Tuesday, May 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

War game meet on May 4 & 5
Defence chiefs to converge on Chandimandir
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 1 — Under Exercise Brahmastra, the top brass of all three services, including the service chiefs, will be congregating at Western Command Headquarters, Chandimandir, for a brainstorming session to chalk out operational doctrines to meet the battlefield requirements of the 21st century.

At the closed-door war game meet, the discussions will centre around joint inter-service operations and other issues of mutual operational, logistical and administrative interest. Although the exercise is already underway, the major portion of the deliberations will be on May 4 and 5, when the three service chiefs are expected to be here.

Among the participants will be the Chief of the Army Staff, Gen V P Malik, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sushil Kumar, Army commanders and their counterparts in the other services as well as top formation commanders and staff officers from the respective service headquarters.

‘’The aim of this exercise is to address issues which are of a joint nature. We are going to discuss the whole gamut of issues relating to operations, logistics, administration, manpower and so on,’’ the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi said here today.

Terming the exercise as a ‘’very high-level conference’’, the Army commander said: ‘’The major aim is that at the end of the exercise we hope to achieve greater cohesion in all facets of functioning of the three services.’’

"We hope that by the end we will have achieved greater understanding of one another's viewpoint, concerns, constraints and, therefore, we will be able to evolve pragmatic and workable solutions to various security and security-related problems which we are dealing with on a day-to-day basis, he added.

Terming reports on the subject in a section of the Press as ‘’speculative’’, Lt-Gen Oberoi said the purpose of the exercise was not to discuss nuclear issues. ‘’Nuclear issues are hardly a point of discussion in this conference,’’ he said.

Pointing out that Chandimandir had been selected as the venue only from the viewpoint of "convenience’’ as it had the requisite infrastructure, he said it was not for the first time that such an exercise was being organised. The GOC-in-C said the three service chiefs would arrive here on May 3 to participate in the deliberations.Commanders and other senior officers from the Army, Air Force and Navy would also attend the conference, he added.Back


Lanka loses key base

COLOMBO, May 1 (PTI) — Fourteen soldiers and four LTTE rebels were killed and 236 injured in heavy fighting and the Sri Lankan army’s hold on the northern Jaffna peninsula appeared shaky today with the army high command admitting the loss of yet another crucial military garrison to the Tamil guerrillas.

Confirming last night’s LTTE claims that the rebel forces had captured Pallai military garrison, located 15 km north of Elephant Pass army complex, the army said its troops had withdrawn from Pallai after suffering heavy casualties.

Army sources said the army has withdrawn further towards Jaffna town, which is about 45 km from Pallai. This is the most significant reverse for the army after it lost Elephant Pass and Lyakachchi camp two weeks ago.

The press statement said that the troops yesterday attempted to ward off high-intensity LTTE attacks from two fronts. But heavy fire from the rebels from both ends made the soldiers withdraw to nearby Vempatukerni, it said.

One officer and 13 soldiers were killed and 14 officers and 222 soldiers were injured in yesterday’s battle, which the LTTE described as the most ferocious in recent weeks.Back

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