War on terror:
The grand finale
The megalomaniac Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran who put this
country in peril for the past three decades, at last had to meet his
death in a most shameful manner when he was hiding inside the thickets
of a small islet in the Eastern edge of the Nanthikadal lagoon.
Ultimately he put the entire Tamil Diaspora, who worshipped this
illusive leader as their God father, in shame as he died like a fox
hiding inside thickets after tasting the blood of innocent rabbits,
indeed inside a bush fearing his death at the hands of the brave
soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army.
This blood thirsty megalomaniac leader indeed wanted to see the death
of the last Tamil living around him before meeting with his cowardly
death as he did not have an iota of regard for the lives of the innocent
Tamil civilians as he made no attempt to safeguard their lives at least
by surrendering to the Government.
Silencing guns, celebrating the final victory in Mullaitivu
Pictures by Rukmal Gamage
He wanted the last cadre to die but did not even bite a cyanide
capsule as he preached to his followers. There was no sign of a cyanide
capsule around his neck at the time he faced this shameful death
sacrificing the young blood of the Tamils for his survival. Therefore,
this so-called ruthless terror leader who misled the entire world saying
that he was fighting for the cause of the Tamils ultimately proved that
he was such a selfish, timid leader who could not take any brave
decision to safeguard his community even at the last minute and the
‘struggle’ he continued for decades was only for his survival but not
for the benefit of the Tamil community.
Ultimately, he had to accept that he was not a leader who can fight
with the Sri Lankan Army though he believed in the fact that the
international community would ensure his survival even at the last
moment by keeping only his head out of water of the Nanthikadal lagoon
But he could not survive as troops led by Commando troops and the
Infantry troops of the 4 Vijayaba Infantry Regiment ultimately killed
him inside a small islet in the Eastern bank of the Nanthikadal lagoon
and found his bleeding body around 10.30 a.m on Tuesday.
He had to face this tragic death as all his plans to flee from this
so-called No Fire Zone were foiled by the Army troops who surrounded the
last few square kilometres in the No Fire Zone by Sunday as tens of
thousands civilians fled towards the military controlled areas. Tiger
leader Velupillai Prabhakaran had created groundwork for his escape by
engaging in a psychological operation to convince the Security Forces
that he was no longer inside the Safe Zone as number of Tiger cadres who
had declared themselves as Tiger cadres have told the Security Forces
that Tiger leader had escaped the country in a submarine before the
beach front was sealed off by the 58 Division and the 59 Division
No Fire Zone
Despite all these information troops were on high alert as they were
hundred percent sure that the remaining Tiger leaders will make a
desperate attempt to flee from the Safe Zone as last batches of
civilians were arriving in the military controlled area through
Vaddavakkal causeway in Mullaitivu North and towards Vellamullivaikkal
and Karayanmullivaikkal in the Northern part of the No Fire Zone by
Prabhakaran’s LTTE identity card
Although at the initial stage civilians arrived in military
controlled area crossing the Nanthikadal lagoon in inflated tubes and
rafts with the 59 Division troops capturing the Vadduvakkal causeway a
huge influx of civilians started to reach Mullaitivu North.
As these civilians were vacating the Safe Zone the Tiger leaders
trapped there were busy planning to escape towards the Weli Oya jungles.
On Saturday night around 7 p.m. troops received a monitoring report that
they have launched some boats into the Nanthikadal lagoon.
As there was no access for them towards the shore the 59 Division
troops under the command of Brigadier Prasanna Silva and the Task Force
VIII under the command of Colonel G. V. Ravipriya who were operating in
the Western bank of the Nanthikadal lagoon were alerted about a possible
attempt by the LTTE to breach the defence lines in the Western bank of
the Nanthikadal lagoon.
With this information the 59 Division troops and the Task Force VIII
troops were ready to face any eventuality by Saturday night. It was
around 1.20 a.m. on Sunday morning when troops detected some Tiger boats
were heading towards the Wester edge of the lagoon. As troops were
hundred percent sure that the boats arriving towards them were not
civilians they directed fire towards them destroying them.
By that time hundreds of Tiger cadres dipped in the lagoon had
crossed towards the Western edge of the lagoon.
Prabhakaran’s body found at Nanthikadal lagoon
They have reached towards the defences manned by 5 Vijayaba Infantry
Regiment under the command of Lt. Colonel Kalpa Sanjeewa attached to the
682 Brigade commanded by Lt. Colonel Subashana Welikala and the 19 Sri
Lanka Light Infantry battalion under the command of Lt. Colonel Ravindra
Perera attached to 592 Brigade. Lt. Colonel Senaka Wijesuriya commanded
the 592 Brigade troops as Acting Commander.
Two bunkers manned by the 19 SLLI were attacked by the Tiger cadres
and they tried to escape towards Oddusudan jungles after breaching the
defence line. But it was not an easy task for them as troops have
strengthened the defences around the Nanthikadal lagoon as they have
correctly assessed the possibilities for the LTTE to escape towards the
Weli Oya jungles at the last moment.
It was under the supervision of Brigadier Chagie Gallage who was
specially sent to overlook the operational matters of the 59 Division,
the first second and third defence lines were strengthened without
leaving any room for the LTTE to breach them.
Lt. Colonel Senaka Wijesuriya deployed additional troops soon to
cover up the breached defences and to prevent cadres infiltrating into
the jungle patches. The 5 VIR troops also took the brunt of the Tiger
fire and killed scores of Tiger cadres who tried to breach the Security
Troops completely foiled their attempt to breach the defences by 5
a.m. and conducted search operations to collect the bodies of the Tiger
cadres and their weapons from the Western bank of the lagoon by both 19
SLLI troops and the 5 VIR troops.
It was later revealed that it was the first part of the Tiger
operation code named ‘Anchor I’ to clear the path for the Tiger leaders
to escape towards the Mullaitivu and Weli Oya jungles and LTTE leader
Velupillai Prabhakaran’s son Charles Anthony and number of senior Tiger
cadres were due to arrive in the second wave once the first batch of
Tiger cadres cleared the path for them.
But that attempt to clear a path for the Tiger leaders to escape
towards the jungles reached an abrupt end with the troops foiling their
attempt. But search operations continued to comb the jungle patches
closer to famous Dara point in the Western edge of the Nanthikadal
lagoon in search of Tiger cadres who had infiltrated into the jungles as
there were signs that the LTTE was secretly stocking food stocks in the
jungles for their survival.
While these search operations were continuing the last batches of
civilians continued to pour into the military controlled areas as troops
of the 53, 58 and 59 Division troops tightened the noose on the
remaining Tiger controlled area in the immediate North of Mullaitivu. It
was around 10.30 am on Sunday troops of the 53 Division and the 59
Division linked up together in the Eastern edge of the lagoon.
It was around 3 p.m on Sunday when the last batch of civilians
arrived in the military controlled area from the Vaddavakkal causeway in
the Mullaitivu North and the troops have surrounded the remaining LTTE
cadres into a 400 X 300 metres stretch in Karayanmullivaikkal area.
Infantry troops led by Special Forces and Commando troops continued
their thrust and lay siege around the last terrain of the LTTE. The
troops stopped their operations as dusk fell as it was dangerous to
enter the last terrain during the night. However, all troops were kept
on alert since there were strong indications that LTTE leaders would
make an attempt to flee from the area.
As they were on vigil the 17 Gemunu Watch battalion under the command
of Lt. Colonel Keerthi Kottewatta who were screening the civilians
arriving in the 53 Division area observed a number of civilians arriving
towards their defences around 2.30 a.m. on Monday.
The troops have been given strict instructions not take any civilians
towards the military controlled areas that day as there was a large
possibility for the LTTE leaders to make a massive attempt to flee from
As civilians were denied access there was an attempt to forcibly
enter through Security Forces defences and troops fired shots into the
air to stop them. As troops fired shots into the air, a massive fire was
directed at the troops and number of bunkers manned by 17 Gemunu watch
and the 5 Gemunu Watch battalion came under attack of the LTTE and Tiger
cadres started to enter the military controlled areas through the
Simultaneously, Special Forces Brigade Commander Colonel Athula
Kodippili was reaching towards the Y junction that links the A-35 Road
and the Puthumattalan Road and a soldier there pleaded him not to go
beyond that point as the Tiger cadres have already infiltrated their
With that information Colonel Athula Kodippili proceeded towards the
53 Division Headquarters in Puthukudiyiruppu to take precautionary
measures to avoid further infiltration of the military defences.
By that time Artillery Brigade Commander Brigadier Priyantha Napagoda
who was monitoring the UAV visuals from Kilinochchi had observed the way
the Tiger cadres were infiltrating through the Security Forces defences
and 58 Division GOC Brigadier Shavendra Silva was also informed of the
At the time of the final attempt of the LTTE leader, Army Commander
Lt. General Sarath Fonseka who was on an overseas visit also arrived in
the country and instructions were given to strengthen the second and
third defences to face any eventuality and 55 Division Acting GOC
Brigadier Chargie Gallage was also asked to move to Puthukudiyiruppu
area to help the 53 Division to reestablish the breached defences.
Brigadier Shavendra Silva took immediate measures to strengthen the
defences along the A-35 Road as Tiger cadres were heading towards the
beachfront. The 7 Sinha Regiment Commanding Officer Lt. Colonel Kithsiri
Liyanage who was closely monitoring the situation along with 1 Commando
CO Major Krishantha Gnanaratne took immediate measures to strengthen the
defences. Commando troops launched a massive fire towards the Tiger
cadres who infiltrated towards the A-35 Road through the road from the
It was amidst these fierce battle that troops monitored LTTE
transmissions that few of their top level leaders were fleeing in an
ambulance. But it was later revealed that the ambulance which had
arrived from the Air Mobile Brigade Medical Dressing Station with three
Army casualties has been stopped closer to Y junction in the A-35 by two
Tiger cadres who set it on fire. The three soldiers have managed to
escape from the ambulance and troops have killed the two Tiger cadres
with two claymore mines in their back closer to the ambulance. Another
bus ambulance which had a tyre punch has also been taken out of the A-35
Road towards the 681 Brigade Advance Dressing Station. Now it is
believed that the LTTE had tried to mislead the troops through
psychological operations pretending that Tiger leader who had tried to
escape in an ambulance was burnt into ashes so that they can easily take
him out towards a safer location diverting the attention of the troops
towards another direction.
By that time scores of Tiger cadres and the top level leaders have
been surrounded and killed by the troops. It was in the first wave of
attack LTTE IT Wing leader and elder son of Prabhakaran, Charles Anthony
was killed at the hands of the Security Forces.
LTTE Political Chief Nadesan and Peace Secretariat Chief Puleethevan
and Military Wing Leader Ramesh was killed in the crossfire. Although
there were speculations that they had expressed their willingness to
surrender, there is no such indication as they have been killed during
the fierce fighting.
By Monday morning troops collected scores of Tiger bodies, including
that of the Tiger leaders and many of them were identified by the
military intelligence officials. There were many disfigured bodies after
being caught in the massive fire. Although it was announced that LTTE
Intelligence Wing leader Pottu Amman’s body was recovered, later it was
found that it was not his as the body was shorter than the real height
of Pottu Amman.
By Monday evening troops collected more than 300 bodies from the
lagoon area and fierce fighting continued till Monday evening as troops
intensified search operations in search of Prabhakaran, Pottu Amman and
Sea Tiger leader Soosai that was the main concerns of the troops to
prove that the LTTE leadership has been totally eliminated.
As these search operations continued in the lagoon front, the Special
Forces troops under the command of Colonel Athula Kodippili captured the
last few hundred metres under the LTTE killing more than 130 Tiger
Special search operation
It was under these circumstances the three Squadrons from the 1, 2
and 5 Commando battalions launched a special search operation along the
Kadolana stretch of the Nanthikadal lagoon as they strongly believed
that Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was still alive inside.
As they continued their search operations they were faced with heavy
resistance from the LTTE who were hiding inside the Kadolana stretch in
Vellamullivaikkal area. The belt order of Tiger leader Prabhakaran and
his pistol has been recovered by the Commando troops although they could
not identify his body.
It was after the Commando troops conducted their operations 4
Vijayaba Infantry Regiment that troops under the Coommand of Lt. Colonel
Rohan Aluvihare conducted a search operation in that area. It was around
10.30 a.m. they found the body of Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
The bodies of the inner ring defence of the Tiger leader was also found
along with his body. The dog tag bearing 001 and his identity card,
personnel weapons and his personnel belongings were found from his pack.
The message was passed to 53 Division GOC Major General Kamal
Gunaratne and in turn he tried to convey the good news to the Army
Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka. But it was after great difficulty
that the message was passed onto him as he was attending the
inauguration of Parliament sessions by the President and later it was
announced through the media.
That was how the saga of the most ruthless terror leader Velupillai
Prabhakaran ended in such a way inside a bush in the Nanthikadal lagoon
from which the LTTE tried their best to build up Tamil Eelam keeping the
Tamil people as his hostages. The only challenge before the Security
Forces today is to find the body of LTTE Intelligence Wing Leader Pottu
Amman as their final victory against the LTTE remains incomplete without
any concrete evidence to prove his death.