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Heroes Foreverí is a series dedicated to Army, Air Force, Navy and the Police personnel who have gone beyond the call of duty. This is our token of appreciation on behalf of the whole nation to recognize their courage and determination.

Nilma Dole
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Corporal Weerakoon said "I was stationed at the bunkers over the bund which overlooked the thick jungle below". There was a road leading to the Malawi LTTE camp which they were closely monitoring and Corporal Weerakoon was on duty at the time.

Corporal Weerakoon was a brave air force ground fighter who was posted at the Mallawi FDL (Forward Defence Line). Below is an account of how he helped the air force secure a victory in the area near the FDL at the location of the bund.

Date:        13th April 1999
Location:  Mallawi FDL
Time:        0300hrs

While the country was preparing for the traditional new year celebration, the Air Force was preparing for enemy trespassers right above the Mallawi FDL which was stationed right above a bund.

Corporal Weerakoon said "I was stationed at the bunkers over the bund which overlooked the thick jungle below". There was a road leading to the Malawi LTTE camp which they were closely monitoring and Corporal Weerakoon was on duty at the time. "I noticed some rustling movement amongst the jungle bushes and then alerted the 80 member Bravo 2 team that was positioned on the other side of the bund" he said.

By this time, word got out that suspected enemy activity was taking place and the air force personnel were in their positions to defend.

"We took aim at the LMG weapon point and fired at the road leading towards the LTTE camp where the faint noises of scampering had been heard" said the Corporal. At this point, the LTTE cadres were now somewhat visible and they defended themselves. "We knew they were trying to penetrate the bund but they miscalculated our ready air force fighters and support personnel to help us" he said. Nevertheless, not giving up, the fighting intensified and eventually, the air force had more strength in winning the encounter.

0600hrs: "Since we were right above them at the bund, we easily secured a victory" he said. He remembers how the LTTE cadres surrendered, and how an injured cadre was crying out for help in broken Sinhala and his comrade Corporal Rajapaksa went to seize this cadre into custody. "When we cleared the area, we found 8 bodies in the thicket including the injured cadre and also uncovered a loot with rations, weapons and some communication devices" said the Corporal. The air force soldiers also uncovered claymore bombs the LTTE cadres were planning to use to penetrate the FDL.Corporal Weerakoon hails from Minipe and his elder brother is in the police force while his younger brother joined the Navy recently. He has trained in the Air Force for about 12 years and his first duty was in Vavuniya. "Here I was selected to serve at the Mallawi FDL where this incident took place", reminisces Corporal Weerakoon.

Speaking about his life at the Air Force he said "After joining the Air Force, did I know that one could learn a lot". He said that it was his childhood dream to join the armed forces and serve his country in whatever way he could. He is now married and has two children.

Corporal Weerakoon was awarded the RSP (Ranasoora Padakkama) for bravery evinced in operations and service he has rendered to his beloved motherland.

 

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