Police defuse land-mine in Wellawatte
Charlemont road that runs by the side of the Savoy theatre joins the
Marine Drive road at its other end near the Kinross swimming club. There
is a bridge over the Wellawatte canal near this spot where the Colombo-
Matara dual railway lines run over the bridge.
a security point of view the bridge is a vulnerable spot as several
passenger trains pass over daily. However the chance discovery of a 15
kilo claymore mines found near a waste dump adjacent to the bridge had
sent ripples through the defence establishment. It was a terrifying
experience for the police as land mine were never found in the
Wellawatte area before.
It was the first time that such deadly military hardware had been
found. Especially at a time when there had been several deadly
explosions in the Colombo city.
Plan to blow the bridge?
Of course there had been several cordon and search operations in the
past where suspected LTTE cadres were rounded up when someone was shot
dead in the area.
But never have they found landmines. We all know that attempts to
smuggle in military hardware in to the Colombo city in the past few
months were thwarted by police and the public.
But no one knows for sure whether such explosives have been smuggled
during the past few years. Was there a plan to blow up the bridge at
Wellawatte by a terrorist outfit last week.? Or was it aimed at a
passenger train while it passed over the bridge? Or was it aimed at some
VIP driving along the Marine drive or someone promenading on the beach?
Was it aimed at some senior Police officers who used to visit the Mess.
The police no doubt will have to find answerers to these queries.
They just cannot be complacent about the finding. A thorough
investigation is necessary to determine how a powerful land mine
weighing 15 kilos was found in a garbage dump. Perhaps someone may have
dumped it there during a cordon and search operation.
In fact the sea near the Kinross Swimming club has been a popular
bathing spot as far as one could remember.
The other places in the vicinity are restaurants frequented both by
tourists and locals alike and of course the Reserve Police Mess for
senior officers. OIC Wellawatte Police Chief Inspector Dehideniya and
policemen are conducting inquiries to ascertain how the claymore mine
was smuggled into Wellawatte.
The discovery was made when a train passenger who had seen a garbage
collector near a dump meddling with the claymore mine with its wires
The passenger had screamed at the garbage collector not to meddle
with it as it could cause an explosion. A team of police officers from
Wellawatte that arrived at the scene confirmed who it was an unexploded
land mine. The land mine was taken charge by the police along with the
garbage collector for questioning.
Of course it is important to know whether he had any prior knowledge
about the landmine or whether he was an imposter. Meanwhile Police
having obtained a court order defused the land-mine with the help of the
Special Task Force (STF) Commanders.