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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 111

It's Not the Tiger Air Wing but the Ground Cadres

By Jaya Rohana

The tiger attack on the Anuradhapura Air Force base can be termed as the recent most success achieved by the LTTE terrorists against the Security Forces. It is important to analyze the real pattern of the tiger attack so that an undue publicity for the tiger air wing is not awarded.

The tendency of many so called defence analysts who live in our country will go all out in promoting the tiger air wing and later they will exactly tell how all the black tigers were trained, from where the light air craft were purchased, how the tigers infiltrated the camp etc. Except for few of those so called experts in analyzing the conflict in Sri Lanka all the others have maintained a reactive mode when commenting on defence related issues during the recent past. Thos who were very active in disclosing probable tiger tactics in the past (in a time period where the Security Forces were facing military setbacks) are now adopting a method of not disclosing such and at the same time avoid giving due publicity for the recent successes recorded by the Government Forces. This is seen as assisting the tiger media propaganda.

The same theory will apply in this occasion too. Some of the defence journalists in this country do prefer to call the tiger terrorists as rebels like many westerners do. Some like to highlight the suicide cadres as the most powerful weapon on earth and even went on to the extent of making documentaries in order to market the suicide mentality.

If we think of today's incident it is very clear that there were many lapses on our side. One needs to look seriously into the loop holes which let the tigers into the camp, how they planned the attack etc. But the media quite often mislead real facts. Some do it intentionally while the others do it by mistake. By carrying out an attack on the Air Force base with two elements (ground and air), tigers tried to prove that their tiger air wing is superior in challenging our Air Force specially with fewer lighter air craft.

Looking at the events closely we can see that the tiger air arm was used as a psychological tool in order to drag the credit of what ever the successes achieved by the ground cadres who were really involved in inflicting damages.

When analyzing the locations where the two bombs were dropped by the tiger light air craft, it is very clear that they fell quite far from the main hangers and very much away from the air defence gun locations. One shell was dropped near a signal school while the other was dropped near a billet. Those who preferred to say that this attack was a major success of the tiger air wing reported exactly the same way so that they help in promoting the tiger air wing. But the real dent was done by the tiger ground cadres and their firing inside the base which damaged helicopter gun ships and few other air craft. The fresh thing that the tigers introduced at this stage was combining the air attack with a ground element to make the assault look more like a western film.

Some say there are ups and downs in any form of battle while some say a victory is best measured in terms sustaining the defeats to fight back the second day.

- Asian Tribune -

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