Fall of Adampan humiliates LTTE
people of this country by this morning would have heard the final
results of the Eastern Provincial Council elections, which was headed to
a close in a successful note by yesterday evening at the time this
newspaper was going to press.
The peace loving people in the Eastern province witnessed all aborted
attempts by the LTTE to have their say against the election. There were
only a few incidents that the LTTE could accomplish but thousands of
their attempts were foiled by the vigilant Security Forces and the
Police operating in the East.
However, at the last moment when they felt that they no longer have a
say in the Eastern province and all their attempts to sabotage the
election have failed, it exposed its desperation on Friday evening and
in the wee hours of Saturday.
Troops manning defences at the outskirts of Adampan
The cowardly bomb blast inside ‘New City Café’ in Ampara, which
killed 12 people and injured 31 and the sinking of a Naval vessel at
Ashroff Jetty in Trincomalee in a predawn attack were two desperate
attempts by the LTTE to get their name in the international media at the
date of the election.
Having understood their inability to convince the Eastern people of
their view in a democratic means and to get the Eastern masses to
boycott the elections, the LTTE wanted at least to give the impression
to the international community that they too still have a say in the
Their attempt was to add at least a single line in the news reports
on the Eastern polls that the election was conducted amidst bomb blasts
and terror acts of the LTTE. But nothing could prevent the Eastern
people from exercising their democratic right to elect their own
representatives to run their own administration in the East.
This column very clearly explained last week how the LTTE was
preparing to sabotage the election in the East. Now it is clear that the
teams who had infiltrated into the Eastern province had waited till the
last moment to accomplish their strategy to sabotage the election.
No significant impact
It was after all arrangements were made to transport ballot boxes to
the respective polling stations, the bomb was exploded in Ampara at 5.40
p.m. However, that bomb explosion could not make any significant impact
in the minds of the people to distance them from the election process.
Even the sinking of the logistic vessel A-520 which was berthed at
Ashroff Jetty in an underwater explosion could not make any impact
either on the election process or the Naval capabilities.
The entire Trincomalee city which was in deep silence was shaken
around two o’clock in the morning due to the sudden explosion. The ship
had engulfed in a massive fire soon after the explosion giving a clear
idea to the people of this port city what had exactly happened due to
The Sri Lanka Navy claims that the ship was empty and there were no
people inside the ship at the time it was exploded. It was around six in
the morning when the damaged vessel sank in the sea.
The Navy is still conducting investigations as to what exactly
happened. But initial investigations have confirmed that there had been
no possibility of sending a suicide boat or any other device on the
surface to cause this explosion.
Investigations also directed to see whether the LTTE had used any
divers to set a sea mine into the ship and then blast the ship using a
remote control device. The possibilities of using a sea mine to explode
the vessel is very high considering the location of the Ashraff Jetty.
The LTTE would have had an ideal opportunity to make use of a land
route to reach close to the ship taking cover of the jungle patches
surrounding the harbour and set mines using divers as the Ashraff Jetty
is located close to civilian settlements, especially Tamil populated
areas in Trincomalee.
Search operations are now on in Trincomalee to detect suspicious
elements in and around the harbour.
According to Navy the ill fated vessel, A-520, was a merchant vessel
built in 1970s and handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy, following a court
order after it was apprehended while transporting 254 illegal migrants
off Tangalle in 2003.
Later, this 60 foot long ship had been converted into a logistic ship
and used for logistic transport. It had been berthed there at the
Ashraff Jetty since it could not be taken to the Naval harbour.
However it has been revealed that the attention of the Sri Lanka Navy
had been fully drawn towards deep sea security drawing lesser attention
towards a possible enemy attack from the land side. Therefore, the LTTE
had taken this chance to accomplish its terror operation since it is an
extremely difficult task for them to engage the Navy in deep sea
But the Tiger outfit though reached some limited objectives through
this attack, they could not reach the full objective as they could not
reduce the logistic capabilities of the Navy.
However, its cowardly mortar attack on a Sinhalese settlement in
Pannalgama, Bakmitiyawa in Damana could create a kind of a disturbance
to the smooth process of conducting elections yesterday morning.
Four people including a woman and child sustained injuries as the
LTTE fired seven mortars at the Pannalgama civilian settlement.
According to Damana Police, an injured civilian was rushed to the
Tottama rural hospital. Security has been tightened in the area as
combined Army and Police search teams were dispatched to the scene.
Pannalgama is located approximately 25km South East of Damana.
Going through these series of incidents the LTTE had shrewd enough in
selecting two ethnically sensitive districts to carry out their terror
campaign especially aiming at the elections. It had failed in all their
terror operations in the Batticaloa district as their presence can be
detected by their rival factions within this district.
However, the LTTE attempt to sabotage the elections went in drain as
nearly 40 per cent of voters turned out at polling stations by 12 noon
yesterday. The highest voter turnout has been reported from the
Apart from this one of the important factors that compelled the LTTE
to go for this type of desperate terror tactics were the fall of their
strategically important locations in the Wanni and the loss of their
first defence line in Jaffna prior to the conduct of the Eastern
Provincial Council election.
The Wanni battle
The fall of Adampan town to the hands of the Security Forces hurt the
LTTE very much. That was why they had repeated the strategy they adopted
when Madhu was captured by the Security Forces on April 24.
The LTTE leadership gave orders to the Tiger cadres operating in the
South to blast a bomb inside a crowded bus in Piliyandala after Madhu
was captured by the Security Forces.
In same manner they must have given instructions to cause similar
types of damage to the civilians, this time with another major
objective, to blast a parcel bomb in Ampara.
It was in a surprise move that the 58 Division operating in the
Mannar front under the command of Brigadier Shavendra de Silva
surrounded this strategic junction town Adampan which is the most
important town in the ‘Mannar Rice’ bowl.
The Security Forces wanted to avoid confrontation within this city
which was filled with booby traps and land mines.
It was with the objective of capturing the Adampan town the troops of
the 58 Division fixed the enemy with cutting off the town from the West
and the South.
The 8 Gemunu Watch battalion under the 58 Division cut off the supply
route from the West (from Manthai side) and capturing more than half of
the Adampan tank area (from the South of Adampan) amidst heavy rains.
This reporter met some of the soldiers who were operating within
Admapan tank area closely monitoring what was going inside Adampan town.
The troops from the West were operating just 800 metres away from the
Adampan town and from the South the troops were operating some 1 Km
south of Adampan.
Adampan was the pride of the LTTE in the Mannar battlefront since
troops had control of this city only for few months during the
Jayasikuru operation. At many occasions troops had to face defeats at
the hands of the LTTE in their attempt to capture this strategic town in
the ‘Mannar Rice Bowl’.
As Security Forces knew that the LTTE was going to use full force in
defending this town they avoided confrontations in this sector. Instead
they cut off routes to Adampan from various directions but kept the East
open for the LTTE.
Just two days prior to the capture of Adampan town, troops dominating
the positions in the South of Adampan tank moved across an open terrain
from South to East direction fully capturing the Adampan tank area and
East of Adampan.
It was on Friday morning that troops attached to 8 Sinha Regiment
launched an offensive operation to capture Alankulam area.
The LTTE thought that the troops were planning to capture Alankulam
area and used their full force to defend Alankulam area. As heavy
fighting continued in Alankulam area troops attached to 8 Gemunu Watch
battalion entered to Adampan town.
It was around 2.30 a.m. in the morning the 8 GW troops entered
Adampan town. The Second-in-Command of the 8 GW battalion Major Nishan
Hamidan commanded the troops to capture Adampan town.
The Tiger cadres operating there in Adampan never expected the troops
to enter Adampan from the Eastern since the troops had not touched the
Eastern part of Adampan for the past two and half months.
So the LTTE had no major defences established in the Eastern
direction. As fierce battles continued in Alankulam by the first light
of Friday morning, 8 GW troops fully captured the Adampan town.
The operation was completed by the time Army Commander Lt. General
Sarath Fonseka landed in Sri Lanka after completing his six days
official visit to Pakistan. The Commander had expressed gratitude to the
troops for capturing this strategically important location in the Mannar
Meanwhile troops operating under the 57 Division in Vavuniya under
the command of Major General Jagath Dias also captured the strategic
Palampiddi Bridge this week in yet another surprise attack on the LTTE
clearing a major obstacle in the troops effort to capture Palampiddi
With these developments after the capture of Madhu shrine area the
Wanni battle is now completing one of the biggest tasks. Amidst this
situation it has been reported that the LTTE is now withdrawing from
some of their positions in the Wanni to construct another defence line
at least to defend their territories in the heart of Wanni.
But due to the shortage of manpower and logistic support, it will
become a difficult task for the LTTE, as they will have to face the next
step of the battle along with the civilians as huge protests are now
springing from the civilian point of view against the tyrannical rule of
Prabhakaran in Wanni.