With continued support for war against terror:
Troops maintain momentum in all fronts
fighting broke out along the Kilinochchi and Paranthan defences on
December 16 as the Security Forces launched their final battle to
capture Kilinochchi and Paranthan. The attack continued for the past ten
days in the same breath as troops expanded their positions along the
Tiger earth bund despite heavy counter attacks by the LTTE.
A heavy barrage of artillery and mortars fell on the Tiger defences
and also on the advancing troops as the battlefront took a new turn,
most probably due to renewed fire power of the LTTE. However, troops
managed to advance into Tiger territory amidst all these obstacles as
the weather conditions were improving enabling the troops to face the
battle in a better environment compared to the situation that prevailed
What is more significant is that, Task Force I troops under the
command of Brigadier Shavendra Silva continued to take the upper hand in
the Paranthan front expanding the 1.5 Kilometre stretch of the earth
bund they captured on December 16, in the North of Pooneryn - Paranthan
road to more than three kilometres as of yesterday effectively foiling
all Tiger counter attacks to recapture it.
Soldiers operating in West of Killinochchi
Troops braved the flooded and muddy terrains in the Paranthan front
adjoining the Jaffna lagoon front to expand their positions along the
earth bund towards Pooneryn-Paranthan road whilst columns of troops
advancing more than three kilometres ahead of the Tiger earth bund
captured Sinnaparanthan, one of the important locations ahead of
Troops attached to the 11 Sri Lanka Light Infantry Regiment under the
command of Kithsiri Ekanayake and 17 Gemunu Watch under the command of
Lt. Colonel Kottawatta managed to clinch this victory whilst troops of
the 8 Gemunu Watch under the command of Lt. Colonel Vajira Welagedara
expanded the positions on the ditch cum earth bund towards Adampan to
the south of Pooneryn-Paranthan road.
With this move Paranthan AG office area came under the control of the
troops as they are operating some six kilometres West of Paranthan
The capture of Sinnaparanthan area is vital for the troops as it
opens gateways to Paranthan, Kilinochchi and even Elephant Pass which
are vital locations for the LTTE at present.
Troops of the Task Force I are now operating in the same area they
were operating in 1997 during the Sath Jaya operation to capture
Kilinochchi from the Tigers. Therefore, every move by the Task Force I
between Kilinochchi and the Jaffna peninsula is vital as they are moving
to grab the neck of the Tiger territory that links the body and the head
through vital arteries across Paranthan.
Troops in Paranthan front expanding their positions Pictures
by Rukmal Gamage
As troops were consolidating their positions in Sinnaparanthan LTTE
launched a massive artillery and mortar fire towards the area on
Wednesday morning from 5.30 a.m. in their bid to recapture the area.
But it was effectively foiled by Task Force I with the active support
given by the Sri Lanka Air Force and directing barrages of artillery and
mortar into Tiger positions compelling the Tiger cadres who arrived to
recapture the earth bund to flee leaving behind their wounded.
The radars of Task Force I detected that three 130 mm artillery guns
located in Iyakachchi area were directing fire towards the defences of
the troops whilst 122 mm artillery and 120 mm mortars were falling to
the front from the North of Kilinochchi.
It was a clear indication that the LTTE had received fresh stocks of
artillery and mortar rounds to intensify their thrust towards the
advancing Security Forces. It is apparent that they have managed to
unload a significant stock of artillery and mortar on board the medium
size Tiger vessel that was destroyed in the sea off Mullaitivu by the
Sri Lanka Navy last Saturday morning.
Therefore, it is vital for the Sri Lanka Navy to intensify the
patrolling in the narrow stretch of Eastern seas now available for the
LTTE to smuggle arms and ammunition into their territory.
Though the LTTE tried to display their massive fire power it seems
they have failed to muster the manpower needed to launch counter attacks
to recapture the terrain now dominated by the troops. It was because
massive number of Tiger cadres fell victim to the Security Forces over
the past one week in their bid to halt the advance of the Security
In the Paranthan front alone troops managed to kill at least 15 Tiger
cadres a day by launching assaults on their bunker lines and taking
As troops of the Task Force I headed towards Paranthan, troops
attached to the 57 Division under the command of Major General Jagath
Dias also made a significant improvement in the battlefront facing
Kilinochchi from all directions.
If there were any lapses on the part of the Security Forces during
the battle that erupted on December 16 and during the subsequent counter
attacks the troops attached to the 57 Division too managed to recapture
the Tiger earth bund after the fresh combined operation launched by the
Task Force I and the 57 Division on December 22.
The 571 Brigade which faced major drawback on December 16 offensive
managed to rise from the ashes as they were able to capture two
kilometres of vital section of the earth bund facing the West of
Kilinochchi on December 22.
571 Brigade is now under the command of Lt. Colonel Harendra
Ranasinghe who earlier acted as the Colonel General Staff of the Task
Force I. He replaced Colonel G.V. Ravipriya’ who was appointed as the
Commander of the Mannar Area Headquarters.
Monday’s assault on the Tiger defences in the Kilinochchi front
turned into a debacle for the LTTE as troops of the 571 Brigade managed
to capture two kilometre stretch of the earth bund with minimum number
of casualties but causing maximum casualties to the LTTE.
It was at 5.30 a.m. in the morning on Monday that troops attached to
9 Gajaba Regiment under the Command of Lt. Colonel Chandana Somaweera, 4
Sinha Regiment under the Acting Command of Major Wasantha Hewage and the
12 Sinha Regiment under the Command of Major Weerasinghe (the Second in
Command of the Sinha Regiment) launched this massive assault on the
Tiger earth bund with Air Force fighter jets and helicopter gunships
giving close air support to the ground troops.
Within an hour they managed to capture a two kilometre stretch of the
earth bund which is located just five kilometres west of Kilinochchi
centre. As they consolidated their positions they managed to foil all
counter attacks launched by the LTTE killing at least 50 Tiger cadres
ahead of their defences.
As of yesterday troops were in the process of clearing the area ahead
of them as LTTE failed to even evacuate the casualties and dead bodies
from the area.
The troops attached to the 572 Brigade under the Command of Lt.
Colonel Dhammika Jayasundera also managed to move ahead of the Tiger
earth bund to establish their defences during December 22 attack.
The troops attached to the 574 Brigade under the Command of Lt.
Colonel Senaka Wijesuriya operating in South of Kilinochchi also managed
to cause heavy damages to the LTTE.
The earth bund captured by the 574 Brigade on December 16 was
recaptured by the LTTE last Saturday in a massive counter attack on the
troops operating there.
Though troops had to give up the earth bund intercepted radio
transmissions have confirmed that 24 hardcore Tiger cadres were killed
and 30 others injured during the fierce battle.
Therefore, after ten days of intense battles the Security Forces have
once again taken complete control of the battle in the Kilinochchi and
Paranthan battlefront without leaving any doubt about their future moves
to capture the de-facto Tiger capital Kilinochchi.
Yet it is not an easy task for the Security Forces as Tigers are
preparing for a do or die battle in Kilinochchi as they deploy their
hardcore cadres to the front. Therefore, expected more fierce battles
will erupt in the Kilinochchi front as they move further interior into
the Kilinochchi area which is a matter of only few moves for the troops
operating in the edges of build up area.
What is not realised by the LTTE is that they have to strengthen
their depleting ranks if they continue to hold their positions
inflicting damages to the Security Forces.
As the main battle continues in the edges of Kilinochchi the newly
formed Task Force IV under the command of Colonel Nishantha
Wanniarachchi managed to capture Nedunkerni in the South of Oddusudan
taking a vital area in the Mullaitivu district under their control.
That will definitely pave the way for troops to reach the areas in
which LTTE is keeping the innocent civilians as hostages. Though the
number of civilians fleeing the Tiger grip see a significant increase, a
large number of civilians are yet to be freed by the Security Forces
from the Tiger grip.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a fervent appeal to the LTTE to
release these innocent civilians giving indications that LTTE would be
proscribed if they did not respond.
So it is obvious that exactly a year after withdrawing from the
Ceasefire, the Government is heading towards proscribing the LTTE if
they continue to harass the Tamil civilians further.
Therefore, the year that dawns next Thursday would be a challenging
one for the Security Forces as they are to liberate the entire North
from the Tiger grip as predicted by the President.
Therefore, the support of the common masses is vital at this juncture
of the war against terror. They are the real strength behind the
Security Forces’ victories, as they tolerated each and every hardship to
strengthen the hands of the Security Forces.