Channa Wickremesekera is a Sri Lankan born writer living in Australia. This is his fifth work of fiction.
An examination of the challeges face by Sri Lanka's military forces during the first phase of the conflict with the LTTE.
Starting with the first deployment of the army in Jaffna in 1979, the book follows the army on to its first major military operation in May 1987.
The military's response demonstrated their inadequate training as well as their politcal masters' skewed perception of the conflict, frequently leading to disastrous outcomes. But it was also a period of learning. Despite many bloody setbacks and failures the armed forces gradually learned the rudiments of fighting a guerilla enemy, the culmination of this apprenticeship being the launching of 'Operation Liberation', the first brigade-strength operation carried out by the Sri Lankan army.