka’s military forces during the first phase of this conflict, starting with the first deployment of the army in the Jaffna peninsula to combat terrorism in 1979 to the first major military operation conducted by the Sri Lankan armed forces in May 1987. It was a time of unprecedented stress and strain for a small Third World military with little or no experience in handling the threat from a ruthless and highly motivated enemy. The military’s response demonstrated their inadequate training as well as their political masters’ skewed perception of the conflict, frequently leading to disastrous outcomes. But it was also a period of learning. Despite many bloody setbacks and failures the armed forces gradually learned the rudiments of fighting a guerrilla enemy, the culmination of this apprenticeship being the launching of ‘Operation Liberation,’ the first brigade-strength operation conducted by the Sri Lankan army.  Its conduct and the end result showed that while the armed forces still had a lot to learn, now they were by no means the bumbling amateurs they were at the beginning of the conflict.
  Special Forces Establishing a block south of Point Pedro
  Troops assembled at Palaly before the operation
ISBN: 978-0-6481349-0-9
EBAY is advertising the book for Aus $ 38.29 ….
Channa Wickremesekera is a military historian based in Melbourne. He obtained his PhD in History from Monash University in 1998. He is the author of The Best Black Troops in the World,Kandy at War and The Tamil Separatist War in Sri Lanka. He has also written  several works of fiction.
A NOTE from CHANNA: a short print run was seen to in Colombo so the hard copy will be available in bookstores soon. The POD hard copy is also available online including at Amazon.
   ***  ***
Lalin Fernando: “Reading Road to Nandikadal,”18 September 2016,

Hiran Halangode: “Lest WE Forget: “A Letter to the President of Sri Lanka from an Infantry Officer, Gemunu Watch,”5 April 2016, 2009 “War won’t stop until Prabhakaran is taken, dead or alive

Jeyaraj, D. B. S. 2011 “KP’ Speaks Out. An Interview with Former Tiger Chief, Vavuniya: NERDO.

Jeyaraj, D. B. S. 2015 “The Life and Death of Velupillai Pirapāharan,” 9 May 2015,

Roberts, Michael 2009 “Dilemma’s at War’s End: Clarifications and Counter-offensive,” www., rep. in Roberts, Fire and Storm, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, pp. 275-87.

Roberts, Michael 2010 “Simpletons at the World’s Peak: Sri Lankan Situation Stumps the World,” in Roberts, Fire and Storm, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, pp. 289-302.… originally in Frontline under a different title in May 2009

Roberts, Michael 2014 “Generating Calamity, 2008-2014: An Overview of Tamil Nationalist Operations and Their Marvels,” 10 April 2014,

Roberts, Michael 2014 “Winning the War: Evaluating the Impact of Api Wenuwen Api,” 1 September 2014,

Roberts, Michael 2014 Tamil Person and State. Pictorial, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications.

Telegraph 2009 “Britain and France fail to persuade Sri Lanka to end war,”


Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, doctoring evidence, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, military strategy, modernity & modernization, nationalism, political demonstrations, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajiv Gandhi, riots and pogroms, security, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes

2 responses to “Channa Wickremesekera’s Military History on Eelam War One

  1. Dalit

    Michael I do not know how long you were in the West. If you had some association with the Socialists you will se how Indians did use the Socialist in the West against locals of Indian colonies like Fiji and Ceylon or Burma.

Leave a Reply