The Defence Column

19th May 1996

Formula for action

By Our Defence Correspondent

The emergence of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from a youthful militant outfit to arguably the world's most ruthless guerrilla organization, was a result of a three-prone formula. The uncanny brain of master strategist Velupillai Prabhakaran, madening commitment of the rank and file and thirdly, miraculous intelligence gathering.

The world's best-known intelligence agencies have often been surprised by the LTTE's ability to gather restricted information at will, anywhere around the world where the group had any operational interests.

In Sri Lanka, the LTTE's de-facto government enjoyed for many years, uninterrupted success, thanks to an infalliable defence network created by its mighty intelligence wing.

While the LTTE's intelligence wing was making merry, across the enemy lines.


The LTTE with abusive powers vested on the intelligence wing kept the civilians in North and East under strict vigilance. The meaning of the age-old saying 'Even walls can hear' was quite clear to Tamils living in areas under LTTE's control. Civilians were careful not to utter a word against the LTTE even in their homes - "intelligence boys would know" - they would say.

A contributing factor to the government's limited success in 13 years of war was on one hand, the LTTE's incredible intelligence network


Go to the Military Column

Return to the Editorial/Opinion contents page

Go to the Defence Column Archive