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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 said.

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”


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