Fonseka resumes command of Jaffna SLA

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 May 2002, 19:54 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army Major General Sarath Fonseka took command of troops in Jaffna Thursday, returning to a post he was transferred out of in 2000 following infighting in the SLA high command.

“[The] newly appointed Commander, Security Forces Headquarters (Jaffna) assumed office on Thursday at auspicious time after a brief religious ceremony,” the SLA said in a statement. The predominantly Sinhala Army incorporates Buddhist rituals into its ceremonies.

In the wake of the fall of Elephant Pass base complex to the Liberation Tigers in early 2000, Major General Fonseka, was appointed Security Forces Commander, Jaffna while Major General Janaka Perera became Overall Operations Commander, North.

In bitter fighting later that year, the two SLA commanders oversaw the destruction of Chavacachcheri town and its environs. The liberal use of newly supplied multi-paralleled rocket launchers (MBRLs) resulted in much of the town being reduced to rubble.

Following bitter feuding between the two later resulted in both being transferred out of the region press reports said at the time. Maj. Gen. Perera reverted to his substantive post as Deputy Chief of Staff. Maj. Gen. Fonseka took over a Security Forces Commander, Wanni.


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