Bogus assumptions, failed attempts leave Tigers in jitters
Wide publicity given by the LTTE to the failed air attack on the
Katunayake air base has also created friction within Tiger terrorists.
Reports from Wanni said Sea Tiger leader Soosai had taken it too
According to intelligence sources, Soosai have had a crucial meeting
with other Sea Tiger leaders in Puthukuduiruppu in Mullaitivu on March
31. Soosai has stressed that they too should do something significant to
boost the image of the Sea Tigers as the Tiger Air Wing did by launching
an attack on the Katunayake Air Base.
However, a week later Air Force jets pounded the Sea Tiger
Headquarters in Pudhukudiyiruppu, Mullaitivu, destroying it completely
and causing heavy damage to the LTTE.
Air Force jets pounded LTTE Sea Tiger installations in
Pudhukudiyiruppu including the Sea Tiger Headquarters. Air Force said
the air strike was successful and that they destroyed the target
Sea Tiger installations such as fuel stores, vehicle parks and
ammunition dumps too were destroyed, he added. Air Force sources said
the Sea Tiger HQ was completely destroyed and went up in flames.
The Tiger outfit at last came out with their trump card by launching
a surprise attack on the Katunayake Air Base, but failed in achieving
their target. However they succeeded in their effort to get
international attention with jubilant Tiger leader V. Prabhakaran posing
for the camera along with the members of his air wing from a
calandestine location in the Wanni.
But they must be aware that their jubilant mood would not be long
lived as their trump card would very soon bring the death warrant for
their organisation. Therefore, they would be aware of the fact that
their jubilant mood will come to an end very soon with many nations
expressing grave concern over the air capabilities of the LTTE.
The international community was not blind about the LTTE air
capabilities. They were aware of the Tiger air capabilities years before
this sudden attack.
The present administration which is open in their dealings against
the terror acts of the LTTE briefed the diplomatic community based in
Colombo mainly from neighbouring India, United States, European Union
and Japan in the aftermath of Security Forces observing an air movement
in the Vavuniya area.
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa made this briefing to the
diplomats, with the sole purpose of giving a clear picture of the LTTE
organisation and also to warn the international community about the
repercussion if the Tiger outfit is allowed to become more stronger.
Vellupillai Prabhakaran with his so-called Tamil â€˜air forceâ€™ as
appeared on BBC website
On the part of the Government, it is the responsibility of a
democratic Government to enlighten the international community about
growing threats to the globe, for them to be on alert to the situation
without looking at this problem only on face value.
Robert Blake, the US Ambassador in Colombo was convinced from this
briefing. He expressed his concerns, though not officially, saying that
the LTTE is the only terror outfit equipped with air capabilities.
But this was not the first occasion India was briefed about the air
capabilities of the LTTE. India was briefed about this alarming
situation for years and they have even come forward to assist Sri Lanka
to counter these air threats by establishing a Air Defence System after
lengthy negotiations with the Sri Lankan Government.
The Sri Lankan Government has always been open to the Indian
Government about the LTTE threat as it is aware India will also become
vulnerable to such situations if it is allowed to grow within our
The Indian Government is aware that Sri Lanka, in advance briefed
regarding an the LTTE plans to launch offensive to capture Jaffna
peninsula and to attack the Trincomalee Naval base.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa convinced the Indian Government of this
situation during his first visit to India and also to Pakistan. Later,
the predictions made by the Sri Lankan Government turned out to be
actual facts with the foiled attempt of the LTTE to capture the Jaffna
When President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga briefed the Indian
Government about the alarming threat from the Tiger air capabilities in
2003 after receipt of confirmed reports about the Iranamadu airstrip and
the acquisition on light aircrafts to the LTTE, they would not have
thought the LTTE would pose this type of threat within such a short
According to reports, the Indian Government is now alarmed of this
situation and is hurriedly setting up Radar systems along the southern
coast with the deployment of new Air Bases in the southern coast, in the
same way they had reacted after the capture of the Tiger suicide kit and
explosives in the Southern coast of Tamil Nadu.
The fact, that has to be highlighted here is that not only
neighbouring India, but the entire international community should be
aware of the fact that one day the targets of the LTTE would not be
confined to Sri Lanka alone if they are allowed to operate freely.
Of course the Sri Lankan Government would not allow them to do so,
though the LTTE aircraft could escape to the Wanni after bombing the
Katunayake Air Base. But it will be beyond the control of the Security
Forces or the Sri Lankan Government as in the case of the Rajiv Gandhi
assassination, if the LTTE deploy their trained pilots to hijack planes
in foreign countries and go all out for suicide missions.
The unravelling of the LTTE links with major terror outfits like Al
Queda, internationally keeps this situation in a more prioritised
position with the possibilities of these terror outfit staking the
support of the available resources of the LTTE to accomplish their
terror operations against many nations.
The wide publicity given to the incident by the international media
has already given much needed free publicity for their terror campaign
to raise funds and also have more links with the international terror
Therefore, the international community's support to the Government,
is essential at this point to go all out to destroy Tiger air
capabilities, since it bears the responsibility of eliminating global
terror threats which is growing on Sri Lankan soil.
Therefore, the international community's pressures on the Sri Lankan
Government to have a political solution to the North-East conflict
should be free from the condition of providing any solution to an
organisation equipped with air capabilities.
As Foreign Affairs Minister Rohitha Bogollagama stated to the
international community, Government has kept the doors still open for
the LTTE to enter negotiations with the Sri Lankan state irrespective of
the incidents taking place in the North-East.
But, any solution to the problem has to be evolved in an environment
where sovereignty of the country is free of challenges by air capability
of the LTTE.
Therefore, the right for the Sri Lankan state to go all out to
destroy the Tiger air capability cannot be challenged by any one as the
LTTE has challenged the sovereignty of the State by using two air crafts
to launch attack on the Katunayake Air Base.
Therefore, the Sri Lanka Air Force has now been given the licence to
destroy the air capabilities of the LTTE.
But according to sources, the task would not be an easy one for the
SLAF as they have to wait till the LTTE take their aircraft out of their
hard bunkers in the jungles of Wanni for another training mission to
launch another attack.
They will be extremely careful in handling their air capabilities.
soon, as they have already realised the consequences of what they have
done, though they could manage to escape after launching the air attack.
Therefore, the public support has become an essential factor for the
Security Forces to destroy the air capability of the LTTE as they can
provide information regarding air movements by the LTTE without waiting
for the radar systems to detect them.
However, it is obvious now that the LTTE has launched this attack in
clear desperation as their image has now come to the lowest level
internationally with many nations coming out to proscribe the Tiger
outfit in their countries.
The events unfolded during this week too proved the fact that the
LTTE was preparing for their final war. The intelligence reports
indicated that the Tiger cadres had a mock operation in Kilinochchi on
March 26 using dummies as preparation for their offensive to capture the
Therefore it is very clear, very soon the LTTE will launch an
offensive using their full strength, to come out from Wanni to capture
Government held areas both in Vavuniya and also in Jaffna with their
defeats in face of the Security Forces operations in the East.
The LTTE came out in their desperation launching a suicide mission to
destroy Chenkaladi Army camp in Batticaloa. They are using this tactic
as they were left with no other option but to engage in suicide missions
to break out from the Thoppigala jungles in face of the advancing troops
from the South, East and North of Thoppigala jungles.
As they no longer entertain the support of the civilian population in
the East they have now resorted to these suicide attacks even
disregarding the civilian lives.
Army soldiers on sentry duty at a road barrier in front of the
Chenkaladi Army camp showed their bravery recalling the memories of the
brave act by Hasalaka Gamini at Elephant Pass on Tuesday at 7.15 a.m.
That was not the first suicide attack by the LTTE in Batticaloa, the
Tigers attempted to send two explosive laden vehicles across Red Bridge
and Black Bridge in Batticaloa in their earlier bid to overrun
Kumburumulla Army camp. The Security Forces were able to destroy both
these explosive laden vehicles before they arrived at Security Forces
barriers. Two soldiers were killed and eighteen civilians were injured
in this suicide attack on the Chenkaladi Army camp.
The clear desperation of the LTTE once again was obvious on Thursday
night as they launched sudden mortar attacks on Morakottanchena and
Karadiyanaru villages in Batticaloa killing eight Tamil civilians and
injuring many others.
Tiger terrorists at about 7.30 p.m. commenced a rain of mortar
attacks simultaneously on civil populated Sittandy, Sandiveli and
Morakttanchena villages causing panic among civilians who were about to
sleep after meals.
Prerimban Ranjika an eighteen month old baby girl, Manoharan
Nilochana seven years old boy, Peremban Shashikumar a 17 years old
youth, Peremban Wasantha Kumar (18) Parameshwari Danalingam (30) Alahiya
Wijelakshmi (42) Eliyathambi Shinnadorai (55) and Nagamani Thambi Dorai
(44) from Murugan Kovil road, Sittandy fell victim of the Tiger
Through these attacks, the LTTE is now showing their anger against
the Tamil community who had escaped from the West of Batticaloa areas to
Government held areas without heeding to Tiger orders to stay there.
The Tamil civilians have realised the brutality of the LTTE having
undergone the severe hardship at Vakarai.
The LTTE is now engaged in this process of attacking the Security
Forces with the wrong impression that the Security Forces have been
demoralised following their air attack on the Katunayake Air Base.
But the Security Forces showed their strength to the LTTE outfit,
having captured the Kokkadicholai area on Wednesday giving a severe blow
to the LTTE.
Following the capture of the Kokkadicholai area, the Tigers in the
East are now facing the final phase of the battle having vacated the
areas first in Mavilaru, secondly in Sampur, thirdly in Kathirveli and
Vakarai and now in the fourth stage at Batticaloa West bordering to
Troops engaged in this humanitarian mission were able to expose the
luxurious life spent by the Tiger leader confining the Tamil civilians
to ten square feet tents donated to them by the Government and the INGOs.
The Security Forces exposed to the entire world ltte's
air-conditioned luxurious conference hall with most modern facilities,
which was built in a secret manner and used as their main centre of
This huge LTTE conference hall, according to the Security Forces
would have cost millions, contain a spacious auditorium, air-conditioned
bedrooms, electricity-run kitchen units, pantries, washrooms and other
modern furniture and equipment.
In the most recent past Tiger terrorists conducted media briefings in
this building for both local and international media.
Troops engaged in this humanitarian mission were able to capture a
large haul of claymore mines, land mines, anti-personnel mines,
improvised explosive devices, guns and other warlike items that had been
hurriedly left behind by fleeing Tiger terrorists in the face of
With the clearance of these areas the Government will be able to
bring normalcy to the entire Eastern province in the coming months
allowing the civilian population to lead a peaceful life sans terror
acts of the LTTE.
Since the swift action by the Government the infrastructure of the
East is also coming up fast bringing a new lease of life to the people.
If the Government succeeded in development battle in the East soon after
the battle to free the province from the clutches of terrorism, there
will be no room at all for terrorism in that region.
Such environment will help extensively the Governments effort to
liberate the people in Wanni in their effort to bring peace to the
But in the backdrop of these successes, the Security Forces will have
to face many challenges in the coming weeks as the Tigers may resort to
more desperate acts more than ever.
Therefore, the Security Forces should be more determined than ever to
face the challenges of terrorism as they too will enter into the final
and most serious lap of their battle against the LTTE with the
completion of their mission in the Eastern theatre.
The development of the LTTE Air
1983 - Wasanthan a childhood friend of
Prabhakaran who joined the LTTE after 1983 riots was the first
pilot to be trained in UK and France
1985 - Wasanthan resigned from the LTTE upon
1985 - Sathasivam Krishnakumar alias Kittu,
the then Jaffna commander of the LTTE initiated research to
build an aircraft with a 200cc motorcycle engine
1986 - The prototype aircraft was manufactured
but was a failure 1990/1991 - V. Swarnalingam alias Shankar,
head of the LTTE leaders internal security and an aeronautical
engineer who worked for Air Canada initiated a parallel
programme Setting up of training base to train Air Wing cadres
1993 - Three LTTE cadres received pilot
training and two more received training in maintenance, overseas
1995 - First intelligence report about LTTE
landing two microlight aircraft on the North Eastern coast
1998 - November 27 the LTTE officially
announced the existence of an air wing by using microlight
aircraft to drop flowers on the Vattrapali Amman Kovil during
the heroes day commemoration
1999 - Declared as the year of the Air Tigers
2001 - September 20 death of Shankar at the
hand of the Military deep penetration team. Swarnam took over
the Airwing and it was renamed as the Colonel Shankar Air Wing
2003 - Construction of the Iranamadu airstrip
2004 - April, intelligence reports reveal LTTE
was in the possession of four fixed wing aircraft (probably Zlin
2005 - Eight trained pilots arrived in the
Wanni subsequent to training in Europe
2005/2006 - Intelligence reports received that
a Ukrainian national by the name Mikyola who is believed to have
been a pilot or an engineer visiting Wanni. The LTTE Airwing is
now commanded by a cadre named Ranjan whilst the responsibility
of protecting air assets has been vested with Kennedy.