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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 107

Tiger air raid a stunt for headlines

From our Defence Correspondent

Colombo, 26 March, ( The two Tiger light aircrafts missed the target of destroying the newly purchased MIGs in their raid on the military air base in Katunayake early this morning. It, however, killed three soldiers and injured 17 but it had no significant military impact.

According to a military analyst, the bombs hit the headlines of the media and the minds of the public more than the intended military target.

He said that the raid was more of a “propaganda stunt” than an effective air raid. He added: “This is more like a dart hitting outside the board and the prick too is of the same magnitude.

Unlike the first ground attack on the Katunayake airport which seriously damaged aircraft and questioned the military capability this raid reflects the desperation of the Tigers to do something to impress and boost the sagging morale of the diaspora and its local cadres. It is a temporary psychological boost which will disappear like the headlines. It has no significant military implications. This is not like 9/11. It is a mere pin prick,”he said.

The analyst said that despite the bravado of the Tigers they cannot sustain an air offensive with light aircraft flying low. They are easy pickings for anti-air craft guns. Besides, the Tiger capacity to maintain a sustained air offensive is very limited. If the two or three known aircrafts are downed – and that could be easily achieved if the Tigers expose them frequently for their raids -- that would destroy the air-wing of the Tigers. Those low-flying aircraft are also very vulnerable to attacks from the ground, according to military analysts.

So the Tigers would have to use it sparingly. Besides, the surprise element in this first ever raid by the air-wing of the Tigers also will not be there in future air raids.

However, military analysts are impressed by the flying skills of the Tiger cadres. There are no facilities for the Tiger pilots to get their training in Sri Lanka. The analysts suspect that the Tiger pilots got their training abroad, either in Australia or America. There are sufficient private companies giving training to individuals who have the money to pay. With their links to the Tamil diaspora in Australia and America slotting Tiger cadres sent from Sri Lanka into training classes for selected Tiger cadres is not a difficulty.

This raid also exposes the slackness of the Security Forces who according to informed sources had detected these planes on the radar but had not taken appropriate action. There has been a woeful lack of alertness and coordination in their operations.

- Asian Tribune -

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