57 Division (Sri Lanka)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
57 Division
Active 2008 - Present
Country Sri Lanka
Branch Sri Lanka Army
Type Infantry Division
Part of Security Forces Headquarters - Kilinochchi
Headquarters Kilinochchi
Engagements Sri Lankan Civil War
Commanders
Current
commander
Maj. Gen Jagath Dias

The 57 Division is a newly formed infantry division of the Sri Lanka Army. A principal offensive division it is currently deployed for combat operations in the Wanni region.[1]

Formation[edit]

With the start of Eelam War IV, a phase of the Sri Lankan Civil War, the Sri Lankan military launched an offensive to capture the Eastern Province from the LTTE. The Sri Lankan military had captured the Eastern Province from the LTTE by July 2007.[2] Soon after this, the military's focus was shifted to the North, and a new offensive began to capture the Northern Province from the LTTE.[3]

A new division named as the 57 Division had been created by the Sri Lanka Army on 26 February 2007. This was created as an offensive division, with the task of neutralising LTTE threats on civilian settlements in Vavuniya and Mannar.[4] Three brigades comprised the 57 Division, named as 571, 572 and 573. The 571 Brigade was commanded by Colonel G.V. Ravipriya, while the 572 Brigade was commanded by Colonel Senerath Bandara. The 573 Brigade was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Prathap Thillekeratne.[5] Participating in the northern offensive, the 57 Division under the command of Major General Jagath Dias, commenced operations in March 2007.[6] It was deployed to advance on Kilinochchi along the western flank of the Wanni region.[7]

A new brigade named as the 574 Brigade was added to the 57 Division in October 2008, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Senaka Wijesuriya.[8] The command of the 572 Brigade was taken over by Lieutenant Colonel Dhammika Jayasundera during this time.[5]

Sri Lankan Civil War[edit]

Operations[edit]

In late March 2008, the 57 Division was given the objective of capturing the Madhu church and surrounding areas by the Sinhala and Tamil new year in April.[9] The 57 Division captured this area on 24 April 2008.[10][11] After securing Madhu, Palampiddi became the next objective,[12] which was captured on 17 May.[13] After capturing the village of Mundumurippu in May and Periyamadhu in June,[14] the 57 Division continued its advance into LTTE held territory and linked up with the 58 Division on 30 June 2008.[15]

A new army division was created during the same time to hold the ground captured by the 57 Division.[16] This new division, which was named the 61 Division, was given the task of holding the areas captured by the 57 Division up to Palampiddi, enabling the 57 Division to focus on the offensive.[15]

Towns captured by 57 Division[edit]

# Area Liberated[17] Date
1 Madhu church complex 24 April 2008
2 Palampiddi Town 16 May 2008
3 Mundumurippu Village 23 May 2008
4 Periyamadhu Village 15 June 2008
5 Naddankandal Village 11 July 2008
6 Kalvilan Village 13 August 2008
7 Thunukkai and Uilankulam Towns 22 August 2008
8 Mallavi Town 2 September 2008
9 Akkarayankulam tank bund 29 October 2008
10 Akkarayankulam built-up 5 November 2008
11 Kokavil Town 1 December 2008
12 Terumurikandy junction 10 December 2008
13 Kilinochchi Town 2 January 2009
14 Ramanathapuram 7 January 2009
15 Visuamadu Town 28 January 2009

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sri Lanka Army captured Vellankulam – last bastion of Tigers in Mannar district
  2. ^ Gardner, Simon (11 July 2007). "Sri Lanka declares fall of rebel east, Tigers defiant". Reuters. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  3. ^ Perera, Amantha (23 September 2007). "Defensive Tigers warn of lethal days". The Sunday Leader. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  4. ^ Wijayapala, Ranil. "Path Clear for Wanni Liberation". Daily News (Ministry of Defence of Sri Lanka). Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Wijayapala, Ranil (12 October 2008). "VIPs advised to strictly adhere to security measures". Sunday Observer. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  6. ^ "The Final Countdown". Ministry of Defence of Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  7. ^ Ferdinando, Shamindra (11 January 2009). "Forces poised for the kill on the Eastern flank: How Elephant Pass was won". The Island. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  8. ^ Wijayapala, Ranil (10 October 2008). "Battered Tigers irked by Southern unity against terrorism". Daily News. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  9. ^ Jeyaraj, D.B.S. (13 April 2008). "Displaced Our Lady of Madhu statue in danger of disappearance". The Nation. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  10. ^ Ruwan, Weerakoon (31 December 2008). "2008 blasts LTTE’s myth of ‘invincibility’". The Bottom Line. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  11. ^ Wijayapala, Ranil (11 May 2008). "Fall of Adampan humiliates LTTE". Sunday Observer. Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  12. ^ Senpathi (11 May 2008). "Tigers on the back foot as Army presses on". The Nation. Retrieved 19 February 2009. 
  13. ^ Singh, Ajit Kumar (September 2008). "LTTE: Heartland Imperilled". South Asian Outlook. Retrieved 19 February 2009. 
  14. ^ "Sri Lanka 2008 at a Glance: Chronology of Important Events of 2008". Observer Research Foundation. Retrieved 19 February 2009. 
  15. ^ a b Wijayapala, Ranil (13 July 2008). "Gallant forces gallop on the last lap to liberation". Sunday Observer. Retrieved 19 February 2009. 
  16. ^ Wijayapala, Ranil (25 May 2008). "Troops poised to capture Periyamadu". Sunday Observer. Archived from the original on 17 February 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2009. 
  17. ^ http://defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20090117_03