Fighting world’s most ruthless terror
Crossing the open terrain was the greatest obstacle. Crossing the
marble coloured beaches was worse. Yet they moved on. Courage and valour
alone would not be successful when fighting the world’s most ruthless
Fight to free the motherland continues
“we operated during the night time. As our Commanders’ orders the
strategy we adhered to effectively lead us to the victory and saved ours
and soldiers lives,” Captain Darshana Boyagane of the 8th Vijeyaba
Infantry Regimental (VIR) Battalion told us when we met soldiers of the
8 VIR battalion at the Iyakachchi junction during our visit to the
Soldiers of 8VIR, 6 Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLLI) battalion and 7
VIR had their recoveries displayed at this point.
While these soldiers paused for a while at the Iyakachchi junction on
the A9 road, their colleagues were progressing from Vettalaikerni on the
coastal belt running parallel to the East of the A9 road.
Soldiers explained their operation to regain Elephant Pass. Passing
Elephant Pass the troops were speeding towards Chundikulam.
“The LTTE didn’t expect such swift moves from us. Our moves always
surprised them,” Captain Sunil Pathirana of the 6 SLLI said.
Discussing strategy Pictures by Thilak Perera
When we met Officers and soldiers of the 8 VIR, 7 VIR and 6 SLLI
under the 552 and 553 Brigades had their recoveries from the enemy
proving their victory.
At the end of their assigned task, operation liberating the total
area from Muhamale to Chundikulam, starting from January 6 up to 14,
troops attached to the 55 Division recovered over 1500 anti personnel
mines buried by the LTTE, 15 LMGs and MPMG type weapons along with a
haul of T56 weapons and ammunition.
On January 15 troops recovered LTTE attack boat, slightly smaller
than a Navy’s dvora, hidden among the marshes in the Chundikulam lagoon.
A few days before they recovered a suicide boat of LTTE’s Sea Tigers.
Across the sea-shore there has been a large number of small boats
improvised to mount 12.7mm guns. Troops attached to the 55 division have
found around 150 such boats during the operation time period.
Sandy beaches in the Chundikulam coastal line are not at all in
favour of heavy vehicles. The fleeing Tigers have left behind many of
their lorries, tractors and even troop carriers and weapon transporting
Loosing time: a clock recovered from an abandoned LTTE camp
The Army recovered a special heavy plated improvised lorry. This 30
feet long heavy vehicle has a 23 feet trailer. The body of the vehicle
was covered with two layers of 1/4 inch metal plates.
The top has been kept open. The door was three inches thick and was
in two sections.
A small side door was also created in the door. Hence when the door
is totally sealed LTTE cadres can move in and out without opening the
doors fully imposing danger on whatever the activity that may be taking
place in the vehicle. The drivers section was totally covered with the
same type of plates including the windscreen except for an approximately
six inches gap for the driver to see the road.
There were old bullet marks on plates surfaces of this vehicle from
which the vehicle hardly has been damaged.
A Leyland bus left by the fleeing cadres was also found with two tank
blaster mines planted at the front and rear wheels.
A heavily plated troop carrier has been left by the cadres while on
the run for their lives. It was drowned half way at one end of the
lagoon, left doors wide open.
By the smell from the fuel tanks it was obvious that all these
vehicles have been using kerosene as fuel.
Troops moving to a different location
Armoured vehicles breaking the enemy defences
No second chance
“We hardly have a second chance to correct ourselves. If we make a
mistake once we pay for it with our lives,” said Major Mahinda
Jayawardane, Commanding Officer of the 6th Engineers battalion operating
with the infantry troops attached to the 55 division. This battalion
moves in the same velocity of the infantry troops as it is their task to
create paths for the troops to move. They are always at the spearhead.
The 8th Field Engineers battalion is repairing and maintaining the
immediately cleared areas with a huge task of keeping the routes safe
and clear for the troops to move smoothly.
The Engineers battalions are making the recently liberated areas in
the Chundikulam coastal line free of deadly anti personnel mines and
trappings. “Even if the conventional war ends we cannot end the task.
“The whole area is spotted with AP mines laid by the enemy. These
have to be cleared for the area to be totally safe,” Major Jayawardane
These valient soldiers sacrificing their lives are making a safer and
a peaceful future not for them but for people whom they have never seen
or spoken to.
As they continue to make their voices heard and organise mass rallies
in the recent past.
the people of Jaffna can now enjoy the fresh fragrance of peace and
happiness - with the blessings of our soldiers.