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Navy - Sea patrolling round the clock

Rear Admiral Susith Weerasekera

Commander Eastern Naval area Rear Admiral Susith Weerasekera taking command in the Eastern belt on October 2008 played a vital role to defeat and disable the LTTE movements in the North-eastern sea.

The Eastern sea belt stretching from Sangamankandhai to Chalai had come under the command of Rear Admiral Weerasekera, an area where the LTTE cadres confined into the last leg of battlefield. Therefore, he had a big job to face and destroy the enemies in many ways. When ground troops surrounded the LTTE from three directions, the LTTE leadership and his fellow cadres have left only one direction that ‘Sea’.

Rear Admiral Weerasekera noted that aftermath of the LTTE attacks on the naval vessels and ships carrying food supplies in 2006, the Navy strengthened its surveillance and enhanced its detection to prevent arms smuggling.

Two naval layers were established from 100 nautical miles in the North and 70 nautical miles in the East from the beach. “These areas thoroughly were under surveillance by the sailors and the LTTE arms smuggling capability totally was disabled”, he added.

“Since the LTTE cadres were confined to a certain stretch of land, the Naval troops had a major part to cover the North-eastern sea. Considering the nature of the situation, we established barricads in certain areas of the Eastern coastal belt. Therefore, we have set up four barriers and two bolder points deploying boats such as Arrows, Fast Gun Boats, Special Boat Squadron, Fast Attack Craft, Rapid Action Boat Squadron, Dvora etc”, he added.

Concept of establishing four lines of barrier was successful and sailors carried out battle in the deep sea bringing triumph against the LTTE movements. The Navy also established detachments between Nayaru to Trincomalee and radars based on shore from Chenmalai to Chilavetti. Though, the LTTE coming in and going out or infiltration were out of question.

“We were confident that not a single Tiger cadre or the LTTE senior leader would be able to flee via the sea. Our sailors were vigilant and on the alert. They were manning the sea belt and patrolling round the clock ready to detect and destroy the targets”, he added. There were many desperate attempts by the Tiger cadres to escape over the sea using suicide boats. The naval troops destroyed their attempts and hopes.

“We used different tactics and ways to fight the LTTE in the sea by our attack crafts. Sea Tiger leader Soosai could not hold our planes and tactics, thus they have decisively withdrawn all their attempts”, Rear Admiral Weerasekera remarked.

Rear Admiral Weeraskera asserted that the LTTE leadership could not face up to the challenge drafted by the Navy. “In the consequences of war, LTTE leader Prabakaran was found dead along with his senior leaders.

“We challenged the LTTE leader and his associates to take the sea route to flee if they were brave. They made many attempts using different techniques but all efforts were foiled and they failed”, he said.

The Navy contributed in rescuing hostage mission by vacating around 14,000 sick and wounded civilians on the board of ICRC charted vessel Green Ocean from Puthumathalan to Trincomalee and from Vellaimullikkal to Pulmodai.

“These evacuated civilians had been given initial treatment by the naval medical team on their arrival before they were transferred to the Indian temporary hospital in Pulmodai or any other hospital. Then they were sent to the IDPs welfare centres”, he said.

Meanwhile, the naval troops also rescued another 12,000 civilians from the LTTE clutches and brought them to the cleared areas during the battle.

He said all efforts were undertaken while operation was on. “We are satisfied with the victory and our contribution to make the victory”, he added.


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