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DateLine Sunday, 11 May 2008





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Fall of Adampan humiliates LTTE

The 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 Eastern province.

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 blast.

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.

Converted vessel

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 battles.

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 Trincomalee district.

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 Rice Bowl.

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 junction.

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.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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