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Special Task Force - 3rd Eelam War - 19.04.1995 to 22.02.2002

The Peace Accord between the Government and the LTTE in January 1995, broke down in April 1995. The LTTE which was at that time confined to the jungles, carried out unsuccessful attacks on STF Camps at Tikkodai, Porativu and Ambalanturai. From time to time the LTTE terrorists retreated in the face of the dedication and great mental strength shown by the S.T.F. The LTTE launched a heavy attack on Pulukunawa Camp on 12.11.1996. The S.L.A. and the S.T.F. jointly fought the attack on the Camp. This was considered as the heaviest attack on a Camp in the history of the S.T.F.

The STF troops with great determination fought back and after several hours of fighting, recaptured the Camp.

Special Task Force - 3rd Eelam WarAfter this operation, SSP Upali Sahabandu, who gave leadership, was killed by a suicide bomber on 19.11.1996 when travelling from ‘Batticaloa to Ampara. This incident occurred at Kalmunakudi in Kalmunai area. Although this was a success to the LTTE organization, the undeterred STF troops with great bravery carried out operations and destroyed the LTTE strongholds in the East.

During this time, DIG Dharmasiri Weerakoon who was the Commandant, met with a tragic death on 31.05.1998. Nimal Gunatilleke, DIG, who was attached to the N.I.B., was appointed as the new Commandant of the STF.

Under his leadership, he took a direct decision to deploy a team of STF troops to Wanni District to add strength to the Armed Forces during the fierce fighting with the LTTE. At that time ASP Patrick Edema, Chief Inspector Sylvester Wijesinghe and W.M.K. Pandiwita and a team of STF troops were sent to Vavuniya District to perform duties.

Thereafter STF camps were established from Vavuniya town up to Murunkan area. Two A.S.PP. were appointed to be incharge of Vavuniya and Murunkan Divisions under the control of SSP K.M.L. Sarathchandra. During this time there were heavy terrorist activities where STF gave their fullest support to the Army in combat operations.

STF troops who came in for praise from the then President, were deployed to assist SLA in the operation conducted by Major General Janaka Perera during the time of Elephant pass attack. SSP K.M.L. Sarathchandra and several other officers were sent to Jaffna area. From then until the end of cruel terrorist war, the STF rendered a great service to counter terrorism and more than 3/4th of the Ampara Batticaloa District was brought under the control of the S.T.F.

On 9.9.2003 DIG Nimal Gunatilleke relinquished his post as Commandant S.T.F. on medical grounds. His service to the STF too will be remembered. For the first time in the history of the S.T.F. the unit was able to operate in the operational districts of Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Ampara during this time.