Troops in final push
Forces capture Farah III and Vaduvakkal bridge:
Troops poised to completely seal off entire eastern
Ground troops engaged in their final push against LTTE are poised to
completely seal off the Eastern coast within the next 24 hours as 58
Division troops advancing towards Mullaitivu from the Northern direction
reached closer to Mullaitivu front after capturing the grounded
Jordanian ship Farah III in the Mullaitivu seas by yesterday evening,
Military officials told the Daily News.
Jordanian ship Farah III
The 58 Division which commenced its military operations from Mannar
and liberated the entire North Western coast, is going to reach this
historic moment after marrying up with the 59 Division troops now
advancing from the South to North direction from the Mullaitivu front,
the official added.
“By yesterday evening, less than two kilo metres stretch of beach
front was under the LTTE control and it would soon be captured by the
troops once 58 and 59 Division troops marry up in the North of
Mullaitivu completely denying the beach front to the LTTE,” the official
As troops closing in on the last terrain of the LTTE, many explosions
were heard inside the safe zone and from Tiger hideouts as they blew off
their ammunition dumps and other weapons before being captured by the
The 58 Division troops under the command of Brigadier Shavendra Silva
last evening captured the Jordanian ship Farah III which was used by the
LTTE to fire upon the ground troops of both 58 and 59 Divisions
advancing on the ground and also towards Navy boats patrolling in the
sea off Mullaitivu.
The 11 Sri Lanka Light Infantry battalion under the command of Lt.
Colonel Kithsiri Ekanayake captured this ship which was made use by Sea
Tigers as their operational centre.
In December 2006, the Jordanian ship Farah III had engine trouble and
was awaiting rescue from Colombo when Sea Tigers entered the ship and
abducted the crew and its captain to Mullaitivu. Later they were
released to the International Red Cross.
The 150 metre cargo ship with a crew of 25 Jordanians and Egyptians
captained by an Iraqi was carrying 14,000 tons of rice from India’s
Andra Pradesh to South Africa when it developed mechanical problems.
Holding a press conference in Colombo, the crew said later that
evening on the first day, every removable communication equipment in the
ship and the crew’s personal effects were looted by the Sea Tigers.
The LTTE later looted the 14,000 metric tonnes of rice from the ship.
According to military officials the advance on the beach front would
be much easy with the capture of this ship. As 58 Division troops
advanced further southwards the 59 Division now under the command of
Brigadier Prasanna Silva captured Vaduvakkal bridge that link the A-35
road into the Mullaitivu town through Nanthikadal lagoon.
“With the capture of this bridge, 59 Division troops have opened up a
land route to facilitate the civilians reach the south of the Safe
Zone,” officials added. According to military officials more than 3,000
civilians have reached the 59 Division area after crossing the
Nanthikadal lagoon using tubes and floating equipment.
“Hundreds of civilians were still flowing into military controlled
areas by yesterday evening and thousands are waiting to flee towards the
military controlled areas,” the official added.