|Special Task Force - 1st Eelam War - 23.07.1983 to 29.07.1987|
During this period the LTTE were able to subjugate the other terrorist organizations and become active in the Eastern Province. On 03.04.1985 the LTTE launched an attack on the Eravur Police Station. The S.T.F. personnel, who came to the assistance of the Police, launched a counter attack on the LTTE and inflicted heavy losses on them and saved the police personnel and the Police Station. The STF earned high praise of the Government and the Army. After this incident, Batticaloa and Ampara were brought under the control of the S.T.F. Four more Camps were established at Kiran, Karadiyanaru, Kalawanchikudi and Akkaraipattu and successful operations were carried out to control the terrorist activities.
At this time recruitment was done by the Police Department to increase the strength of the S.T.F. On 22.08.1985 direct recruitment was done by the S.T.F. in addition to the strength provided by the Police Department. This provided an opportunity to recruit personnel with special skills to the Transport, Communication and Administration Divisions of the S.T.F.
On information received from the Intelligence Division that LTTE training camps have been established in the jungle areas in the East, S.T.F. troops carried out a well planned attack on the LTTE training camp at Karadiyanaru code named “Malwatte” and captured it in February 1986.
With the increase of LTTE activities in jungle areas of Kanjikudichiaru in Ampara, the S.T.F. established a Camp at Tirukkovil. A new command structure was established in Batticaloa North and South and ASP Ilangakoon and ASP Jayantha Gamage gave leadership to the troops to counter terrorist activities.
On 02.06.1987 LTTE area leader Regan and a team of LTTE cadres carried out a brutal attack on Rev. Hagoda Indrasara Thero and 33 other monks who were on their way to an Upasampada ceremony, at a place called Arantalawa in Ampara District. Due to several attacks on Sri Lanka Air Force planes and other terrorist attacks, S.T.F. Camps were established in Vavunativu, Morakottanchena, Ariyampattu, and Pillumalai. In Ampara South area S.T.F. Camps were established in Pottuvil, Lahugala and Panama to protect Sinhala and Muslim villagers and farmers engaged in cultivation, increasing the number of Camps to 12 in the area.
For nearly 04 years, the capabilities and unity of S.T.F. troops as well as their dedication to duty, was a source of strength to their success. Correct leadership given to them was the key to successfully counter terrorism in a short time.
With the setbacks suffered by the LTTE in the face of operations carried out by the Defence Forces and the Police Special Task Force and due to heavy losses of their cadres and equipment, the terrorists carried out campaigns at international level stating that adequate food and relief was not being given to the civilian population in the North and East. As result of this campaign and due to other reasons, the Indian Peace Keeping Force arrived in Sri Lanka. At this time the activities in S.T.F. Camps in the East came to an end. With the beginning of J.V.P. activities in the South, the Defence Ministry ordered the S.T.F. to put an end to J.V.P. activities. Several S.T.F. Camps in the East were closed down and new Camps were opened in Monaragala, Walasmulla, Morayaya, Tangalla, Matara, Wellawaya, Yalabowa,Tanamalwila and Digdenipotha. The assistance given by the S.T.F. helped to restore peace in the region. SP Mr N.K Ilangakoon was appointed as the Commanding officer (C/O) of the zone. The service rendered by the S.T.F. in this regard will be remembered by the people of Sri Lanka in the future.