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DateLine Sunday, 24 February 2008





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Vigilant passenger prevents carnage at Mount Lavinia

Forces on verge of Madhu take-over

The week ended yesterday turned out to be yet another week full of setbacks for the LTTE. Though many attempts were made to cover up the situation through pro-LTTE media refuting the claims by the Security Forces about their victories, they could not hide the reality in the battle front in the face of ground troops.

The troops in the battle fronts in Mannar, Vavuniya and Weli Oya observed the desperate situation the ground level LTTE cadres are facing, despite the claims by the senior level Tiger cadres to the media. Contrary to this the troops are observing, how these senior level cadres issuing these false statements to the media are suppressing their juniors to defend their territories from the Security Forces.

Security officials examine the scene of the bomb blast near the Mount Lavinia bus stand yesterday. 18 passengers injured in the explosion. The casualty toll would have been higher if not for an alert passenger who had warned the crew about a suspicious package aboard the bus.

The battle has now turned into a pathetic one for the LTTE. They are already deprived of its middle level leadership, as larger numbers of middle level cadres have been killed at the hand of the troops in many battle fronts commencing from the East.

It was almost apparent in the Mannar and Vavuniya battle fronts that most senior level cadres are now entering the battle fronts to lead the ground cadres due to the shortage of middle level leadership.

Bhanu the overall military leader in the Mannar and Vavuniya battle fronts, himself led in Vavuniya and Mannar as the pressure on the LTTE by the troops has intensified. Apart from Bhanu, Vidusha, Ramesh and Keerthi have come to field along with the ground cadres.

With those developments, it is not difficult to read the military tactics of the LTTE. As this column very precisely described the military assessment of the Tiger threat in the Wanni the LTTE is fast losing not only their territory, but also their cadres and the public support.

It was with this background the LTTE has shifted their heavy calibre artillery guns to North of Mannar region as the battle in Mannar has already reached a decisive phase with more than half of the Mannar 'rice bowl' area has coming under the control of the Security Forces.

Within this week the LTTE used almost all of their heavy calibre artillery guns in the Mannar theatre as six rounds of 152 mm artillery rounds fell into Mannar town on Thursday morning.

Normally, 152 mm heavy calibre artillery is used in retaliatory artillery fire as it can be used to destroy artillery positions as the weight of the shell used for this artillery gun is 40.8 kilograms. It is obvious that the LTTE is desperately using the last chances available to them to destroy the Security Forces artillery positions in Mannar since this will be gone out of their reach with the advancement of the troops to their territory, but failed in all their endeavours during the week.

It is also believed that the LTTE is also using one of the five 130mm artillery guns available with them in the Mannar theatre to thwart the troops advance to the thick jungle area in the Mannar-Vavuniya border. This is apart from the use of 122 mm artillery and 80mm mortars frequently.

It is believed that the LTTE is directing artillery fire from Periyamadu area, keeping safer distance from the Security Forces as they would come under attack at any moment once the locations are detected by the troops.

The main reason for them to muster artillery guns to the Mannar front is that they can be used effectively to launch major assaults on the advancing troops as they have to cross an open terrain in fallow paddy lands to reach Tiger defences. The Tiger leadership has hastily shifted these guns as troops have already passed half of the open terrain in the green belt in Mannar fearing they would soon reach the thick jungle area.

Once Task Force -I troops passed this terrain and entered thick jungle terrain in the Vavuniya - Mannar border the effectiveness of using these guns becomes very low as they can take the cover of the jungle to escape from Tiger shelling.

Therefore, the artillery and mortar fire has turned out to be the chosen weapon of the LTTE in the Mannar theatre. It was apparent as almost all the casualties on the part of the Security Forces have been reported due to 80 mm mortar fire and also due to 122 mm artillery fire.

It was also due to the fact that troops are now in control of the areas earlier held by the LTTE, they come under frequent artillery and mortar fire as the locations have already been registered with them.

Even though the ground is not in favour of the troops they have been able to inflict heavy damages to the LTTE after neutralising all the Tiger attempts to recapture the areas taken by the troops.

Another special feature, observed in the Mannar and the Vavuniya battle front is that troops have been able to recover many bodies of the LTTE after fierce battles as they do not show any interest in recovering the bodies of the Tiger cadres killed in the battle front.

This type of situation is reported from the Tiger cadres as they are escaping from the battlefront without facing the troops. And on the other hand they cannot afford to take the bodies of the cadres killed in the battle front and hand them over to the family members as the lower level LTTE cadres had been severely beaten by the civilians at several occasions when they were handing over the bodies of dead cadres.

Ten bodies recovered by the Task Force-I in the Mannar battle front have been handed over to the ICRC within this week alone. The LTTE does not like this situation too, as they have to handover these bodies to the family members once the ICRC hands over these bodies to the LTTE.

To bypass this situation the LTTE has used the tactics of burying the bodies of the cadres killed in the battle front. Security Forces have observed this situation in many areas in Vavuniya battle front during the past few months.

The factor that has to be highlighted is that the troops operating ahead of Mullikulam area also have recovered the bodies of Imran Pandyan cadres in the battle front. The Imran Pandyan cadres, similar to the Special Forces troops of the Security Forces are now handling the personnel security of the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran along with the Radha Regiment cadres.

The use of Imran Pandyan cadres along with normal cadres in the battle front very clearly indicate that the LTTE is either using them to control the ground cadres without allowing the lower ranked cadres to flee from the battle front or due to lack of trained cadres to be deployed along their defences as thousands of their cadres have already been killed in the battle front.

It is apparent that the LTTE is mustering their full strength to the Mannar and the Vavuniya front as they are on the verge of losing their prestigious ground in the Madhu, which was frequently used by the LTTE to achieve their narrow objectives militarily and politically.

The most recent example related to the LTTE and Madhu was the construction of a new defence line covering Uyilankulam Madhu road during the recently concluded Madhu feast. The LTTE took cover from the pilgrims who were proceeding to Madhu church from Uyilankulam road to construct this earth bund with a length of more than 600 metres.

Troops attached to 10 Gajaba Regiment under the command of Lt. Colonel Sarada Samarakoon braved the intense mortar and artillery fire to capture this earth bund which was considered a major barrier for the troops operating in the Uyilankulam area.

Not only they captured that earth bund but also extended the current defence line in both sides of the Uyilankulam - Parappakandal - Andankulam road.

So paths are now being cleared from various directions to take the Madhu area under the control of the Security Forces. The tactics adopted by the troops will definitely lead to the fall of the Madhu area to the hand of the Security Forces without a major fire fight within that zone.

Not only in the Mannar and Vavuniya fronts, the troops in the Weli Oya front also displayed positive results after heading towards the Mullaitivu direction from the Kokkuthuduval - Parakramapura front.

So the coming weeks will be turn out to be decisive for the Tiger outfit as they are poised to lose their ground which was not the concern of the Security Forces earlier. The Security Forces also expect that thousands of civilians entrapped in the LTTE held Wanni would reach the cleared areas in Mannar and Vavuniya districts seeking the protection of the Government.

This is expected to be yet another show of solidarity by the Tamil civilian population with the Security Forces like it happened in Vakarai and in West of Batticaloa as the battle in the East reached a decisive phase.

But there will be many attempts from the LTTE to stop the civilians escaping from the Tiger grip as such a situation would definitely isolate them not only from the international community but also from the very same community which they claimed to be the sole representative.

So it is not surprising to note that the LTTE would definitely resort to desperate acts by launching a misinformation campaign against the Sri Lanka military.

It was commendable to note that many of the public are strongly following the advice given by the defence authorities, security forces and the Police about Tiger plans to create carnage in the South.

Once again vigilant commuters and bus crew had averted a major disaster by detecting a bomb inside a bus plying from Moratuwa to Colombo.

Fortunately, the commuter who had located the suspicious parcel, the driver and the conductor of this privately owned bus have acted in a responsible manner, evacuating the commuters from the bus as they located the parcel and taking the bus to a safer location. This incident has proved beyond any doubt that the message about desperate acts by the Tigers have been engraved in the minds of the common masses, as they very clearly understand by allowing the LTTE to proceed freely in their terror tactics they themselves give into the LTTE terrorism.

The entire nation saluted Petty Officer Bandara of the Sri Lanka Navy for his brave act by defusing the time bomb found at Anuradhapura public fair disregarding his own life. He is now being felicitated by the patriotic Sri Lankans across the world.

The appreciation of the commuter who located the bomb and the driver and the conductor of the bus should be in higher scale as this timely action came from the people, from the civilian population itself. If not for their timely action, dozens of innocent civilians would have been killed in the bomb explosion like in the Dambulla incident. Only 18 people were wounded in the bomb blast near Mount Lavinia junction due to this far sighted act.

On the other hand this is yet another example that the Tiger outfit is getting ready for another series of bomb blasts in the South targeting civilians. They have already come out with incidents to justify their barbaric acts, by pointing finger at the Sri Lanka Air Force for bombing a civilian settlement.

But this is only a flimsy excuse by the LTTE to engage in this type of terror acts in the South. First they exploded a bomb targeting former Pakistani High Commissioner Valy Mohammed after accusing the SLAF of bombing an orphanage. But later it was revealed that the location was a weapon training centre of the LTTE.

The recent bombs were exploded targeting civilians taking the cover that several schoolchildren were killed due to a claymore mine explosion in Periyamadu area.

So it is the turn of the public to turn down all these flimsy excuses of the LTTE to justify their terror acts, by standing firmly with the Security Forces to defeat LTTE terrorism for ever not only from the Sri Lanka but also from the entire globe.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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