SLA plays down dismal performance

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 August 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lankan army's attempt to capture the tiny town of Puliyankulum is taking an embarrassingly long time. Despite deploying thousands of troops with tanks, artillery and air support, progress has been agonisingly slow. To detract attention from its dismal performance, the SLA has been releasing exaggerated claims of Tamil Tiger casualties.

The SLA has been attempting to capture Puliyankulum for nearly two months as part of its on-going operation 'Jaya Sikiru'. Repeated assaults, backed by furious artillery barrages and air strikes, have failed to dislodge the Tiger defenders.

Last Tuesday the Sri Lankan military launched its biggest ever effort to take Puliyankulum. Thousands of Sinhalese troops pushed forward from their positions 2 miles south of the town and almost immediately ran into Tiger resistance.

The LTTE is said to have deployed only a few hundred troops in the area, but they are backed by artillery and mortars which have been zeroed onto the towns' approach routes.

After a week of heavy fighting, the SLA is claiming it has captured a part of the small town. An unused railway station is said to have been captured by the SLA and is being touted as a 'strategic' position. However, most of Puliyankulum town itself is still said to be in Tiger hands.

The SLA has been clearly taken aback by the intensity of the Tiger resistance. By its own admission, at least 77 Sinhalese troops have been killed. The actual number is believed to be much higher as the Sri Lankans routinely conceal their losses while exaggerating Tiger casualties.

Last Thursday the SLA officially stated that 16 soldiers were killed in the day's fighting. However, other army officers speaking on condition of anonymity, told agency reporters that at least 46 soldiers had been killed.

Apart from playing down its losses, the SLA has been exaggerating Tamil Tiger casualties, both to maintain morale amongst its ranks and the Sinhala public.

On Tuesday, the SLA claimed 29 Sinhalese troops and 130 Tigers were killed. On Wednesday, the SLA said a further 100 Tigers and 6 Sri Lankan soldiers were killed. On Thursday, the SLA said another 60 Tigers and 16 Sri Lankan soldiers were killed. On Friday, the SLA claimed 70 Tigers and 7 Sri Lankan troops killed.

The SLA routinely exaggerates the numbers of LTTE killed to maintain enthusiasm for its war in the homelands. However, the extent to which casualty figures are being exaggerated in recent days seems to have been prompted by the snail's pace at which the SLA operation is moving.

Even the staunchly pro-Sinhalese island newspaper poured scorn on the official numbers, saying "There is no doubt the ministry [of Defence]'s claims of Tiger casualties should be confined to children's fairy tales. Its habit of killing Tigers in nice, round figures of one hundred and thirty, sixty and one hundred and clear evidence that these are nothing but estimates...".

The Sri Lankan army often seeks to justify its fictitious claims by citing 'intercepted enemy transmissions'. This has been cited for years as 'evidence' of Tiger losses. However, the SLA has never been able to successfully counter LTTE attacks or penetrate Tiger defences with the guile that could be expected were Tiger communications being successfully intercepted.

The international press has not been allowed into the Tamil homelands for over two years now, ensuring that government claims of events there cannot be disproved.


Latest 15 Reports
04.02.24 15:40   Photo
சியோனிசம் காணும் தோல்வி ஈழத்தமிழருக்குப் பலன் தரவல்ல படிமை மாற்றத்தின் அறிகுறி
24.04.22 05:44  
தீவின் நெருக்கடிச் சூழலில் ஈழத்தமிழர் தேசம் கடைப்பிடிக்கவேண்டிய நிலைப்பாடுகள்
09.04.22 14:44   Photo
குறிதவறும் ஈழத்தமிழர் தலைமைகளுக்கு வரலாறு தருகின்ற எச்சரிக்கை
21.01.22 07:24   Photo
ஈழத்தமிழர் தேசத்தின் தலைமைத்துவம் தேர்தல் அரசியற் கட்சிகளுக்கு அப்பாலானது
02.11.21 15:32   Photo
13 ஆம் சட்டத்திருத்தத்தால் கட்டமைக்கப்பட்ட இன அழிப்பை எதிர்கொள்ள முடியுமா?
15.09.21 08:19  
English version not available
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
09.04.21 14:46  
English version not available
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
Find this article at: