days ahead as 58 Div captures the last earth bund:
Final battle enters decisive phase
As troops are stepping towards the last terrain of the LTTE inside
the No Fire Zone (NFZ) in the narrow strip of land in the immediate
North of Mullaitivu town from two fronts, the Tiger outfit is seemingly
engaged in delaying tactics expecting a last minute bid by any
international player to rescue them from the final crackdown by the
Therefore, the circumstances have pushed the Security Forces to
engage in one of the toughest battles during the past few days and to
continue the same until they capture Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran
dead or alive.
The desert like terrain in the Southern part of the NFZ in
Kariyanmullivaikkal and Vellamullivaikkal, and the unbearable heat
during day hours have compelled the troops to engage in their operations
during night hours, as many attempts by the troops to engage in these
operations during day hours ended without reaching the set objective.
Therefore, in many instances troops have to undergo sleepless nights
continuously for weeks.
Troops poised for final crackdown. Pictures by Rukmal Gamage
Moreover, they have to engage with enemy in an open terrain, keeping
their heads down avoiding the sniper targets of the Tiger cadres closely
monitoring troop movements. Even in the night the LTTE used to fell all
trees and set them on fire so that they can illuminate the area to
prevent any infiltration by the troops during night hours.
Although, troops can easily avoid these challenging situations
through the use of artillery, mortar and battle tanks, they have to face
this battle only with light weapons.
Compared to the situation faced by the ground troops, the LTTE is in
a much more advantageous position, as terror groups are not bound by any
of the internationally accepted norms and ethics in the battlefront.
What is more advantageous to them is the cover they were getting from
thousands of civilians kept hostage by them without allowing them to
reach the safer zone. So the LTTE is taking maximum advantage of these
civilians to delay the advance of the troops towards the most sensitive
area, where Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is hiding.
The ironic situation is that some countries with vested interests
mostly from the Western nations, are preaching sermons about human
rights and worry about the plight of the civilians trapped inside the
NFZ whilst violating the same human rights without giving an iota of
regard to the precious lives of the civilian during their crackdown on
terrorism whether it is in Iraq, Afghanistan or any other country.
They are closely monitoring whether our troops are causing any
civilian casualties or deaths inside the NFZ.
But, they have no mechanism what-so-ever, to certify those who were
getting killed and injured were from the LTTE or civilians.
So any so-called international organization can count each and every
Tiger cadre getting killed and wounded in the battle as a civilian and
file reports after report to impress so-called superpowers and get them
to exert pressure on the Government to stop military operations to
rescue the remaining civilians in the NFZ.
Therefore, many of the Western diplomats have made a mockery out of
their duplicitous position on terrorism by exerting pressure on the
Government to stop military operations, without realizing the true
nature of the LTTE, despite ranking it as the most ruthless terror
outfit in the world.
The most recent video clipping found from the LTTE camp and displayed
over Rupavahini was an eye opener for those diplomats, who are trying to
count the civilian casualties and deaths sticking into the information
given by the LTTE itself.
The video clipping very clearly shows how the LTTE forcibly use
civilians for their military activities and the way they were wearing
civil clothes during combat operations.
Therefore, it clearly proved what the Security Forces were saying
throughout the past about these civilian casualties.
Troops’ advance delayed due to concern for civilians
On the other hand the Tiger outfit which has now been cornered into a
four sq km territory in the Mullaitivu district are desperately making
attempts to get some international involvement as it is the only way
they can come out of this situation. Having frustrated in their failed
efforts they are trying to create an animosity between Sri Lanka and the
It is evident through their suggestion to the international
community, to drop food into the No Fire Zone as civilians claiming
starvation in the area. But the World Food Program(WFP) opening said
that the Government with the support of the WFP has sent enough food
stocks to the NFZ, disproving LTTE claims.
Therefore, the agenda of the LTTE is very clear. They want the
foreign nations to breach the air space of Sri Lanka and drop food for
the civilians, giving into their false appeals, to create a situation
similar to what arose in mid 1980’s when the Indian Government dropped
food to Jaffna breaching the air space of Sri Lanka.
The LTTE is not only making use of the misery of the civilians
trapped inside the NFZ for their campaign for survival, but also sending
them into the battlefront expecting them to get killed during troops’
advance into their territory.
It was with all these objectives in their mind the LTTE was engaged
in their delaying game creating one earth bund after another expecting
the troops to create mayhem there in the NFZ causing civilian
So troops have to engage in this humanitarian mission, whilst
avoiding all types of situations that would bring disrepute to the
Government and to their three year long successful effort to crack down
The 58 Division under the command of Brigadier Shavendra Silva and 53
Division under the command of Major General Kamal Gunaratne are now
making their way into the last terrain of the LTTE in this narrow sliver
of land from two fronts, the 58 Division from the East of A-35 road and
the 53 Division in the stretch between A-35 Road and the Nanthikadal
Intense fighting broke out in this narrow stretch of land throughout
last week as they advanced further southwards after the two Divisions
linked up at the junction linking the A-35 Pooneryn - Paranthan Road and
the Puthumattalan - Mullaitivu Road.
The Air Mobile Brigade under the command of Colonel Thilak
Hangilipola, attached to the 53 Division spearheaded towards this narrow
strip of land through mine fields created by the LTTE to make that area
inaccessible for the troops.
Troops have sacrificed their lives and limbs as they had to engage
the LTTE during night hours as they have to cross massive open terrains
avoiding LTTE snipers.
But with all these sacrifices they had a price worth for their
sacrifices as they cleared the path to link up with the 58 Division
which had marched all the way from the Northern edge of the NFZ in
Puthumattalan after taking the decisive break in the battle on April
with the liberation of 115,000 people trapped inside the NFZ.
Then onwards, the 53 Division commenced advancing towards the South
of the NFZ in narrow front between the A-35 Road and the Nanthikadal
They came across another earth bund on Sunday which was built from
the Nanthikadal lagoon to A-35 Road blocking the road and captured that
stretch whilst 58 Division troops captured the remaining stretch.
The 58 Division negotiated with four earth bunds within the week that
ended in the early hours of yesterday after capturing the massive ditch
cum earth bund in Rettavaikkal. The LTTE had created earth bunds within
the distance of a 200 meters to delay the troops advance towards the
last terrain under the Tiger control.
The 58 Division troops in the wee hours of yesterday captured a
portion of another earth bund considered to be the created by the LTTE
inside the NFZ.
The 7 Sinha Regiment troops under the command of Lt. Colonel Kithsiri
Liyanage commanded his troops to capture this earth bund and succeeded
in their effort by 2.30 am in the morning after fierce fighting.
Even Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka had a sleepless night
observing the progress of the battle of the 58 Division since the
capture of this earth bund would lead to the ongoing battle inside the
NFZ towards its final phase.
This earth bund constructed from the beach front to the A-35 Road
might be the last one the troops have to negotiate as the 58 Division
troops managed to destroy one of the LTTE’s earth moving equipment along
with the operators whilst they were constructing another earth bund.
According to field commanders the troops are now engaged in the
toughest battle as they are fighting with a force that has been left
with no other option but to hang on to the areas they were dominating as
each inch of land has got an immense value for them unlike in the past.
The LTTE has also deployed its cream of the fighting cadres into the
battlefront, as they can now see the end of the battle as troops are now
operating only 3.8 km away from the end of the NFZ. They can now see the
end of the game.
Even Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran who used to operate from far
away from the battlefront, can feel the heat of battle at arm’s length.
The troops operating in the battlefront too can see the end of their
Battleground. With these developments military officials believe that
the battle has reached its final stage. A decisive turn could be seen
within the next two three days as they could march towards the remaining
terrain and rescue the remaining civilians.
The most significant factor contributing towards the endless fighting
of the LTTE is that they have been able to keep at least considerable
number of civilians under their control until they face the last battle.
On the other hand, it was the fortune of the country that the
Security Forces were able to fight with the LTTE to their last cadre,
and ensure the end of their resources.
If the LTTE agreed to a negotiated settlement after ceasing military
operations they would have once again put this country in peril as they
were in possession of resources enough to unleash a lethal war for years
if not for the continuous efforts of the Security Forces.
The fact is that they have spent all the funds flowing from the Tamil
Diaspora across the globe for this terror campaign whilst thousands of
their fellow Tamil civilians were suffering due to their terror
If not crushed down in Sri Lanka the LTTE would have ramified its
wings to the entire world taking cover under the innocent Tamil
So like the Asian and African nations that have endorsed the Sri
Lankan Government is justified action to crack down upon LTTE terrorism
and other nations of West too have strengthened the hand of President
Mahinda Rajapaksa who has become a tower of strength for the Sri Lankan
Security Forces along with Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to make
the sacrifices made by the gallant troops more meaningful at the end of
the day as they are making a determined march to reach that goal amidst
numerous pressures from the international community.