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The IPKF in Sri Lanka

Depinder Singh (Author)
Synopsis This book is an authoritative and gripping account of the most controversial campaign undertaken by the Indian Army, an operation universally acclaimed at its commencement and just as widely criticised a few months later. The foreword is by one of India’s most prominent citizens, Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Military Cross. The introductory chapters are devoted to the land and the people of Sri Lanka, the genesis of the ethnic strife there, the reasons for India’s involvement including signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord on 29 July, 1987 and induction of the IPKF into Sri Lanka a day later. Many hitherto unknown facts about the LTTE, their training methods, motivation, bordering on fanaticism, professional capabilities including the dreaded expertise in the use of explosives, their autocratic and obsessively secretive culture and the manner in which perceived rivals and opposition are decimated, are recounted in detail. An insight is also provided into the LTTE leadership including the elusive ‘Green Pimpernal’ Vellupillai Prabhakaran. The book then explains the planning that preceded launch of operation Pawan, code name of the military intervention in Sri Lanka and then moves to the souring of relations between the IPKF and LTTE and how the latter’s obduracy made the fighting that started on 10 October, 1987, inevitable. The mistakes made are frankly admitted and some misconceptions that have been aired through disinformation spread by the LTTE or through lack of correct perception are explained and facts placed in correct perspective. The chapter on insurgency includes an account by junior leaders about the mission allotted and how it was executed. The last chapters explain how the various arms and services of the IPKF performed their jobs and touch on various relevant aspects of the Sri Lankan experience in the form of reflections. The latter will be of special interest as it covers subjects like the higher direction of war, intelligence, training, morale maintenance especially in hostile environment exacerbated by unjustified criticism and a hostile press, public relations, defence research and development and so on. A book of equal interest to the general reader and the professional.
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About the author

Depinder Singh

Lt Gen Depinder Singh, PVSM, VSM, was commissioned into the Eighth Gorkha Rifles, after schooling in Colonel Brown’s Cambridge School, Dehra Dun and Government College, Lahore. Among the appointments he held during almost 40 years of distinguished service were Military Assistant to the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, MC (1969-73); disarming the Sikkim Guards while commanding a Mountain Brigade (1973-75); Commandant Indian Military Training Team, Bhutan (1975-77); General Officer Commanding 36 Infantry Division, General Officer Commanding 33 Corps and finally, General Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Command and Over all Force Commander (OFC), India’s Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka. He was the Colonel of his Regiment, the Eighth Gorkha Rifles and President of the Gorkha Brigade of the Indian Army. He is recipient of the PARAM VISHISHT SEVA MEDAL, VISHIST SEVA MEDAL, the SHIROMANI AWARD, 1987 and the Lok Shree Award, 1989.

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Bibliographic information

Title The IPKF in Sri Lanka
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 8185384851
length xvi+224p., Plates; Figures; Index; 22cm.