Sri Lanka army prepares for war and hopes for peace

Sri Lanka’s combat aircraft and ground troops are ready to be deployed at short notice in the aftermath of a wave of violence that killed 31 people, the military top brass announced Friday. Sri Lanka’s combat aircraft and ground troops are ready to be deployed at short notice in the aftermath of a wave of violence that killed 31 people, the military top brass announced Friday. Chief of defence staff Daya Sandagiri said government forces were prepared to meet “any terrorist challenge” after the latest bloodshed, which the government blamed on the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

However, Sandagiri said the military did not expect the country to slip back to full-scale war and played down two claymore mine attacks that killed 16 soldiers in the northern peninsula of Jaffna as “small incidents.”

“We should not get excited over small incidents like this,” Sandagiri told a joint press conference by the heads of the army, air force and police.

Sandagiri, who is an admiral, said the naval chief was unable to attend due to urgent “operational matters.”

Air force chief Donald Perera said combat aircraft and other units were on alert to be deployed immediately. “W