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Sunday, 8 February 2009





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Infantries bulldoze LTTE sea base:

Tigers, now fangless!

The Mechanical Infantry batallions on swift move

The Lion Flag flutters in Chalai

Brigadier Prasanna de Silva G.O.C. 55 Division discuss with the 553, 552 Brigade commanders

The latest territorial gains by the Sri Lanka Army have brought the area under the LTTE down to approximately 100 square kilometers with the fall of the last Sea Tiger base Chalai and Vishvamadu, late last week. Stage is now set for the ground finale of the ground battles in our Forward Defence Lines (FDLs).

As the troops attached to the 55 Division commanded by Brigadier Prasanna de Silva overran the last Sea Tiger base with the capture of Chalai LTTE has lost its strongest and most fearsome fighting wing.

Breaking the sea power

It was on February 5, that the troops attached to the 553 brigade commanded by Colonel Mahinda Weerasooriya under the Division Commander Brigadier de Silva, launched the operation to capture this massive Sea Tiger launching pad.

Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Deepal Pussella, the 7 Vijayaba Infantry battalion (VIR) and the 6th Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLLI) battalion led by Major Manada Yahampath along with soldiers of the 1st Commando battalion with Captain Ruwan Perera as Officer Commanding spearheaded the offensive.

Defeating the sea power of Tigers was of paramount importance to the Security forces. Chalai, geographically, is rather inhospitable especially to infantry troops.

The coastal line stretching from Nagar Kovil upto Chalai which the troops had to cross is covered with marble coloured sand where any movement is clearly visible even in the darkness.

Since it is a lagoon area, the high sand dunes and thickets with thorny shrubs and trees was a natural obstacle the troops had to face.

This Sea Tiger base which has a history that extends to over two decades was famous for intensive attacks in the waters, including deadly suicide attempts.

According to military information it is from this point the LTTE launched the attack on the 'Ruhunu' and 'Nilwala' cargo ships anchored at the Mailady port on October 22 last year using a fleet of four Sea Tiger boats.

It however failed to reach its target due to the combined efforts of our Security Forces.

The attack on a cargo vessel sailing in the Vadamarachchi Eastern coastal belt on January 22, 2008 was reported to have been launched from the Chalai Sea Tiger base. This was also the LTTE's main operational base to bring in arms and ammunition linking up with their international network. From Chalai they had monitored the movements of the Sri Lanka Navy with the help of a radar observation point.

Failed attempts

The operation to capture Chalai area was initiated on January 31. The LTTE offered its maximum resistance to hold back the Sri Lanka Army's advance. LTTE had excavated six huge `sand bunds' in the stretch from Chundikulam to Chalai with a massive number of Anti personnel mines and deadly booby traps laid in the entire area.According to ground sources Tigers fired 37 mm paddle guns, 30 mm canons and 12.7 mm guns that also can be mounted on boats."It was not only from the ground that the LTTE directed their attacks on us.

They attacked from the sea as well," Brigadier Prasanna de Silva added explaining the tough battle they faced. Yet, nothing could possibly deter the valiant soldiers.

In this open terrain that reduces the speed of the infantry troops, additional fire and mechanical power is vital.

Seized LTTE ammunitions

The fire power of the tanks of the 4 Armoured Corp and the continuous artillery support of the 4th Artillery Corp broke the passage for the infantry troops to move vigorously.The support of the Mechanical Infantry regiment, both in fire power and additional speed in moving the troops was a great advantage to the Security Forces especially in the inhospitable terrorism.

2002 truce

According to military sources four leaders including the third in Command of the Sea Tiger wing Vinayagam and four others including Pagalawan, Cader, Sinnakannan, Annalavan and a large number of cadres were killed. According to the military intelligence, Vinayagam had taken part in most of the massive battles that took place in the Jaffna peninsula earlier.

During the 2002 truce he was one of the few who spearheaded the mission to collect funds for the LTTE in billions during their tour of European countries as a member of the peace delegation.Pagalawan, with 15 years in the LTTE was the area leader of the Sea Tigers for Pooneryn and Jaffna in 2007 and was a key figure in the smuggling of arms and ammunition to their outfit. Pagalawan had acted as the area leader in the Iluppukadawai area in Mannar.Cader, the other significant character of the LTTE, was an area leader at the beginning and had been active in the Mannar coastal line. With these losses, the LTTE high command finds it difficult to communicate with their ground troops.

At the time this article going to edition the troops who were conducting search and clear operations in their consolidated positions in Chalai, have recovered a large haul of weapons and ammunition left by the fleeing LTTE cadres.


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