SLA appoints new Vadamaradchi chief

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 April 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The SLA commander of Jaffna's Vadamaradchi division, Col.Larry Wijeratne is to be transferred out of the area with effect from April 20. Col. Wijeratne has been considered by the SLA as one of its best officers in the Jaffna peninsula. He was praised for keeping the activity of the Liberation Tigers under complete check in Vadamaradchi since 1996.

Tamil opponents of the Liberation Tigers also commended the strategy for pacification he adopted in in this region, which has been considered the political heartland of the Tamil nationalist movement.

However, recent incidents in the Vadamaradchi region in which many SLA soldiers have been killed has prompted the army to take a more combat-oriented approach to the situation rather than the intelligence/public relations oriented approach hitherto used by Larry Wijeratne.

Col.Wijeratne had considerable experience with the Sri Lankan army's Directorate of Military Intelligence.

SLA sources said that he would be replaced by Col. Sarath Karunaratne, who is considered a battle hardened officer. He served as the General Staff Officer 1 at the SLA HQ's Directorate of Operations.

Col. Karunaratne was commended highly by the army brass for holding out against the siege of his camp at Elephant Pass by the Liberation Tigers for almost a month in 1991.

Col. Larry Wijeratne will become the deputy commandant of the Kotalawale Defence Academy near Colombo said SLA sources at the Palaly security forces HQ yesterday.

 

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