“Double Eagle” responding to a Query that I sent re the Assassination of Retd Major-General Janaka Perera in 2008.[i]
He was assassinated by the LTTE in their calculated political-military strategy directed towards selectively eliminating potential Sri Lanka Sinhalese leaders whom the Tamils considered a threat to their Eelam ambition. I am inclined to believe that the Tamil grand strategy to selectively take out strong Sinhala leaders was not of LTTE making. The LTTE were fighters and not strategists. The strategy may have evolved at a higher level from the pro-Eelam Tamil community within the country and abroad.[ii]
I will not rule out the possibility of a Scandinavian country that was heavily involved in the Sri Lanka conflict (not militarily, but strategically) who mistakenly thought that elevating the LTTE to a nation state entity would enable a resolution to the conflict. That country may have provided ‘brownie points’ to the Tamil separatist grand strategy.
The Scandinavian country concerned attempted to place the LTTE on par with the Sri Lanka state. That was a mistake.
The military strongly disagreed with this policy of sitting down with the LTTE for peace talks across the table. But the Sri Lanka state during times of military setbacks wavered and was trapped in a very difficult situation.
The country lacked determined political-military leadership until the advent of the Rajapakse Govt in 2005. The current President (then Secretary of Defense and a former soldier) prepared the military to defeat the LTTE militarily while his elder sibling tried to find a peaceful resolution.
When the SL govt failed in that attempt, Sec Def Gotabhaya Rajapakse had the armed forces ready under an outstanding soldier, General Sarath Fonseka (now FM) to take the LTTE head-on. That strategy worked.
Former Indian Foreign Secy Shivshankar Menon in his book “Choices: The Making of Indian Foreign Policy” agrees. In the chapter ” Force Woks” he commends Gotabhaya R.
Michael Roberts-to-Double Eagle in response, 24 Sept 2021
But note that the crucial SIOT concept emerged from circa 2000/01: as a spin-off from Elephant-Pass debacle where a few extraordinary guys made it back to Vavuniya. Right?
Answer from “Double Eagle,” 24 Sept 2021
Not sure when the SIOT concept evolved. It was the brainchild of Gen Fonseka (as Army Commander) who wanted Infantry troops to gain the confidence to operate well forward of the FDLs [Forward Defence Lines]. He entrusted the Commandos and the Special Forces to do the training for Infantry troops.
It was a great success.
SELECT LIMITED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Sarvananthan, M. 2019 “A Clinical Study of the LTTE and Pirapaharan,” https://thuppahis.com/2019/06/02/a-clinical-study-of-the-ltte-and-pirapakaran/
Iyer, Ganeshan 2012 “Military Training in the German Nazi Mould amidst Internal Dissension in the early LTTE, late 1970s,” trans by Paremes Blacker, https://thuppahis.com/2012/01/30/military-training-in-the-german-nazi-mould-amidst-internal-dissension-in-the-early-ltte-late-1970s/
Menon, Shivshankar 2016 Choices: Inside the Making of India’s Foreign Policy, https://www.amazon.com.au/Choices-Inside-Making-Indias-Foreign/dp/0815729103
Narayan Swamy, M. R. 2009 “Prabhakaran: from Catapult Killer to Ruthless Insurgent,” IANS, 18 May 2009 – see http://twocircles.net/node/148596.
Peiris, Gerald H. 2009 Twilight of the Tigers. Peace Efforts and Power Struggles in Sri Lanka, Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications,
Ragavan 2009a “Interview with Ragavan on Tamil Militancy (Early Years),”http://kafila.org/ 2009/02/16/interview-with-ragavan-on-tamil-militancy-part-i/
Ranasinghe, Colonel HP 2020 “The SIOT Concept: One Foundation for SL Army Success in Eelam War IV,” https://thuppahis.com/2020/11/20/the-siot-concept-one-foundation-for-sl-army-success-in-eelam-war-iv/
Roberts, Michael 1996 “Filial Devotion and the Tiger Cult of Suicide,” Contributions to Indian Sociology 30: 245-72.
Sivaram, D. P. 1992a “Tamil Militarism – The Code of Suicide,” Lanka Guardian June 1992, 15: 13-16.
Taraki [D. P. Sivaram] 2004a “LTTE develops Asymmetric Deterrence to stall Foreign Intervention,” Daily Mirror 22 May 2004.
Thuppahi 2019 “SIOT or Special Action Infantry Teams: Their Origins and Critical Role in Eelam War IV,” 21 May 2019,
[i] Retd Major General Janaka Perera and his wife were killed along with 27 (?) others by a suicide bomber at Anuradhapura on 6th October 2008 while serving as a leading member of the UNP. He had retired in 2001 and served as an ambassador for Sri Lanka in Australia and Indonesia and then joined the UNP.
[ii] Note: I disagree with Double-Eagle on this issue. From his earliest days in active underground politics, Velupillai Pirapaharan reached for the gun when sharp conflicts developed (A) within the underground force of militants which became the LTTE; and (B) in the violent conflict between different Tamil rebel groups in the 1980s to lead the battle against GoSL.