Not a single LTTEer was allowed to escape by sea
Lt. Commander Ranuwaka Balasuriya:
Lt. Commander Ranuwaka Balasuriya attached to the SBS. Picture
by Sudath Nishantha
Lt. Commander Ranuwaka Balasuriya, was a war hero who engaged in many
a sea battle as a member of Special Boat Squadron (SBS). He fought
against the Sea Tigers to protect the motherland and safeguard the
sovereignty of the nation. He joined the Navy in 1997 and was attached
to the SBS in 1999.
Lt. Commander Balasuriya shared his experience in the battlefield
fighting against terrorists and winning the operations.
“This is one of the days that I never forget in my life. It was
September 27, 2007 the day I was promoted as Lt. Commander.
“Despite celebrating the day, I was in the sea to combat against the
Sea Tigers. We received information around 2.00am that a cluster of LTTE
boats were moving towards the South of Trincomalee deployed from
Podduwakadu - near Pulmodai”, he recalled the incident.
Balasuriya said soon after detecting the LTTE movements in the
Kallawaraya radar he informed the Trincomalee harbour.
“I led eight arrow boats and a jet boat team to destroy the enemy’s
boats. We enabled to approach the LTTE movements within 20 minutes by
our stand by team on time”, he added.
“We spotted the LTTE flotilla in the moonlight approximately 250m
distance coming towards us. The LTTE opened fire and we retaliated
successfully causing heavy damages to the Sea Tigers destroying eight
boats while two fled from the area. The sea battle lasted for an hour”,
Lt. Commander Balasuriya said.
It was an LTTE mission to bring the LTTE cadres and take some of the
cadres back in a location between Kallaruwa and Podduwakadu. But the
Navy foiled their mission.
Expressing his real feeling at the time of battle, Lt. Commander
Balasuriya said that at the beginning we thought it might be a difficult
fight. However, we jumped to the boats and encouraged and expressed
confidence to kill the enemy. And we did it. “None of my sailors got
even minor injuries even though a couple of our boats were slightly
damaged”, he said.
During the last battle they quite often engaged in many sea fights in
the Mullaitivu seas. The final battle that Balasuriya faced was on April
29, 2009 in the Mullaitivu sea.
“During the night it was difficult to observe boats. Naturally, we
came to know only when they approached us or else depends on the radar
information and destroy the enemy targets. But it was not difficult for
us to tackle the LTTE movements and destroy”, he added.
He said the naval troops used different approaches to destroy the
LTTE suicide boats. “We take the LTTE suicide boats inside and launch
surprise attacks. Our boys worked hard to destroy every efforts of the
LTTE. We fought without taking even a holiday or break. It’s not that we
were not granted but we did not want to take a holiday”, Balasuriya
The Navy were fully prepared to destroy the enemy targets during the
last phase of battle in the Mullaitivu seas.
It was a decisive moment for any sailor in the sea fighting against
the LTTE. It was decided that not a single LTTE cadre would escape over
the sea.”We were prepared to face any challenges in the sea”