Vigilant passenger prevents carnage at Mount Lavinia
Forces on verge of Madhu take-over
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
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
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 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
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 -
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
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
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
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
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.