Sri Lankan army re-deploys forces after defeating LTTE

Two headquarters have been set up at Kilinochchi, once the de-facto capital of LTTE, and Mullaitivu as part of post-LTTE re-deployment plan.

In keeping with Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka's strategy, 51 and 52 Divisions along with Task Force 7 (TF 7) are deployed in the northern peninsula under SF Headquarters, Jaffna, the Sunday Island newspaper reported.

Major General Mendaka Samarasinghe, who is in charge of the peninsula would also have the 55 Division commanded by Brigadier Prasanna Silva stationed at Chalai, on the Mullaitivu coast, on reserve status.

The TF 7 has been assigned to the strategic Elephant Pass area, one of the major battlegrounds of the civil war that ended last month with the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran, who once controlled majority of the eastern and northern provinces.

The army said that the forces now assigned to the Jaffna peninsula were small when compared with the strength available to any previous SF Commander, Jaffna, before the collapse of the LTTE, the Sunday Island reported.

The army had two fighting divisions, namely 55 and 53 deployed along the 12 km long Jaffna frontline to thwart LTTE assault across it.

Major General Jagath Jayasuriya, in charge of SF headquarters, Vanni, will have 21 Division headquartered at Vavuniya and Area Headquarters at Mannar and Weli Oya, the newspaper reported.

The army said that of the five Divisions involved in the Vanni offensive, only 57 and 59 had been deployed while others, namely, 58, 55 and 53 placed on reserve. All Divisions placed on reserve are answerable to the army chief.

59 Division is deployed at Mullaitivu under the command of Brigadier Chagi Gallage. The 59 along with TF 8 and TF 4 had been placed under the commander of Major General Nandana Udawatte, SF Commander, Mullaitivu.

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