Navy destroys LTTE weapons ship
COLOMBO: The Navy foiled an LTTE attempt to smuggle over 10,000 tons
of arms and explosives into the country when it intercepted a vessel in
the seas 185 Nautical Miles off Dondra Point in Matara early yesterday.
The 75 metre long vessel was destroyed by the Navy.
At the National Security media briefing yesterday, Navy spokesman
Commander D.M.K. Dassanayake described the detection as a major victory
in their fight against terrorism.
In the recent past the Navy has destroyed nine LTTE trawlers, six
boats and a ship smuggling deadly arms and weapons.
Commander Dassanayake said the Navy patrol observed a vessel sailing
in the deep seas around 185 nautical miles off Dondra point without a
flag. The Navy personnel contacted the vessel through communication
channel 16 but there was no response from the vessel.
“Thereafter, Navy personnel contacted the Navy Headquarters to check
the International Shipping Registry but this vessel wasn’t registered.
It was confirmed this was an illegal ship which had strayed into Sri
He said Navy personnel warned the vessel to stop for checking or to
proceed to the hangar close to the Galle Fort but the vessel suddenly
pulled off from the coastal limits and accelerated towards the deep sea.
“The ship completely ignored the warning shots fired by the Navy
patrol for the vessel to halt.
Instead shots were fired with small arms from the vessel towards the
naval craft. The sailors on board successfully retaliated, demobilising
the vessel,” Commander Dassanayaka pointed out.
The attack continued for three hours. “Soon after the attack there
were huge explosions coming out of the vessel which was clearly a result
of the detonation of the ship’s weapons and ammunition,” he added.
More than 10,000 tons of arms and explosive devices were being
smuggled in the vessel. A cache of 120mm, 130mm and 152mm ammunition ,
SAM shells, outboard motors and optical devices were recovered from the
Meanwhile, a Navy patrol destroyed two LTTE boats and damaged three
others killing 15 LTTE Sea Tigers in a confrontation off Pulmudai on
According to Commander Dassanayake the Navy patrol observed around 14
LTTE boats launched from Nayaru area moving towards south hugging the
coast around 9.30 p.m. The Navy patrol intercepted the movement while
the Sea Tigers fired on the Navy fast attack craft.
“The sailors repulsed the attack successfully killing 15 Sea Tigers
and boarded the two destroyed LTTE boats. The three damaged boats were
towed by other LTTE boats towards Nayaru,” Commander Dassanayake said.
Several Sea Tigers were injured in this incident. Two sailors sustained
minor injuries, he added.