Final thrust to totally annihilate LTTE
The LTTE is now on the verge of losing its most
assets after it lost control of the airstrips it constructed with high
hopes of building an independent homeland in the Vanni. Tiger leader
Velupillai Prabhakaran who is dreaming to become the king of this
illusionary kingdom is losing all his hideouts as SLAF keeps attacking
each and every hideout in the Vanni. Above all, the Tiger leader is no
the verge of losing his most vital asset, the Tamil civilians who have
been forcibly kept by him with the hope of realising his day dream,
since they have commenced abandoning his territory. Therefore the Tiger
his last hope for Tamil Eelam
The Vanni liberation operation reached its most decisive and
sensitive phase with troops liberating the entire Jaffna peninsula and
the Tiger strongholds Kilinochchi, Paranthan and Elephant Pass. Troops
commenced its final push on the LTTE to fully eliminate terrorism from
the Sri Lankan soils in the East of A-9 road.
Brigadier Nishshanka Ranawala, Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya,
Brig Kamal Gunaratne, Brig Shavendra Silva, Brig Prasanna de
Silva greeting each other. Picture by Rukmal Gamage
The final stage of the battle is now confined to nearly 600 square
kilometres in the Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts.
It is certain that there is no escape for the LTTE other than facing
certain defeat within the next few weeks.
The coming bottles are most sensitive as Security Forces have to
fight the LTTE avoiding a human shield in a terrain to which the
Security Forces had never stepped in during the three decade long
conflict. They have to pick and fight with a bunch of terrorists who
have mingled with nearly a 200,000 civilian population in an unknown
terrain. Therefore, the Security Forces face unprecedented challenges.
However, experience gained in the past especially in the past two and
half years will help the Security Forces to face them successfully.
The LTTE would not have expected, at any stage, such a massive force
would surround them in the Vanni without leaving any room for them to
escape as eight battle formations have surrounded the area east of
Kilinochchi and west of Mullaitivu.
The thrust on the LTTE has now been increased with the two offensive
Divisions, 53 Division under the command of Brigadier Kamal Gunaratne
and 55 Division under the command of Brigadier Prasanna Silva which were
operating in the Jaffna peninsula. They have come to the Vanni
liberation operation after completing their task in the Jaffna
Troops of the 55 Division under the command of Brigadier Prasanna
Silva captured the last inch of the Jaffna peninsula with the capture of
Chundikulam located in the southernmost edge of the Jaffna peninsula
which links it with the Mullaitivu district along the Eastern coast.
They advanced some 40 kilometres from Nagar Kovil defence line in the
eastern edge of the Jaffna peninsula towards the South to capture
Chundikulam. They passed Mamunai, Thalai Adi, Vatthirayan, and
Vettilaikerni Sea Tiger bases along the Eastern coast of the Jaffna
peninsula to reach Chundikulam in the southern edge of the peninsula.
LTTE had used all these Sea Tiger bases to monitor the movements of the
Sri Lanka Navy and to smuggle in arms and ammunition to the Jaffna
peninsula. At the last stages of the Jaffna battle LTTE had made use of
their bigger boats to transport their arms and ammunition stocks from
the Jaffna peninsula to Mullaitivu.
The Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets and helicopter gunships have
effectively destroyed few of these boats as they were reaching towards
Chundikulam. The video footages issued to media by the Sri Lanka Air
Force very clearly indicate that these Sea Tiger boats were transporting
ammunition stocks, as there were big explosions after they were hit by
As the area under LTTE control is shrinking day by day the SLAF is in
a position to monitor all LTTE activities in that region by deploying
their UAVs in the air, round the clock leaving no room for them to make
sudden moves against the Security Forces.
However, the Special Forces troops and the Commando troops had to
come across a heavily mined area in the Eastern coast of the Jaffna
peninsula to flush out Tiger cadres there. The LTTE engaged in a
delaying battle to shift their arms and ammunition from the area by
boats but failed in their endeavour due to the presence of the SLAF.
The 551 Brigade under the command of Lt. Colonel Wasantha Abrew led
the battle towards Chudikulam with 1 Gemunu Watch and 1 Sri Lanka Light
Infantry Battalions reaching Chundikulam by Wednesday afternoon.
The 4 Gemunu Watch and 8 Vijayaba Infantry Regiment attached to the
552 Brigade under the command of Lt. Colonel Udalupola and the 7 and 6
Vijayaba Infantry Regiment battalions attached to the 553 Brigade under
the command of Lt. Colonel Mahinda Weerasuriya assisted the 551 Brigade
to achieve this task.
The troops who had advanced to Chundikulam on Wednesday had observed
that the LTTE had developed the road that runs from Vettilaikerni to
Chundikulam along the eastern coast to transport their heavy equipment
but had not used that road to transport their arms and ammunition after
the fall of Paranthan and Elephant Pass fearing that road will be cut
off by the troops at any moment.
However, the capture of the entire coastal belt in the Jaffna
peninsula has put the LTTE in a more desperate situation as Security
Forces have further decreased the beach front in the Eastern coast
confining them to nearly 23 Km stretch in the Eastern coast from
Mullaitivu to Chundikulam.
These moves by the ground troops have enabled the Sri Lanka Navy to
very clearly monitor the Sea Tiger activities in the Eastern coast and
prevent any Tiger leaders fleeing from the country at the final stages
of the battle.
It was last Friday troops of the 53 Division and the 55 Division that
advanced from the Muhamalai and Kilali fronts linked together with the
58 Division taking full control of the Elephant Pass and the Jaffna -
Kandy A-9 highway linking the South with the Jaffna peninsula through a
The Vanni Security Forces Headquarters under the command of Major
General Jagath Jayasuriya and Jaffna Security Forces Headquarters under
the command of Major General Mendaka Samarasinghe celebrated this
historic victory in Elephant Pass last (January 10) Saturday in the
centre of Elephant Pass.
Flags of the Vanni Security Forces Headquarters, Jaffna Security
Forces Headquarters, 53, 55 and 58 Divisions were raised in the centre
of Elephant Pass to mark this historic moment. It was the first time the
flag of the 58 Division was raised as it was first victory the 58
Division achieved after the Task Force I under the command of Brigadier
Shavendra Silva was promoted as a permanent Division in the Sri Lanka
With the completion of the mission in Elephant Pass, Army Commander
Lt. General Sarath Fonseka has decided to station the 53 Division under
the command of Brigadier Kamal Gunaratne to Mankulam area as a reserve
force to deployed to the battle front at any emergency.
This move has further strengthened the troops operating in the Vanni
battle front which are now moving into the Tiger hideouts between
Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi.
The troops of the 58 Division under the command of Brigadier
Shavendra Silva is now heading towards the eastern coast from the
Paranthan junction having advanced 16 Km from Paranthan junction to the
East on the A-35 Paranthan Mullaitivu road.
Heavy fighting erupted in Tharmapuram village located some 15 Km East
of Paranthan as LTTE cadres are holding these areas deploying their
hardcore cadres. The 7 Sinha Regiment under the command of Lt. Colonel
Kithsiri Liyanage and 11 Sri Lanka Light Infantry Battalion under the
command of Lt. Colonel Kithsiri Ekanayake who are advancing in the front
have confronted the LTTE in Tharmapuram inflicting heavy damages to the
Scores of Tiger cadres most of them from the elite Radha Regiment or
the Imran Pandyan regiment who are providing personnel security for
Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran who is now in hiding in this terrain
were killed during these confrontations. They have recovered more than
20 Tiger dead bodies within the past few days of operations in
Tharmapuram area and recovered a number of vehicles left behind by the
As troops of the 58 Division are advancing further Eastward and the
55 Division is advancing into the edge of the Mullaitivu district from
the Jaffna front a large number of civilians have commenced reaching
Government controlled areas fleeing from the Tiger grip.
A number of civilians were killed at the hand of the LTTE as they
shot at the civilians fleeing from the area. But thousands of civilians
have expressed their willingness to enter Government held areas unable
to bear the harassment of the LTTE. Even the hardcore Tiger cadres have
commenced surrendering to the Security Forces within the past few days
as they have realized the fact that there is no escape for them as the
Tiger leadership at different levels have admitted that their defeat is
But the Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, according to fleeing
Tiger cadres, is not ready accept this fact and is bent on keeping these
innocent civilians until he confronts death at the hands of the Security
The fact is that many Tiger cadres on the ground have realized the
inevitable particularly as the bitter truth in that they have been
surrounded by the Security Forces from all directions.
The battle is now shifting to the most sensitive part of Kilinochchi
and Mullaitivu where the LTTE is keeping all its assets including the
outfits air assets now being taken under Security Forces control.
The Iranamadu airstrip, considered to be the main airstrip of the
LTTE was the latest airstrip to fall into the hands of the Security
Forces. The 631 Brigade under the command of Lt. Colonel Subashana
Welikala set foot on this airstrip on Thursday morning after a few days
of intense fighting with the LTTE in the southern part of the Iranamadu
According to sources the airstrip which is 1,100 metres in length and
40 metres in width is having two hangars made out of thick layers of
concrete. The troops of the 631 Brigade cleared hundreds of booby traps
and mines to reach this airstrip constructed across the old Kandy road
East of Iranamadu.
The LTTE has developed the old Kandy road in the northern and
southern edges of the airstrip to more than two and half kilometres in
length, so that they can use that road to land their aircraft after
their terror missions.
The LTTE has used this area as a high security zone and no civilians
have been allowed to enter the area as it has been demarcated with
barbed wire fences.
With the capture of this airstrip the LTTE has lost its fifth
airstrip to the Security Forces. The first airstrip captured by the
Security Forces was in Panikkankulam area in the West of A-9 road by the
57 Division troops.
After that Task Force I troops found a part of the Pooneryn Paranthan
road which has been developed like an airstrip but there is no concrete
evidence to prove it was used by the LTTE for the purpose.
The third airstrip was found north of Ampakamam by the 631 Brigade
under the command of Lt. Colonel Subashana Welikala on December 25 last
The forth airstrip captured was located north of Mulliyavali and was
captured by the 593 Brigade under the command of Colonel Jayantha
Gunaratne on January 10. According to ground troops there were signs
that it has been used by the LTTE.
According to intelligence sources the LTTE is having another airstrip
in the area North of Puthukuduiruppu and South of Chundikulam close to
the eastern coast. As troops of the 55, 59 and 58 Divisions are
advancing towards this area it will also made untenable to the LTTE very
soon, negating the air threat of the LTTE.
At the same time LTTE is also losing their training camps one by one
which have been located in the Nagacholai forest reserve in the West of
Mullaitivu and in the areas North of Oddusudan and Olumadu.
As Task Force III under the command of Brigadier Satyapriya Liyanage
and Task Force IV under the command of Colonel Nishantha Wanniarachchi
is heading towards Visuamadu and Puthukuduiruppu from Olumadu and
Oddusudan the LTTE has been deeply disturbed by this situation.
It was evident last Monday as more than 150 Tiger cadres advanced
towards the North of Olumadu towards the forward defences of the 632
Brigade under the command of Lt. Colonel Priyantha Perera.
The troops of the 632 Brigade has been thinly deployed in the area
and the troops were given orders to withdraw to the left and right
direction as troops received information that LTTE cadres were trying to
infiltrate areas controlled by the Security Forces. Once the troops had
withdrawn to the left and right directions the area came under intense
artillery fire from the Mankulam and Olumadu direction from 8.30 am on
The intense fighting continued till evening on Monday with troops
gaining the upper hand killing more than 25 cadres and injuring more
than 60. It was later found that the LTTE was having their training camp
for their Charles Anthony Brigade cadres in this area. Apart from that
59 Division troops under the command of Brigadier Nandana Udawatta is
also advancing towards a more sensitive area in Puthukuduiruppu
operating some four kilometres south east of Puthukuduiruppu.
With this move by the 59 Division the LTTE is going to lose their
last bastion Mullaitivu within the next few days once the 59 Division
make a move and cut off the Paranthan Mullaitivu road from
Therefore the LTTE is now facing their definite downfall and hanging
onto the area with the help of the innocent Tamil civilians trapped in
the territory but there are signs that LTTE is going to lose that last
hope too with exodus of civilians now pouring into the Security Forces'
controlled areas within the past few days..