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Special Task Force - Specialized Units

For administration purposes of the STF, several Divisions were set up.


Special Task Force - Specialized Units

The STF VIP Division: This Division was started in 1987, after a bomb attack in Parliament. Greater precautionary measures were taken to provide security to VIPP. This duty was entrusted to the STF, The training given to STF personnel, their expertise, dedication and experience were the reasons for the STF becoming the best security unit in Sri Lanka within a short time. From then upto now, this Division provides security to Royalty, Presidents and other VIPP with distinction. 

The VIP Division teams have undergone training both locally and abroad.

After the grenade attack in Parliament on 08.08.1987, The Search Team of the S.T.F. was established and deployed on VIP Security duties. The Bomb Disposal Team was given training by the Israel Police Department and from 2000 along with the Search Team, provided extra strength to the VIP Security. They perform duties as the Search and Bomb Disposal Squad. 

Special Task Force - Specialized Units

Presently the Bomb Disposal Unit of the S.T.F. has a specialized knowledge in handling of terrorist manufactured bombs (IED) and suicide cadres.


All explosive devices taken into custody by the Police Department are now defused by this Unit. The duties of the S.T.F. in defusing bombs have increased. Apart from the duties carried out in Colombo area, the Bomb Disposal activities are carried out in other parts of the country as well. Also workshops are held regarding safety measures to be taken in schools and other organizations to make them aware of the dangers.In 1995, in order to meet, sudden attacks by the terrorists in the border villages of Digamadulla area, the STF was given a specialized training in jungle warfare and later deployed under the leadership of SSP Upali Sahabandu in the jungle areas of Digamadulla as Small Groups in order to face the terrorists’ attacks. These Small groups were thus able to launch counter attacks on LTTE terrorists who were hiding in the jungles. This was a serious threat to the terrorists. As a result they were forced to increase their strength to defend themselves.

Special Task Force - Specialized Units


Acting on special information gathered on the locations where the terrorists were operating, these Small groups launched attacks in the jungle areas with the aim of inflicting heavy losses to the terrorists. On 12.10.2007 the concept of Small Groups was further improved and a Unit known as °Cheetah" was formed. Apart from the special Small Group training given to the S.T.F. further training was given in the use of Special Weapons, a Naval special training in coastal defence, training on the lines of the Army Special Forces, a Life Saving training in jungle warfare and a number of special training programmes were conducted and a specialized Long Range Reconnaissance Small Teams were attached to the S.T.F.


The "Cheetah" Unit which received this training launched a humanitarian operation to liberate the people from the inhuman terrorists, quite successfully. In this operation the S.T.F. were able to capture a large stock of arms and ammunition belonging to the terrorists and to capture their Camps. The assistance given by the "Cheetah" Unit to the operation "Niyathai Jeyai" is remembered with gratitude.


ASP Sylvester Wijesinghe, who gave leadership to this specialized units carried out several successful attacks. Several LTTE leaders, terrorists groups were eliminated and a large quantity of arms and ammunition belonging to the terrorists was recovered.


After the dawn of peace the "Cheetah" Unit was used with the other STF troops to conduct several operations in the jungle areas in Uva and Southern Province, large scale illegal CSL (ganja) plantations, illegal slaughter of animals in protected jungles, and illicit felling of timber were detected and those responsible were taken into custody and produced in Courts. Further, this Unit is prepared to perform any duties in the future to combat any possible terrorist threat.

Special Task Force - Specialized Units


In 1995 with the formation of the "Small Groups", whilst performing duties in the jungle areas, a need arose for a Quick Reaction Team. In order to travel quickly in landmine areas abandoned by the terrorists, the first Motor Cycle Attack squad was formed in 1996 with the use of 12 Suzuki Motor Cycles. 24 STF personnel underwent special training under a German Instructor. These personnel gave a

special face to the S.T.F. on the battle field.


And again in the year 2005 another team of Motor Cycle Attack squad were trained by same German Instructor and Sri Lankan assistant. These teams were initially deployed on VIP protection which later with further training developed into an elite force.

Again in 2006, the strength of this Unit was expanded by introducing more motor cycles and men. They are now deployed in Colombo, Kandy, Vavuniya and Southern Province in the island. This Motor Cycle Unit is definitely a source of great strength to the S.T.F.


STF is in the process of forming a parachute unit. Though 24 members were trained by Indian Para Troopers in India and also by the Sri Lankan Para Troopers of the SLAF, we still say that we are in the process of developing this unit.


Establishing of SWAT teams (special weapons and tactics teams) in the year of 2005 was another achievement in the path of success. This Unit provides protection to foreign ambassadors who arrive in Sri Lanka from time to time and also to special dignitaries. They were also deployed to provide protection to cricketers who arrived for the 2011 World Cup cricket tournament and who were residing in various hotels. They are also deployed for duties at times of civil disturbances in the city and have carried out their duties with distinction. They have brought great honor to the S.T.F.

Special Task Force - Specialized Units


Like in other security forces’ units, Women Police personnel were recruited to the S.T.F. on 15.12.1992, 31.05.1997 and 20.02.2010. Apart from office duties they were deployed for duties in operational areas as well as duties such as Search, Road Block, Communications, VIP Security, Computer and Administration duties. Though this unit was started with a limited number it has now expanded to a greater strength.


C.D. Wickramaratne
Inspector General of Police


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