Archive for March 2nd, 2008

Date: November 06, 1999
Time : 09: 30 hrs
Location: FDL East of Mundumurippu-Naddaankandal Road

November 1999 – as the Army moved forward to Forward Defence Lines where it was weaken in some areas.

The main objective of the Mission Jayasikuru was to defend the A9 main supply route, from Jaffna to Vavuniya. Squadron Leader Chandika K. Siriwardene and his team Bravo, including Leading Aircraftsmen, Udaya Kumara, Prasanna Weerasinghe – Aircraftsman and three other teams were deployed to cover an area of 16 km, leaving the team Bravo to account for a stretch of 5 kms.

“We were just linked to the west of Mankulam, nearly 2 km away from Naddaankandal. The sky was obscured with thick black smoke, rising from artillery fire.” The FDL manned by the Army and Navy were breaking up and recapturing, but they weren’t able to hold on. The infiltration of some terrorists were unavoidable.

November 01, 5.45 a.m. The LTTE started their attack. There were 120 troops in all at the beginning. 17 were injured, three dead on the spot. Squadron Leader Chandika K. Siriwardene had only one option if he wants to save his men – to retreat. He asked his men whether they want to retreat or die and they shouted in unison ‘Die’.

This is where the story begins, Squadron Leader C.K. Siriwardene in his capacity as Officer Commanding Bravo wing was at the HQ, approximately 500 meters behind FDL, in close proximity to Mundumurippu -Naddaankandal road.

The attack increased as the terrorists had breached the FDL with a heavy volume of small arms fire was also directed towards the wing. With their experience despite the heavy attack troops decided to hold the line at any cost, on instructions from the officer commanding Bravo wing. This did boost the morale and fighting efficiency of the troops to great extent.

Seven hours of heavy attack continued and they steadfastly held on to holding the ground, whilst counter attacking the enemy, with troops manning the FDL had already fallen back and the wing HQ directed small arms fire from the approaching enemy.

The communication went on with the Tactical Headquarters of group HQ 02 located at Mundumurippu junction. Although the linking towards the rear had fallen back the bravery and steadfastness did help to face the confrontation, which created a gap of approximately 1.2 km at the FDL.

Reports showed that a large number of terrorists had been killed and over 60 injured as a result of the confrontation. Since the number of own troops had fallen back and failed to get reinforcements.

At this stage Squadron Leader was Senaratna who was the officer commanding Charlie wing with five other officers, two SNCO and eleven airmen volunteered and reinforced the Bravo wing under a massive LTTE attack. To establish the defence line was led by the Squadron leader, Deputy Group Commander C.B. Labrooy.

Around 16:20 hrs instructions came from the Director Operations to fall back, since holding further was infeasible and that the terrorist have surrounded the wing.

‘Weera Wickrama Vibushanaya’, ‘Rana Wickrama’ and ‘Ranashura Padakkama’ medals were awarded at the Gallantry Awards 2008 for the officers who were involved in this mission.

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Bodies of 7 LTTE cadres killed during recent fighting in Weli Oya were handed over to the ICRC today in Anuradhapura hospital. For the last two weeks the army has recovered 27 tiger bodies from the Weli-Oya front alone. At least 7 of the cadres killed were from LTTE’s Imran Pandiyan regiment. LTTE is now deploying (although not in large scale) its experienced units along the Weli-Oya front to face the 59th division which is advancing towards Nedunkerni.

Meanwhile in the northern front, the army was able to destroy 5 newly constructed LTTE bunkers along the Muhamalai FDL on the 29th of February. Soldiers backed by artillery and mechanized units launched the limited operation in the early hours of the day. 5 LTTE cadres have been killed in the firefight and 8 bunkers along the rebel defence line have been destroyed.

In other news investigations are continuing into the arrest of Ilankoowan Muthtusami (aka Sami, Ilango). His primary mission seems to have been to reinforce LTTE’s arms supply network which suffered multiple setbacks at the hands of the Sri Lanka Navy in the past months. Meanwhile LTTE intelligence (TOSSIE) agents in Colombo were hell bent on trying to identify the person who tipped off Ilankoovan’s location to the security forces. According to our information, TOSSIE efforts so far have been fruitless.

Ilankoovan was arrested while he was residing in a lodge in Kadireshan street. The area bordered by Kadireshan street, Hetti Veediya and Yon Veediya is a well known LTTE hotspot. Lodges in this region were once full of LTTE intelligence operatives and LTTE agents who supplied goods from Colombo to Wanni. They were using the power of several Tamil politicians to avoid arrest by the security forces. Sometimes those who helped the LTTE were from the police itself. This situation changed with the resumption of hostilities between the LTTE and SLA. Multiple extensive search operations have been carried out in this area since then by the security forces and the police. Although these countermeasures have contributed towards a reduction of LTTE activities in the area, the level is still higher than most other places in Colombo.

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