January 27, 2020
Home  »  Website  »  National  » Opinion  »  Iran To Fund Lankan Arms Purchases?

Iran To Fund Lankan Arms Purchases?

The buzz has it that the government of Sri Lanka has requested Iran for an urgent loan at low interest to enable it to purchase trainer and electronic surveillance aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Iran To Fund Lankan Arms Purchases?

Reliable Tamil sources also say that about 12 to 15 members of the Pakistani Armed Forces, including four or five from the Pakistan Air Force, are stationed in Colombo to guide the Sri Lankan security forces in their counter-insurgency operations. The Pakistan Air Force officers have reportedly been guiding the SLAF officers in effectively carrying out air-mounted operations against the LTTE.They have also been reportedly involved in drawing up plans for a decapitation strike from the air, with bunker-buster bombs, to kill Prabakaran.

The reported posting of Air Vice-Marshal Shehzad Chaudhry, who had handled in the past air-mounted operations against the Baloch freedom-fighters, is expected to further step up the Pakistani involvement in the use of air strikes to subdue the LTTE and intimidate the Tamil population.

--Extracts from my article dated August 18, 2006: 
Pakistan In Lanka

According to reliable Sri Lankan sources, the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse has requested the government of Iran through a Malaysian Muslim of Indian/Sri Lankan origin for an urgent loan at low interest to enable it to purchase trainer and electronic surveillance aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles in replacement of those lost during the recent ground-cum-air attack launched by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at the Anuradhapura air base of the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF). It has also requested Iran for the supply of oil and gas at concessional rates on credit. These requests are expected to be followed up personally by President Rajapakse during a planned visit to Iran shortly.

The Malaysian Muslim, who is acting as the intermediary, is a close personal friend of A. Q. Khan, the Pakistani nuclear scientist, and had come into contact with key Iranian officials in the past through A. Q. Khan.

The Rajapakse government has also requested Pakistan for the replacement of the unmanned aerial vehicles destroyed by the LTTE. Some of them had been given in the past by Pakistan and some others by Israel. It has also requested China urgently for the latest radar and other air defence equipment.

Pakistani Commandoes from its Special Services Group (SSG) have been training Sri Lankan Commandoes and some anti-LTTE Tamils in secret training camps in Southern Sri Lanka as a prelude to the expected military offensive in the Wanni area of the Northern Province. Some of the Sri Lankan commandoes had also been to Pakistan for training in the SSG training institutions.

In the meanwhile, the SLAF, with the help of Pakistani and Ukrainian pilots, has stepped up its efforts for a decapitation strike to kill Prabakaran. A monitoring station to locate the hide-out of Prabakaran has been set up at an unidentified location in the Eastern Province with the help of Pakistan's Directorate of Military Intelligence (DGMI) to identify the location of Prabakaran's hide-out.

In an interview to the Sunday Observer of November 11, 2007, the SLAF Commander Air Marshal Roshan Goonatilleke said ` that it was not a difficult task for the SLAF to get at Prabhakaran as he was confined to a very limited area. He added that, "We will find him somehow."

B. Raman is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai.

Next Story >>
Google + Linkedin Whatsapp

Read More in:

The Latest Issue

Outlook Videos