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A.F. Lafir
Died July 19, 1996
Place of birth Kandy, Sri Lanka
Place of death Mullaitivu, Sri Lanka
Allegiance Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Service/branch Army
Rank Colonel
Unit Sri Lanka Army Special Forces Regiment
Commands held Commanding Officer of the 1st Special Forces Regiment
Battles/wars Sri Lankan civil war
Awards Parama Weera Vibhushanaya
Rana Wickrama Padakkama
Rana Sura Padakkama

Colonel A.F. Lafir, PWV, RWP, RSP, SF (last name also spelled Laffeer; died July 19, 1996) was a Sri Lankan army officer who was the Commanding Officer of the 1st Special Forces Regiment. Colonel Lafir played a major role in the formation and development of the Sri Lanka Army Special Forces Regiment from the original Combat Tracker Team. He was awarded the Parama Weera Vibhushanaya, the highest award for valour of the Sri Lanka Army.

Early lifeEdit

Colonel A.F. Lafir, a Malay Muslim,[1] attended St. Anthony's College, Katugastota and joined the army as a cadet officer soon after leaving school. After his training he was transferred to the Rajarata Rifles Infantry Regiment, following its amalgamation with the Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment to create the Gajaba Regiment, he was transferred to the 1st Gajaba Regiment.

Military careerEdit

Colonel Lafir had served in many part of the country including the North and Eastern provinces as result of the escalating Sri Lankan Civil War and also in the southern parts of the country due to the Insurrection 1987-89 in the south. Due to his knowledge of the Tamil language led him to being appointed to carry out intelligence duties in the East.

Special Forces RegimentEdit

Originally starting out as Combat Tracker Team the Sri Lanka Army Special Forces Regiment was established in 1986, Colonel Lafir then as Lieutenant was one of the founding members and played a key role in developing it into a formidable Special Forces unit, which specialized in rapid deployment operations counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism warfare, reconnaissance and battle space preparation in the medium and deep battle-space and Jungle warfare.


On 18 July 1996 the Sri Lanka Army Military base at Mullaitivu came under heavy attack by LTTE, following this a rescue operation code named Operation Thrivida Pahara was launched to relieve the besieged base by landing troops by both air and sea. The initial landings were carried out on the 19th by an all volunteer force of 275 elite commandos from the 1st Special Forces Regiment led by their CO Lieutenant Colonel Lafir, who were heli-dropped under heavy fire and made radio contact with the besieged troops. Personally leading the attack under heavy fire Lt. Col. Lafir was wounded by severe gunshot injuries, yet continued to lead his men until he was killed by shrapnel. His men recovered his body and transported it back in a Sri Lanka Air Force helicopter that had landed the second batch of commandos. For his courageous action on that day he was awarded the Parama Weera Vibhushanaya, the highest award for valour of the Sri Lanka Army and promoted to the rank of Colonel posthumously.

See alsoEdit


  1. Muslims’ contribution to the unity of Sri Lanka Daily Mirror - June 26, 2012

External linksEdit

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