US intrusion into Sri Lankan air territories
Posted on August 8th, 2011

by Dr. Chandana Jayalath

The airspace covering a state’s land territory and its adjacent territorial waters is what defined by the national space that offers the sovereign state a large degree of control over foreign air traffic. In Sri Lanka, it is a range of 200 nautical miles covering 380 kilometers of airspace. While civil aviation is normally allowed passage under international treaties, foreign military and other state aircrafts do not have a right to free passage through another state’s national airspace. Accepted international norms require, anyone wanting to use the country’s air space to file flight plans and obtain prior approval. However, it was heard that a squadron of ten US fighter jets has violated airspace so that Sri Lankan government will register its protest with the American Embassy in Sri Lanka over the issue. It was also heard that there have been periodic intrusions by US combat aircraft. The United States Embassy in Colombo has told that there was no intrusion by US fighter jets into Lankan air space and the official of the Embassy has refused to comment further.

The history is a full of air violations and in fact, the first supposed incident occurred in 1904 when some Imperial Russian soldiers shot down a German airplane. There were USAAF violations of Yugoslavian airspace at the beginning of the Cold War. Apparently, USAAF aircraft made it a habit to enter a portion of Yugoslavian airspace in order to avoid lengthening their route as well as to avoid bad weather and it ultimately led to a plane being shot down with the lost of its entire crew. The Indian Air Force (IAF) rejected Pakistani claims of air space intrusion over Lahore and parts of Kashmir. It is a known fact that especially in the 50’s and 60’s there were a large number of aerial intrusions by both sides over the territory of the “ƒ”¹…”enemy’ – some by mistake, some during reconnaissance missions.

On 18 November 1951 A US Air Force C-47 transport, with a crew of four, flying from Munich to Belgrade, became lost over Yugoslavia and entered Hungarian and then Romanian airspace. It was fired on by Hungarian and Romanian border guards and finally forced down by a MiG-15 Fagot piloted by Kalugin, near the Yugoslav frontier. One crew member survived and was released shortly thereafter by the Romanians. In 1960, a United States U-2 spy plane was shot down over the airspace of the Soviet Union. As usual, the United States government at first denied the plane’s purpose and mission, but then was forced to admit its role as a covert surveillance aircraft. On Sept. 1, 1983, a civilian B-747 flying with registration HL7442 as Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (KAL 007, KE 007) was shot down by Soviet fighters over the Sea of Japan. All the 269 people on board (crew comprised) were killed. The plane was enrouted from New York to Seoul via Anchorage when it flew into the Soviet airspace due to a navigational error and was fatally intercepted by the local fighters. Initially the Soviets denied the episode and their involvement but, following the international pressures, they admitted they had shot down the liner, suspecting it was conducting spying activities on a prohibited territory under the umbrella of a civil plane. The lessons learnt are not so lucrative in the history including the bid to provide relief on 4 June 1987 where the Indian Air Force mounted Operation Poomalai with five Antonov An-32s. The matter ended up in a failing accord between two countries and the repercussions were very serious.

Strictly speaking, pilots and navigators are given information on any no-fly zones they may encounter along their route. These areas are to be avoided at risk of legal penalty and possibly the gun-down is the worst case eventuality. Air navigation charts clearly delineate areas which depict restricted airspace. Air traffic control in a given region will notify pilots of their proximity to such areas before the line has actually been crossed. Once an aircraft approaches restricted airspace, air traffic control will contact the crew by radio and warn them to turn away. If there is no response to warnings and the plane crosses into restricted airspace, the air traffic controller notifies the nearest military airfield which in turn approaches the aircraft in violation and takes a predetermined intercept position. If no contact can be made or if the pilot is unwilling to follow orders, the intersecting aircraft will take a more aggressive stance and attempt to force the aircraft into a positive response. If there is still no response or attempt by the unauthorized aircraft to return to unrestricted airspace, the interceptor aircraft may be called on to fire on the aircraft to prevent imminent attack or harm to persons or sensitive targets on the ground or in the air. Interceptor aircraft will respond with differing levels of aggression depending on the situation, air space and the aircraft in question. These are the basics taught in any Air field. 

The Chicago Convention regulating international air travel also establishes rules of airspace and details the rights of the signatories in relation to air travel. The Article 1 of this Convention states that every state has complete and exclusive sovereignty over airspace above its territory. Accordingly, it is seen even by simple analogy of Castle Law that the US Air Force fighter jets have abruptly violated air space rules. The American originated Castle Doctrine designates one’s place of residence as a place in which one should entertain protection from illegal trespassing. It then goes on to give a person the legal right to use deadly force to defend his “ƒ”¹…”castle’ and any other innocent persons legally inside it, from an intrusion which may lead to violent attack. In a legal context, therefore, use of deadly force which actually results in death may be defended as justifiable homicide under the Castle Doctrine. The same principle must be applicable when the intruder attempts to unlawfully enter an occupied territory including air space. In almost every case however, the intruders keep silence for some time and then simply say No and no further comments.

The Sri Lankan government is said to protest over this intrusion once the Civil Aviation clearly established whether the US fighter jets had violated the oceanic air space or the territorial part of it. Meanwhile the Lankan Air force has admitted that there were periodic incursions by US combat aircraft into Sri Lanka’s air space. Whatever circumstances, air space intrusions are a matter of serious concern that cannot be taken lightly. Friends are born not made.

16 Responses to “US intrusion into Sri Lankan air territories”

  1. hela puwath Says:

    Or is it simply a “bon voyage” to president Rajapakse’s travel to China on Monday!

  2. Ben_silva Says:

    It may be worth mentioning the Indian violation of our space during the Parippu drop.
    We have to be always on our guard to defend our country and learn from past mistakes.

  3. ranjith Says:

    What can we do? We can condemn this. We can write about in our newspapers. We can demonstrate on the streets. We can lodge our complaint to US embassy. Nothing else. After three days, we can forget about those things.

    Anyhow, tamil diaspora websites are now busy in retorting this incident happily. Sampanthan gang too are in a happy mood.

  4. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:


  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Operation Goomalai was on June 3, 1987. It was testing the waters. Nothing happened. So the indians became bolder and on July 27, 1987 landed with gunboats with a readymade crap called the Indo Lanka Peace Accord. It reminded JR how the indians whacked Pakistan using Russian warships in 1971. Americans didn’t come to Pakistan’s help though they were very friendly at that time.

    Had we protested enough initially, this would not have happened. We didn’t have friends with a backbone at that time. Our friends then were USA, UK and other losers. They were licking their ar*e wounds after getting pounded in Vietnam and Pakistan by Soviet weapons. So they were not willing to get hammered again.

    JR should have kept a good relationship with the Soviet Union despite the open economy. He totally scrapped it and China and landed on Regan’s lap.

    Premadasa though uneducated was better this way to reach out to China in a big way and chase away the indians. During his time there were no political solutions BS demands from india. He had a total embargo on the north for over 3 years. Food shortages were worse then than during JR’s time in Jaffna. Did india try the parippu drop again? No.

  6. Ratanapala Says:

    Only solution is to expand our army and get our more arms for conventional warfare if ever the enemy decide to put their boots on the ground. Afghans don’t have an air-force to defend their airspace, but they very well defend their motherland from the ground. Arms in the hands of the defense forces are the only thing that Indians, Americans and the rest of the Western Christian vermin understand.

    Sri Lanka must bring in national service for every person over 18 years. We need a trained population if we are to defend out hard attained gains during the last few years. If we are to maintain peace then we must prepare for war! This is the only song that our distractors will understand.

  7. love_lanka Says:

    Dear Ratanapala!

    Are you suggesting to bring to national service to everyone (to train the tamil and muslims youths too) OMG! we just finished the LTTE and you wanted the Phase2?

    Look already muslims started claiming the land and police rights – now we going to give them military powers too……. No No….

    “ACMC General Secretary Y.L.S. Hameed has told the media that the Muslim community was concerned over the central government handling all these subjects. The party was supportive of a joint commission to handle land and police powers, he has said.”

  8. Ratanapala Says:

    We must understand our goals and do what needs to be done in an intelligent way. We have the numbers. As long as the leaders are patriotic we can do this. This is how little Switzerland, Israel and Singapore exist.

  9. Ben_silva Says:

    To answer Ranjith’s question. We need to be economically strong to be able to defend our country. The methods also need to be affordable and cost effective. For 2500 years we had invasions from foreigners We have lost a major chunk of our living space. Have we learnt from the past ? Do people care ? Yet only recently we had our own defence academy. We may not be able to defend the country today , but we need a strategy to defend it in the future. China has become a major power after dropping various ‘isms’ that kept the people blind and passive. Perhaps we cold learn from China. Nothing to gain from being passive, but a lot to lose, like Nalanda Buddhists if we are passive.
    Eventually, we need to be able to shoot down intruders with planes or missiles. That day may be far away, but we need to have a plan.
    Before we can think of military power, we need to think of ecomomic power so that defence could be paid for. Economic power cannot be achieved by giving up desires or trying to minimise suffering. We need to have desires to survive and prepared to undergo pain. No pain, no gain.
    Some tips for economic success are:
    1. Adapt and change to meet new situations and threats.
    2. Continuously improve
    3. Learn from those who re successful and learn from those who failed, so that mistakes could be avoided.
    .4. Carry out SWOT analysis and risk analysis
    .5. Be prepared to overcome difficulties and undergo suffering.(Do not expect to have an easy ride, if you want to win )
    6.Be imaginative, innovative and have self belief.
    7. Be aware of the external environment and be aware of threats.
    To be successful, one has to be prepared to put in lot off work, undergo suffering and pain. Buddhism does not encourage this, as the main thrust of Buddhism is to reduce suffering. In the real world, ‘ no pain no gain’
    Adapt and change is important for survival. If we want to survive, we need to think modern and move away from a 2500 year old mind set.

    There are a lot of people who wnnt us to be passive and keep us in 2500 era BC, without evolving. These people need to be challenged effectively. As Ratnapala said, we can learn from Israel and Singapore.

  10. jayt Says:

    Dear Loranza,
    Please kindly answer this question, Everybody talking Indian paripu drop and same attempt By AMerican, And Talking about Israelis, Singapore and Switzerland. What a joke it is. Israelis are almost American, only have two names for two countries and supported by European. Singapore created by UK and fully protected by American like Israel and EU. Same with Swiss. They never can’t protect if they were not European. All European and American behind them.

  11. jayt Says:

    Bring back UNP under Pramadas’s son. PRamadasa was the best. He had all international and local military knowledge and only one thing he missed he got caught to foreigner(I do not know which foreigner but is a foreigner) trap of defame between castes in order to divide UNP and get rid of him. foreigner inserted ideas into him to believe that the higher caste do not want him to rule. This is complete untrue and fall into this trap and took revenge on other UNPers.

  12. jayt Says:

    And do not forget to ask questions if Indian are anti-Sri lankan how the hell somebody invite Israeli into Sri lanka. Indian are guided by Israelis and American against China and on other hand against Pakistan, Libyia and other islamic countries.

  13. jayt Says:

    Talking about Israelis a big joke. OK no problem. Israelis welcome if they prove that they are Anti-American and anti-India. first, they have to get India to let go Kashmir. second, Israelis Have to pull out all American and European from Pakistan, , Afghanistan, Libya and Palestinian occupied area. Third, Israel hand over all American and European who are against Sri lanka to stand trial. These are the proving points o prove that Israel is Anti American, anti-Indian and genuinely interested in world peace and a good friendship with Sri lanka. I can guarantee Israel friendship with Sri lanka if Israel prove all of above

  14. jayt Says:

    Thing has to fare for everybody in the world. Human rights for everybody not for one group or two. Human rights not property of US or Europe. Human rights has to come into effect in all Middle -Est and Kashmir in India. Invasion for illegal reason or created reason has to be stopped. People in other countries will not be living in fear of growing Western extremism. They find all tools including nuclear and biological other harmful chemicals to defend themselves.

    This for Sl expats, Please, be careful and do not suffer for many people who are fake within SL government. SL foreign ministry has history of making fake stoies. Second, while they appear as true patriots in front of SL expats, they have been discriminating against poor Sinhalese families who voted for UNP by refusing jobs and any other benefits. They have practicing this all these years while telling the Western Sinhalese as they the only patriots in Sri lanka.
    I knew this from the beginning but I did not bring the issue up because everybody has to concentrate on countering western groups.

  15. Lorenzo Says:



    What’s their relevance here?

    They are all pro-US and US support them. We are/were not in that league.

    Sajith has nothing Premadasa had. He is a clown. The more he talks the more he reveals. If he becomes the UNP leader, he will make the UNP another SLFP. He has no party supporters. He is very unpopular within.

    So called young UNPers are actually very old.

    e.g. Rosy (a grandmother).

    Sajith will be 50+ at the next election with NO senior ministerial experience even at 50!

    Genuinely young MPs are all pawns of the old.

    Premadasa had 10 years solid PM experience (very active) before becoming president.

    Premadasa was not the best but he had better skills in managing certain things blundered by JR. He had to obey Pasrakalingam on every matter. He also suffered from a severe inferiority complex. Got rid of all EDUCATED and CAPABLE UNPers in favour of Keselwatte thugs and losers. That’s why the UNP is still in the wilderness.

    UNP will come to power the way this government is messing things up but they will not be able to hold on to power. I don’t think India and China will allow a pro-western party to remain in power for so long NOW. And the other camp knows it and they will seek help! In future only a pro-Chinese party will be able to survive in SL. Premadasa tried it but that was not consistent with UNP’s traditional western link.

  16. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Abraham Lincoln worked valiantly to prevent the Rothschild’s attempts to involve themselves in financing the Civil War. Interestingly, it was the Czar of Russia who provided the needed assistance against the British and French, who were among the driving forces behind the secession of the South and her subsequent financing. Russia intervened by providing naval forces for the Union blockade of the South in European waters, and by letting both countries know that if they attempted to join the Confederacy with military forces, they would also have to go to war with Russia.

    The Rothschild interests did succeed, through their agent Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, to force a bill (the National Banking Act) through Congress creating a federally chartered central bank that had the power to issue U.S. Bank Notes. Afterward, Lincoln warned the American people:
    “The money power preys upon the nation in time of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me, and causes me to tremble for the safety of our country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the republic is destroyed. ”
    Lincoln continued to fight against the central bank, and some now believe that it was his anticipated success in influencing Congress to limit the life of the Bank of the United States to just the war years that was the motivating factor behind his assassination.

    Modern researchers have uncovered evidence of a massive conspiracy that links the following parties to the Bank of Rothschild. Lincoln’s Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, John Wilkes Booth, his eight co-conspirators, and over seventy government officials and businessmen involved in the conspiracy. When Booth’s diary was recovered by Stanton’s troops, it was delivered to Stanton. When it was later produced during the investigation, eighteen pages had been ripped out. These pages, containing the aforementioned names,were later found in the attic of one of Stanton’s descendants.
    From Booth’s trunk, a coded message was found that linked him directly to Judah P. Benjamin, the Civil War campaign manager in the South for the House of Rothschild. When the war ended, the key to the code was found in Benjamin’s possession. The assassin, portrayed as a crazed lone gunman with a few radical friends, escaped by way of the only bridge in Washington not guarded by Stanton’s troops.
    “Booth” was located hiding in a barn near Port Royal, Virginia, three days after escaping from Washington. He was shot by a soldier named Boston Corbett, who fired without orders. Whether or not the man killed was Booth is still a matter of contention, but the fact remains that whoever it was, he had no chance to identify himself. It was Secretary of War Edwin Stanton who made the final identification. Some now believe that a dupe was used and that the real John Wilkes Booth escaped with Stanton’s assistance.

    Mary Todd Lincoln, upon hearing of her husband’s death, began screaming, “Oh, that dreadful house!” Earlier historians felt that this spontaneous utterance referred to the White House. Some now believe it may have been directed to Thomas W. House, a gun runner, financier, and agent of the Rothschild’s during the Civil War, who was linked to the anti-Lincoln, pro-banker interests.

    Another myth that all Americans live with is the charade known as the “Federal Reserve.” It comes as a shock to many to discover that it is not an agency of the United States Government.

    The name “Federal Reserve Bank” was designed to deceive, and it still does. It is not federal, nor is it owned by the government. It is privately owned. It pays its own postage like any other corporation. Its employees are not in civil service. Its physical property is held under private deeds, and is subject to local taxation. Government property, as you know, is not.

    It is an engine that has created private wealth that is unimaginable, even to the most financially sophisticated. It has enabled an imperial elite to manipulate our economy for its own agenda and enlisted the government itself as its enforcer. It controls the times, dictates business, affects homes and practically everything.

    It takes powerful force to maintain an empire, and this one is no different. The concerns of the leadership of the “Federal Reserve” and its secretive international benefactors appear to go well beyond currency and interest rates.

    Andrew Jackson was the first President from west of the Appalachians. He was unique for the times in being elected by the voters, without the direct support of a recognized political organization. He vetoed the renewal of the charter for the Bank of the United States on July 10, 1832.
    In 1835, President Andrew Jackson declared his disdain for the international bankers:
    “You are a den of vipers. I intend to rout you out, and by the Eternal God I will rout you out. If the people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning.”
    There followed an (unsuccessful) assassination attempt on President Jackson’s life. Jackson had told his vice president, Martin Van Buren, “The bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me….”
    Was this the beginning of a pattern of intrigue that would plague the White House itself over the coming decades? Was his (and Lincoln’s) death related by an invisible thread to the international bankers?

    President James Abram Garfield, our 20th President, had previously been Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations and was an expert on fiscal matters. President Garfield openly declared that whoever controls the supply of currency would control the business and activities of all the people. After only four months in office, President Garfield was shot at a railroad station on July 2, 1881.

    President John F. Kennedy planned to exterminate the Federal Reserve System. In 1963 he signed Executive Orders EO-11 and EO-110, returning to the government the responsibility to print money, taking that privilege away from the Federal Reserve System.

    Shortly thereafter, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The professional, triangulated fire that executed the President of the United States is not the most shocking issue. The high- level coordination that organized the widespread coverup is manifest evidence of the incredible power of a “hidden government” behind the scenes.

    In the 70′s and 80′s, U.S. congressman Lawrence McDonald from Georgia, spearheaded efforts to expose the hidden holdings and intentions of the international money interests. His efforts ended on August 31, 1983, when he was killed when Korean Airlines 007 was “accidentally” shot down in Soviet airspace. A strange coincidence, it would seem. Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Senator Steven Symms of Idaho, and Representative Carroll J. Hubbard, Jr. of Kentucky were aboard sister flight KAL 015, which flew 15 minutes behind KAL 007; they were headed, along with McDonald on KAL 007, to Seoul, South Korea, in order to attend the ceremonies for the thirtieth anniversary of the U.S.-South Korea Mutual Defense Treaty. The Soviets contended former U.S. president Richard Nixon was to have been seated next to Larry McDonald on KAL 007 but that the CIA warned him not to go, according to the New York Post and TASS.

    Senator Henry John Heinz III and former Senator John Goodwin Tower had served on powerful Senate banking and finance committees and were outspoken critics of the Federal Reserve and the Eastern Establishment.

    On April 4, 1991, 52-year-old Henry John Heinz III, Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, crashed in a Piper PA60 Aerostar when it collided with a Bell 412 helicopter near Philadelphia. Burning wreckage fell on the grounds of an elementary school in nearby Lower Merion Township; two of the dead were children playing outside at noon recess.

    On the next day, April 5, 1991, former was also killed when twin-engine turbo-prop Atlantic Southeast Airlines plane flying from Atlanta went down in a thickly wooded area within view of motorists on Interstate 95. The coincidences seem to mount.

    A commuter plane – Flight Atlantic Southeast 2311- twin-engine turbo-prop Atlantic Southeast Airlines plane flying from Atlanta carrying 23 people, including former 65-year old Republican Senator John Tower of Texas, crashed and burned in a thickly wooded area within view of motorists on Interstate 95 – a mile and a half short of the airport killing everyone on board.

    Attempts to just audit the Federal Reserve continue to meet with failure. It is virtually impossible to muster support for any issue that has the benefit of a media blackout. The bizarre but tragic reality that the American people suffer from a managed and controlled media is a subject for another discussion.

    For many years, numerous authors have attempted to sound the alarm that there exists a hidden “shadow government” that actually rules America. Most of us have dismissed these “conspiracy theory” views as extremist and unrealistic. The ignorance in America is overwhelming. Indeed, the contrast in general awareness of world affairs between the average American and the average European is striking. The concentration of power in America is frightening.

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