Sunday, December 30, 2007

Video - SLA storms LTTE bunker line during Thoppigala operation

Click on the play button to begin streaming.

The video shows a group of commandos from the army's 2nd Commando Regiment overrun part of a fortified LTTE bunker line during the Thoppigala offensive. 2nd commando regiment, commanded by major Uditha Bandara, was one of the first army formations to reach the Thoppigala mountain after a 5 month long battle.

Friday, December 28, 2007

SLAF jets raid LTTE safe house

Fighter aircraft of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) carried out a bombing raid on a pre identified LTTE safe house in Puthukuduirippu region today noon. The strategic location was identified as an LTTE leader's gathering point.

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The targeted base was located in the LTTE stronghold of Mullaithiv, south of Piramanadukulam. It is not yet known if any senior LTTE leaders were present in the base at the time of bombing.

SLAF has seemingly stepped up air strikes on LTTE military installations after the sea battle that took place near Delft island which destroyed a locally made UFAC  and damaged an Israeli built Dvora belonging to the 4th Fast Attack Squadron of the Navy. The Air Force has flown consecutive sorties on both days since the sea battle, after being relatively silent in the past two weeks.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fighting reported in Mannar

Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) today captured the North Western part of Narikkulam region after a fierce firefight with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who previously controlled the territory. LTTE offered stiff resistance for six hours before the army overran some of the LTTE bunkers in the frontline.

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This is the second consecutive day in which fighting was reported in this area. Clashes first erupted when the army tried to overrun the LTTE bunker line in Narikkulam yesterday (26th). The bunker line was not captured yesterday as expected but the objective was met today (27th), after a delay of one day.

Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) warplanes carried out an aerial raid on a LTTE target in Mullaithiv region at 6.10 AM today. The target was a major sea tiger base in Ellamulavaikkal, north of LTTE stronghold of Mullaithiv town. Although the pilots have confirmed accurate hits on the target, LTTE casualty details are not available as of now.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Heavy sea battle south of Delft

The sea going arm of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) were locked in a fierce battle off the seas south of Delft for nearly two hours from 12.45PM to 2.30PM today (26th). Both parties have suffered heavy casualties in the firefight with SLN losing 1 Dvora vessel and the sea tigers losing 4 of their attack crafts plus two suicide boats.

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The battle erupted when the SLN intercepted a suspicious boat movement south of Delft coastline today noon. SLN craft were soon engaging with 14-16 of LTTE's medium sized attack crafts when two explosive laden suicide boats rammed into one of the Dvoras causing a loud explosion. The Israeli built craft was completely destroyed and all personnel on board are feared killed. Another SLN Dvora sustained damages in the incident but it is said to be in repairable condition. LTTE too has lost four of its attack crafts along with cadres on board. This is in addition to the two suicide boats which rammed against the Dvora. Exact damages to LTTE hardware/personnel is not known as of yet as they have so far maintained radio silence since the battle.

Sea tiger boats retreated towards LTTE controlled waters in Nachchikuda region south of Delft after the two hour long firefight. SLAF MI-24 helicopter gunships too were called to the scene to provide fire support and to aid in rescue missions.

A Dvora is usually manned by 12-16 personnel while a LTTE's medium sized attack craft is manned by 8-12 cadres. A suicide boat usually has two black tigers on board.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Fighting continues in Mannar, Vavuniya, Jaffna and Weli Oya fronts

Even though the Cease fire agreement signed between the GOSL (Government of Sri Lanka) and LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) in 2002 continues to hold on paper, undeclared 4th Eelam war has been raging across four different battlefronts in the northern province.

During the past week, more than 30 LTTE cadres have been killed in a number of firefights along the forward defense lines. The army too has suffered casualties in these confrontations with 5 soldiers killed and a further 14 injured. In contrast to the soaring LTTE casualties, SLA casualties have been minimal due to new battlefield tactics employed under the command of Major General Sarath Fonseka. However, advancing into LTTE held territory has proven difficult due to both severe resistance and heavily mined, booby trapped terrain. Limited operations are still continuing across Mannar and Vavuniya despite these obstacles as their main objective is not territorial gains. According to intelligence reports, LTTE's command bunkers in Mannar and Vavuniya fronts (manned by Jeyam and Bhanu) have been moved 4-5 Kilometers into LTTE held territory after the latest rounds of fighting.

Meanwhile LTTE's senior leadership has further limited public appearances with the recent SLAF bombing on Prabhakaran's safe house. LTTE intelligence leader for Wanni has been replaced by Pottu Amman's orders immediately after the raid. MI has also revealed that LTTE are building more safe houses in civilian populated areas to protect its senior leadership including Sornam, Balraj, Theepan, Soosei and Cheliyan. 

Although it may seem unbelievable, latest addition to the LTTE's growing number of troubles has been the torrential rain. According to intelligence reports, a number of LTTE camps including training and logistics bases in the Pooneryn Sector have been damaged due to  the floods caused by heavy rain.

Meanwhile with the addition of 30000 troops within this year, the number of divisions in SLA command structure has risen to 13. Three divisions out of these 13 are newly raised offensive formations. Refer to the table below for more details.



Current Role/Notes



Logistics, training and support staff.



Defensive operations in Eastern province.



Defensive operations in Eastern province.



Defensive operations in Eastern province.



Defensive/search operations in Jaffna town



Defensive/search operations.



Elite fighting formation. Deployed as a reserve force to be used in an attack against Jaffna. Sometimes used to attack LTTE FDLs along the national front (Muhamalai/Kilali/Nagarkovil). Mechanized Infantry Division recently added.



Not active. Destroyed in the battle for Elephant Pass in 2001.



Pre emptive strikes on LTTE FDLs in the north.


Kok Eliya

Defensive operations in Northern province including Vavuniya and Omanthai



Offensive formation. Advancing towards Wanni thorough Thampanai and Vilathikulam.



Offensive formation. Division not officially raised. Currently known as Task Force 01. Advancing towards Vidaththalthivu through Adamapan.


Weli Oya

Offensive formation. Pre emptive strikes against LTTE FDL ahead of Weli-Oya. High likelihood to launch an invasion into Wanni through Weli Oya sector.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Prabhakaran limits public appearances

On the 16th of this month, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam opened what it said was an Elder's Home in Kilinochchi. Usually, these types of events are inaugurated by LTTE leader Velupillei Prabhakaran. In this instance however, it was his Wife Mathivathani who attended the event (See Photo - Source Tamilnet). With the recent publicity given to the air raid which destroyed part of Prabhakaran's underground bunker, many began to speculate that he did not attend the event due to the injuries received in the incident. Latest Military intelligence reports suggest otherwise.

Apparently, LTTE's intelligence service (TOSSIE) has warned Prabhakaran of a plot to assassinate him in a public meeting by assassins disguised as civilians. As a result of this warning, LTTE leader has avoided attending several public functions recently with the latest one being the Elder's Home opening. It is still not clear if the warning mentioned the army's Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) or a rival faction within/outside the LTTE. LRRP has penetrated deep into LTTE controlled territory and so has intelligence cadres from the breakaway Karuna faction (TMVP).

Meanwhile tension prevailed in Kilinochchi on the 18th when hundreds of civilians staged a protest against a LTTE leader who allegedly raped a 13 year old schoolgirl. The angry mob is said to have damaged several vehicles belonging to the tigers. According to MI, LTTE leader in question and several protestors have been detained by LTTE's de facto police.

Images: Special Task Force training

Click on the image to view entire album.

STF Training

Special Task Force or the STF is the elite counter terrorist force of the Sri Lanka Police. It was founded in 1983 and by now employs more than 8000 highly trained personnel. After the Tamil Tigers began their campaign for a separate homeland, STF's primary task has been to defend the eastern province from LTTE threats. Their latest counter terrorist operation (Operation Niyathai Jaya) saw the fall of more than 20 mini LTTE camps in the Ampara region.

Note: These photographs are not the property nor the creation of DefenceNet. Full credit goes to original photographer(s) and uploader(s)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 unblocked

Pro LTTE web site which has been blocked by all major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Sri Lanka since June 2007, is now once again freely accessible.

Users from Sri Lanka who were trying to view the site on the 17th of June were presented with server timeouts. It was initially suspected that the error was a technical fault with Tamilnet's hosting provider. However,later it was evident that Tamilnet was blocked on government orders. It is doubtful whether the ban had any effect as majority of the users seemed to have found a workaround to in the form of 3rd party proxy servers.

Tamilnet, which has been online since 1997, acts as a major propaganda machine of the the Tamil Tigers. Earlier, it was hosted in Norway but the site has now moved to the United Kingdom. UK based ISP "Rackspace Managed Hosting" acts as its current hosting provider.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Prabhakaran did receive minor injuries in air raid - Military Intelligence

Several days ago, an article written by D.B.S Jeyaraj suggested that the LTTE leader received minor injuries in a SLAF Air Strike. However the Sri Lankan military did not issue any statement regarding this incident as ground based intelligence sources had not confirmed the news. So many factors suggested that the story was based on rumors and speculation and was a false lead. However, according to latest intelligence reports, LTTE's seemingly invincible leader is confirmed to have received minor injuries in the said air strike.

The air strike which is said to have caused the injuries involved three Israeli built ground attack aircraft of the 10th fighter squadron. They dropped 12 MK80 Series bombs near Jeyanthi Nagar in Kilinochchi district on the 28th of November. One or more bombs that were dropped had hit the bunker in which the LTTE leader was residing at the time. He received minor injuries to the right shoulder when parts of the underground bunker crumbled upon impact. Although Prabhakaran's injuries were in no way life threatening, he was immediately evacuated to a secret LTTE installation where he was inspected by several doctors who declared the wounds and bruises were nothing of serious nature.

Explosion near Kanthale railway station

An explosion has occurred 500m away from the Railway station at Kanthale. Unconfirmed reports suggest that a claymore mine has been detonated targeting the Trincomalee-Kandy train. At least One civilian is said to be wounded in the incident. Engine of the train has also been slightly damaged.

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Images: Artillery Regiment - during Muhamalai battle

Click on the image to view entire album.

Artillery Regiment

Last August, LTTE deployed a large number of cadres in an attempt to recapture the Jaffna peninsula which fell to the Army in 1996. Thanks to the army's infantry, artillery and mechanized units, LTTE offensive was halted in the forward defense lines of Muhamalai and Kilali. These photographs show the artillery regiment in action during the battle for Jaffna.

Note: These photographs are not the property nor the creation of DefenceNet. Credit goes to original uploader/uploaders.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Border villages in Monaragala district threatened by LTTE activity

It is now a well known fact that a group of LTTE cadres managed to infiltrate into Yala sanctuary after their bases in Vakarai region fell to the SLA's Special Forces. Although warnings of their presence in the region had been issued by both civilian and Military intelligence sources for a while, real countermeasures began only after the LTTE raid on Thalgasmankada Army camp. Massive search operations that continued for a number of days were followed by a firefight near Panama.

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Military intelligence has now reported that after this firefight, LTTE cadres have fled towards Kotiyagala which is situated north of Yala. This area is surrounded by dense jungle terrain, effectively aiding LTTE's guerilla operations. Although this latest move minimizes the risk of LTTE attacks on border villages in the southern province, is poses a new threat to the villages in the Monaragala district. LTTE operatives can easily launch small scale hit and run attacks on border villages in the Monaragala district from the jungles in Kotiyagala. It is needless to say that if such events occurred they would seriously affect the day to day life of the entire district.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

LTTE artillery hit SLA positions in Nochchikulam

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) directed a heavy artillery barrage towards a Sri Lanka Army (SLA) frontline position in Mannar, killing one soldier and wounding 10 others. LTTE artillery began hitting SLA controlled Nochchikulam area at around 8.30 PM Friday (14th) night. It is believed that LTTE used a 122mm artillery gun to shell the SLA position.

Previously, Military Intelligence revealed that LTTE had placed a 122mm heavy artillery gun in close proximity of the sacred Madhu shrine. This gun, placed inside the no-war-zone, was used to shell SLA positions in Thampanai area in a bid to halt SLA advances from Mannar.

Meanwhile a truck accident in Morawewa resulted in the death of 2 Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) personnel. 14 more airmen were wounded in the accident. The truck, belonging to SLAF, was transporting airmen who were returning to base after a training exercise when the incident occurred.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sporadic clashes reported near Wanni, Jaffna defense lines

Sporadic clashes between the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) continued along multiple fronts in the Northern battle theater. Fighting was reported along Jaffna FDLs near Muhamalai, Kilali and Nagarkovil while clashes continued at the Wanni front near recently captured Adampan area. A total of 10 soldiers have been killed in the past few day's fighting while another 25 more have been injured.

Battles erupted along Jaffna FDLs when small attack formations of the 55th division launched limited attacks on LTTE bunkers near the frontline. Although several pro LTTE media termed the attacks as "attempts to advanced into LTTE held territory", these were merely hit and run style attacks conducted by the army on regular basis. These types of missions are not carried out with territorial gains in mind as their main purpose is to destroy as many enemy assets on the frontline as possible.

Vavuniya front also heated up when SLA directed heavy artillery and MBRL fire at a suspected LTTE gathering point in Pallaimodai. Ground based intelligence reports indicated that a tractor carrying LTTE cadres too was hit by SLA artillery fire. Casualty figures in these incidents cannot be confirmed as of now.

Meanwhile soldiers of the 3SF (3rd Special Forces) ambushed a LTTE convoy in Mannar killing at least 10 LTTE cadres in the process. The incident took place east of Adampan where heavy fighting had raged for the last few days. 3SF is renowned for its deep penetration and Long Range Surveillance (LRS) units such as the legendary "Alpha Squad".

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

SLAF to get more UAVs, Helicopter Gunships

Several new Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are set to join SLAF fleet, giving a boost to its aerial reconnaissance capabilities which were seriously affected by LTTE's raid on AAB. Four Israeli made Searcher MK II UAVs will be added to 11th UAV flight in the coming days.

Additionally, several Mi-35 Crocodile" gunships of 9th attack helicopter squadron are to undergo overhauling. After the upgrade, these Mi-35s will have all weather/day/night attack capability.  At least 3 more Mi-35s are to be purchased from Russia in a bid to further strengthen SLAF's helicopter gunship fleet.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Weli-Oya : Next front in Wanni battle

Several small attack teams of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) moved ahead of their defense lines in Weli-Oya (referred to as Manal-Aru by the tigers) to conduct a pre emptive strike on LTTE positions on the FDL, yesterday (11th) noon. This limited operation was aimed at dismantling LTTE defenses in Kokkuthiduwai region. At least 9 LTTE cadres have been killed during the operation and 4 SLA soldiers too have been wounded. As capturing land was not an objective of this operation, all SLA units have returned to their original positions. Spearheading the assaults in Weli Oya sector are soldiers of the 59th division. Newly raised 59th division is an offensive formation modeled after the 57th division and elite 53rd division.

LTTE previously reinforced this area fearing a mass scale army invasion into Wanni from Weli-Oya sector. The Army, instead of marching into the heavily fortified defenses in Weli Oya, opened the Mannar front to divert LTTE attention.  Yesterday's limited operation shows the Army's intent to fight on multiple fronts. SLA are exploiting a weakness in LTTE outfit as their current manpower and ammunition shortage makes it difficult for them to fight on two different battlefronts. This fact was earlier  revealed by former LTTE colonel Karuna Amman.

Weli-Oya sector holds bitter past memories for the LTTE; One of their previous attempts to overrun the area went terribly wrong when the army thwarted the operation with an extraordinary kill ratio of 1:250 . Nearly 500 LTTE bodies (majority of LTTE casualties being child soldiers) were scattered near the FDL when SLA forces commanded by Major General Janaka Perera halted the LTTE offensive losing merely 2 soldiers. However,one should not expect the same type of kill ratios to be achieved in a new offensive in Weli Oya area. Although the army has the upper hand, LTTE too has heavily fortified defense lines (in this case 3 of them), which are manned by experienced cadres. According to military intelligence, defenses of the area were personally inspected by LTTE leader himself just a few months ago.

Meanwhile LTTE's elite Charles Anthony regiment offered heavy resistance to SLA forces conducting operations near Mannar defense lines. Both parties have suffered losses in latest rounds of fighting with the bulk of them being LTTE casualties. So far the Charles Anthony regiment have launched several medium scale operations with the intent of recapturing lost ground. They however have so far had little or no success against SLA's Commando and Special Forces units in the frontline. Not only have the army been able to hold onto every inch of newly gained ground but they at one point stormed a Charles Anthony brigade bunker killing at least 6 cadres who were inside.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Czech Republic offers to provide anti aircraft missiles to Sri Lanka

Czech republic has offered to provide anti aircraft missiles for SLAF while LTTE's de facto air force continued to pose a threat to Sri Lanka. Czech offer includes supply of state-of-the art AA missiles, training and even personnel to man the launchers if required.  Whether the GOSL will accept the offer or not remains to be see.

LTTE is known to operate between 5 to 10 Zlin-143 light planes and have so far attempted 7 raids on both military and economic targets in Sri Lanka. A locally made bomb rack has been attached to at least one of these aircrafts. However payload delivery seems to be lever activated and this may be the cause of reduced accuracy. Even though the LTTE planes have had little success in terms of damaging military/economic assets, they have significantly boosted LTTE's morale and have further strengthened Eelam Diaspora funding.

This is not the first time Czech government pledged help to the Sri Lanka military. After the fall of Elephant Pass base complex in 2000, LTTE laid siege to Jaffna trapping 32000 government troops in the Peninsula. By that time LTTE had managed to acquire weapons with higher firepower such as the 152mm artillery. This is when the Sri Lankan government turned to India for offensive weapons but all India had to offer were transport aircraft to evacuate 32000 forces from Jaffna. However Pakistan and Czech republic came to Sri Lanka's aid by providing Multiple Rocket Launchers (BM-21 and RM-70). One shipment of RM-70 MBRLs went missing for several days when the plane carrying the hardware landed on a different country. Plane was later found and finally the delivery was made to Sri Lanka after a significant delay, only to be found that MBRLs that were on board were sabotaged. Luckily for the army, the machines were repairable (Later MI discovered that the Norwegian intelligence agencies were behind the whole fiasco). When the first MBRL barrage was fired on Pooneryn, LTTE artillery that were pounding Palaly for days immediately fell silent. RM-70 and BM-21 MBRLs were used extensively to push back the LTTE forces that laid siege to Jaffna and the machines were responsible for halting LTTE's unceasing waves III operation. In addition to the MBRLs, Czech government recently offered to provide Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for SLAF to replenish its inventory from losses suffered in AAB attack.

In the meantime Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) flew three sorties on LTTE military installations in the North during last week. Surprisingly, both government and pro LTTE media were silent about the attacks. As usual, casualty figures from these aerial raids are not available as of now.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Mechanized Infantry Division concludes training phase

Sri Lanka Army (SLA)'s newest offensive fighting formation has concluded its training phase and is now ready to enter the heated battlefields in Northern province. The Mechanized Infantry Division, commanded by Colonel Ralf Nugera, consists of specially trained ground troops and armored vehicles.

Although it has successfully concluded its training phase, the process hasn't been a joyride. On February 14th, a meeting of army officials was taking place at 53rd division HQ. It was in this meeting the Mechanized Infantry Division was to be officially raised. However, LTTE shelled the HQ with at least four 130mm artillery guns (stationed in Pooneryn) wounding 14 including several senior military officials. Even the commander of army's 53rd division was injured.

Plans for the MID suffered another setback when LTTE's Victor (aka "Vetter") anti-armor unit destroyed 6 tanks and 6 IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) when the army tried to advance towards Pallei last year. The loss came at a time when the SLA were trying to boost its inventory of armored vehicles.

However, the Mechanized Infantry Division is now an active part of the Sri Lankan Army despite the early disturbances. Its primary use would be to invade enemy territory utilizing brute force of the armoured vehicles and then deploy its infantry to the heart of the battle. Due to protection from APCs (Armored Personnel Carriers), troop casualties are expected to be lower.

Mechanized Infantry Division currently consists of 3 regiments and has a wide variety of armored vehicles including BTR-80A, BMP-2 and WZ551 under its wing.

Poll Results

Several Days ago we conducted a poll regarding the personal attacks that are often seen in the comments sections. According to the results, a vast majority (nearly 80%) have voted in favor of deletion of such comments. This does not mean that we will start censoring comments; we believe in freedom of speech and we certainly do not want to play 'big brother' by imposing censorship. Comments will only be removed at a last resort.

Anyway it seems that our first poll did not draw much attention. Less than 10% of our average daily readership voted. Even so, the 80% majority against personal attacks clearly indicate that most readers do not enjoy such arguments. Therefore keep your comments civil and polite if you want more people to read them.

Friday, December 7, 2007

LTTE reinforces Wanni defense lines

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were reinforcing defense lines along Wanni in the wake of intensified fighting in the area. Latest rebel move came as the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) launched several limited offensives on strategic positions that guard entrances to Wanni LTTE heartland. Most of the missions were able to meet their objectives with extremely low casualty figures for the army.

Meanwhile, LTTE could be observed deploying their more experienced units to Mannar region. To boost the morale of female LTTE cadres manning FDL potions, LTTE has assigned 'Vidusha' to this sector. Vidusha is one of the most senior members of the LTTE outfit. With army opening multiple fronts towards Wanni, even the Charles Anthony brigade (which had previously been deployed near secondary defense lines of Wanni) is showing more signs of activity. Up to now, Charles Anthony brigade was rarely used in battle even though they were deployed near the war zone.

Meanwhile the army successfully thwarted a fresh attempt by the tigers to regain lost territory near Mannar-Vavuniya defense lines. It is believed that at least 20 LTTE cadres were killed in this incident.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Heavy civilian casualties in claymore explosion

Heavy casualties were reported when suspected LTTE rebels set off a claymore mine targeting a civilian transport near Abhimanapura today evening. According to latest reports 15 civilians have been killed and further 23 have been injured in the incident. As of now, no military casualties are reported. The Ceylon Transportation Board (CTB) owned bus which was hit, had 50 passengers on board (all civilians) when the incident occurred.

Meanwhile SLA kept up its limited offensives on Wanni defense lines  pushing LTTE further into a defensive stance. SLA attacks are originating from multiple fronts in Mannar and Vavuniya and in some places SLA forward defense lines have been extended by 1Kms.

Providing support for the Special Infantry units are army's deep penetration squads. Soldiers of 3SF (3rd Special Forces regiment) carried out at least 3 attacks inside LTTE held territory in Mannar and Vavuniya during last week. According to enemy communications, a land rover and two double cabs belonging to LTTE have been destroyed in these attacks. Information on the intended targets or casualty figures are unavailable as of now.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fighting in Panama

A group of soldiers engaged in a search operation near Panama village (northern part of Yala sanctuary) came under a LTTE attack at around 5pm this evening. Although the battle is not reported to be of large scale, at least one soldier has been rushed to hospital due to the nature of his injuries. A squad of commandos have been deployed in the area immediately after the attack.

According to an LTTE cadre who was arrested previously, a group of 30 cadres had managed to enter Yala sanctuary when their base in Kadiraweli fell to the army few months ago.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

LTTE bunker line at Manthai overrun

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers deployed in the Mannar defense lines were able to overrun LTTE's first bunker line in Manthai region (South of Adampan) yesterday. Soldiers of the 57th division spearheaded by Special Infantry (SI) formations carried out the limited offensive. The bunker line is now completely under SLA control. Meanwhile sporadic clashes were reported in the Perya-Thampanai region in Vavuniya and also in Weli Oya. According to Military intelligence reports, 16 LTTE cadres have been killed and nearly 40 more have been wounded in battle during the last two days. 4 SLA soldiers have been killed and 16 more have received injuries in the confrontations.

The army has increased the number of small scale attacks on the frontlines which guard the entrances to Wanni LTTE heartland. SLA has deployed 3 newly raised offensive formations along with elite Special Forces regiments on three fronts near Wanni defense lines.

In addition to 57th, 58th, 59th divisions and 1st and 2nd Special Forces regiments, the Mechanized Infantry Division has also been strategically placed in the area. Mechanized Infantry Division (MID) is comprised of regular infantry formations and vehicles of SLA armored corps such as heavy tanks, armored personnel carriers (APC) and infantry fighting vehicles (IFV). After the loss of 12 vehicles (6 tanks + 6 IFVS) in the failed advance at Muhamalai last year, 100 new Chinese built APCs have been added to Mechanized Infantry Division's inventory.

Meanwhile army's 55th division and the elite 53rd division have also been placed on high alert in the Jaffna peninsula. 55th division has played an active role in the 4th Eelam War with a number of successful small scale attacks on LTTE frontlines near the National Front (Muhamalai/Kilali/NagarKovil region) under their belt.

According to latest Intelligence reports, the LTTE has decided to attack both military and civilian targets in the South to disrupt civilian life as much as possible. MI warns of an LTTE plan to attack several major cities simultaneously (including Colombo and Kandy) and cause widespread panic and fear among civilians. The WTC twin towers, Colombo harbor and the city of Kandy are said to be among primary targets of the LTTE. According to MI, LTTE intelligence cadres disguised as beggars, differently-abled people and sales representatives have already been deployed to gather intel on these targets.

Meanwhile has made available a video showing the assassination attempt of minister Douglas Devananda. Video includes security camera footage which clearly shows the female suicide bomber detonate the bomb strapped to her bra inside an office filled with civilians. You can download the video from this link

Saturday, December 1, 2007

LRRP did not attack a civilian transport

Several days ago, pro LTTE media reported a claymore explosion in Kilinochchi in which 11 school children were said to be killed. It was also reported that Sri Lanka Army's deep penetration unit (LRRP - Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol) was behind the attack. Several countries and the SLMM (Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission) was quick to condemn the attack citing civillians casualties.

However we can confirm that army's DPU units did not carry out the attack (if such an attack took place in realty that is). No LRRP missions were launched on the day on which the alleged claymore explosion took place. However we cannot confirm whether a claymore actually went off nor can we comment on the casualty figures as the incident involved an area which is currently under LTTE control. Perhaps more light can be shed on this incident through intel reports that may arrive in the future.

Meanwhile MI suspects that the bomb that went off in Nugegoda area was brought there to assassinate army's Jaffna military commander Major General G.A. Chandrasiri. He is a veteran commander who has lead the army to many victories in the ongoing Eelam Wars. This may also indicate plans for a possible LTTE attack on Jaffna and surrounding islets.

In the meantime army has declared its latest general amnesty program a success with 4393 deserters re joining SLA ranks. This is the highest number of re joinings reported during such a program.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

False rumors

It was only yesterday that Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rattled Sri Lanka's capital with two bomb blasts that caused heavy civilian casualties. At least 18 civilians have been killed in these attacks and 43 more have been wounded. Following the blasts, a series of false rumors have begun spreading in Colombo.

One such rumor is that several bomb parcels have been found today (29th) in various locations across Colombo. This is entirely false. Police received information regarding an explosive device said to be planted somewhere in Liberty Plaza shopping complex earlier today and bomb disposal squads were deployed to the scene. After a thorough search it was declared that there was no bomb threat and the premises was declared safe for civilian presence.

Another rumor that is rapidly spreading is that a key water pump that distributes water to Colombo has been poisoned by the tigers. This is again false information.

These rumors are known to spread via SMS, phone calls and by word-of-mouth. If you come across such statements please verify their source and authenticity before you pass them onto your friends and family members. Meanwhile be on the lookout for abandoned parcels, vehicles or personnel that may look suspicious. You can report such information to police emergency unit which can be accessed via 118 or 119 phone numbers.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Explosion in Nugegoda

An explosion was heard in Nugegoda area a short while ago. According to reports, the explosion took place near the Nugegoda junction near the Bodhiya.

Update: Unconfirmed reports suggest that at least 10 people have been killed and a similar number are wounded. However, these figures are expected to rise as the explosion occured at a time when Nugegoda junction was heavily crowded.

Several nearby buildings (Including the popular No-Limit store) have been damaged by the fire which raged after the explosion. The fire has now been put off and most of the casualties have been transported to Kalubowila hospital.

There is heavy traffic surrounding the Nugegoda junction as of now and the adjoining roads have been closed temporarily. If you cannot reach your family members or loved ones through their mobile, this may be due to the fact that most mobile networks are down at the moment due to congestion.

Explosion in Narahenpita

An explosion has occured near the E.P.D.P leader Mr. Douglas Devananda's office at Narahenpita today morning. Mr Devananda is unhurt in the attack.

A female suicide bomber detonated an explosive laden jacket when security personnel tried to check her at the entrance.

Update: One person has been killed and two other have been injured in the incident. One of the injured is in critical condition.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Airstrikes destroy "Voice of Tigers" radio station

Ground attack aircraft of SLAF's 10th fighter squadron carried out a devastating airstrike on LTTE's official radio station "Voice of Tigers" at 4.20 P.M today. The broadcast station, situated 3.5KM south of LTTE stronghold of Kilinochchi, was completely destroyed in the attack.

LTTE leader Prabhakaran's annual "Mahaveer day" speech was scheduled to be broadcast live on VOT from 6.30 P.M onwards. It was only two hours before this event two Kfir bombers dropped at least 12 bombs on the transmission tower and the surrounding buildings. It is believed that at least 10 LTTE personnel on site were killed in the attack.

Voice of Tigers has been known to use two frequencies to broadcast its services; 98.0MHz from Kilinochchi and 103.0MHz from the Eastern province. It's eastern broadcast station was shut down when Special Forces overran Vakarai and Verugal region early this year.

The SLAF has been unusually active in the past two days. It flew four different bombing sorties today and yesterday, all on targets in the Northern province. At least 3 of these strikes are believed to be successful. Meanwhile several new UAVs are set to join SLAF's 11th UAV flight, which suffered heavily at the hands of Black tigers during AAB attack. The new additions are said to be technically superior to the ones that were destroyed in the attack.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

LTTE satellite communication center bombed

A communication hub of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was subject to a Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) aerial raid today morning. The target which was located in Dharmapuram (North East of Kilinochchi) was bombed at 7.20am using 10th fighter squadron's ground attack aircraft. The target is reported to have been completely destroyed in the attack. LTTE casualty details are not available as of this moment.

According to Military Intelligence, the location bombed was used as a communication hub and a gathering place for senior LTTE cadres. It is also reported that the base was equipped with advanced satellite communications equipment. LTTE is known to use satellite communications to connect to its arms network which is spread across the world and to contact its cadres deployed in a number of foreign countries. They effectively used satellite phones in the Anuradhapura Airbase raid to provide real time updates to their command center located somewhere in Wanni.

The latest attack comes only days after LTTE's strategic communications wing leader 'Alex 'was killed in an airstrike. Alex, along with LTTE's political leader and Pooneryn military commander S.P. Thamil Selvam and 3 others, was killed in a SLAF bombing raid earlier this month.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

LTTE's Pesalei attack a failure

Yesterday morning at around 8, the sea going arm of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) opened fire on Pesalei police post on the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) held Mannar island. Sea tigers who had their boats hidden among fishing boats, launched a sudden attack with the element of surprise. However, thanks to the vigilance of SLN personnel guarding the area, LTTE objectives were not met. The fight endured for more than two hours until the tigers retreated towards Vidattaltivu. It is now believed that LTTE's intenetion was to hijack a SLN Water Jet and drive it to rebel territory. No SLN troops were injured nor killed in the battle. According to MCNS, 17 LTTE cadres have been killed but DefenceNet can only confirm the death of 13 tigers.

Friday, November 23, 2007

AAB Attack : Did two black tigers return to Wanni?

On the 22nd of October, the LTTE raided the SLAF airbase at Anuradhapura causing heavy damages to at least 18 aircraft stationed in the base. Earlier, it was assumed that 21 black tigers participated in the attack and all of them were killed. However, latest investigations have revealed that the actual number of tigers that participated in the attack is more than 21. It is now believed that at least two black tigers who took part in the attack managed to escape to Wanni unharmed.

Even before formal investigations, there were rumors that more than 21 suicide cadres took part in the operation. This rumor was fueled by a group photograph published in pro rebel web site. The photograph showed a group of 21 tigers posing with LTTE leader Prabhakaran, before their mission. However the photograph appeared to be cropped and it was evident that there were more than 21 personnel present. Deepening the mystery further, Tamilnet published a photograph on the 1st of November, which showed a black tiger who apparently took part of the mission being honored by the LTTE leader. Although the claims based on these photographs were blatant speculation, latest investigations have revealed startling facts. Due to many reasons we cannot explicitly state what the latest findings are but we have reliably learnt that at least two black tigers who took part in the attack managed to return safely to Wanni. It is also suggested that as many as 27 cadres were deployed in the area that night (whether or not all of them entered the bases premises is not confirmed yet).

Meanwhile pro LTTE media have released a video which claims to contain footage of the AAB attack (in fact this was released few weeks ago). First part of the video contains footage of LTTE cadres training on what looks like a small runway. The last part which is shot in the night, contains what is claimed to be footage of the attack. The authenticity of this video has not been verified as of yet.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Army makes progress in Wanni front

The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers deployed in the Vavuniya-Mannar region have made inroads into LTTE's stronghold in Wanni with a series of successful group based attacks. LTTE has been forced into a defensive stance in these areas as the armed forced increased the number of 'hit and run' style attacks guerilla frontline positions.

During the past week, fighting was reported mainly in the areas of Thampanai, Periya Thampanai, Mullikulam and Vilaththikulam. More than 20 LTTE cadres have been killed in these fights and a number of their frontline bunkers were overrun and destroyed. Army casualties stand at 2 soldiers killed and 9 more wounded. Although the LTTE FDL was breached at several locations in these areas, the army did not gain any new territory. The objective of the group based attacks is not to capture territory but to destroy as many enemy assets as possible.

Another factor that is helping the army's advances is the inexperience of LTTE cadres deployed in the frontline near Vavuniya and Mannar (For more information view this post). These young fighters are facing the army's crack formations such as the Special Forces and 57th division. However LTTE is yet to deploy its 'elite' formations such as the Charles Anthony brigade and Imran-Pandiyan regiment in a bid to halt the army advance. It is assumed that they will use these units when/if  the army launched a mass troop movement into Wanni heartland.

Donate to "Api Wenuwen Api" via SMS

You can now donate to "Api Wenuwen Api" (Together for All) fund via SMS. This facility is currently available for Dialog GSM subscribers only.

To make a donation of Rs. 100, type API and send the SMS to 8877. If you want to donate more than Rs. 100, simply re send the message. For example, to donate Rs 1000, the above message should be sent 10 times. The donated amount will be added to your current bill if you are a post paid subscriber or it will be deducted from your pre paid account if you are a pre paid subscriber.

To view more information about the "Together for All" fund, click here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

LRRP strike kills LTTE heavy weapons expert

After a long silence, the army's Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) showed signs of activity when they ambushed and killed a heavy weapons expert of the LTTE yesterday. Pullawar Annan (also known as Thuiyawan Master and Seelan) and four others were killed in the attack when their convoy was attacked by LRRP units north of Palampiddi.

According to Military Intelligence, Pullawar Annan was the best and most experienced heavy weapons expert the LTTE had. His areas of expertise included artillery guns, heavy mortars, IED explosives and Multiple rocket launchers.

For the past few weeks LRRP missions had been suspended due to the volatile nature of the Wanni front. Forward defense lines were largely active and this made any infiltrations into Wanni almost impossible. Even amidst the intense fighting that raged on for the last two days, the Deep Penetration Unit had managed to infiltrate into LTTE controlled territory avoiding detection.

The LRRP team that took part in this operation was not part of the 3rd Special Forces regiment (3SF) nor was it a standard LRS team. What carried out this attack was the elite LRRP unit that is deployed only to hunt down high profile LTTE targets. Its roots run back to the assassination of Shankar in 2001.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

LTTE aircraft spotted near Anuradhapura

Two light aircraft belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were detected flying towards Anuradhapura early morning today. SLAF radar at Vavuniya AFB detected the incoming aircraft which triggered the activation of the air defense system. SLA soldiers stationed in an around Anuradhapura area opened fire at the aircraft but according to our information they were unharmed. SLAF immediately scrambled several aircraft to intercept the tiger light planes but by the time they were airborne the tigers had managed to evade pursuit for a 7th consecutive time. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) of SLAF too were deployed to identify the landing location of the planes.

Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) intensified its attacks along the Wanni forward defense lines after suffering from a bloody nose in an all out attack on the LTTE FDL on Muhamalai few days ago. Instead of mass troop movements, army has reverted back to the strategy of small group based attacks which have once again proved their effectiveness. 38 LTTE cadres have been killed in incidents at Wanni FDLs during last 5 days with minimal casualties to SLA troopers. SI (Special Infantry) and SF (Special Forces) attack teams have carried out several successful strikes against LTTE targets in the general area of Omanthai. Intensity of their attacks was such that at one point an 8 man SF team overran a small sized LTTE camp in the FDL. LTTE cadres deserted their "Vietnam Base" (situated between Omanthai and Mullikulam) in face of the SF advance.

Meanwhile fighting was reported in the general area of Trincomalee during the last few days. 13 LTTE cadres including the deputy leader for Trincomalee were reported to be killed in these attacks.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Donate to "Be together for all"

Each day, more than 140000 men and women put their lives on the line to protect the motherland. Although the invaluable deed of defending the nation at the cost of their lives can never fully be repaid, there still are ways you can help make their lives better.

"Be together for all" is a new housing project which's aim is to build 50000 houses for security forces personnel. As you may understand, a project of such large magnitude will require a considerable amount of money. You can help ease the financial burden by donating to the "Be together for all" fund.

You can make your monetary contributions to the following bank account:

  • Bank of Ceylon Corporate Branch
  • Account Number: 7040000

You can view the promotional video via this link. Official MOD page for the project can be found here.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Army launches new recruitment campaign

The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has launched new recruitment campaign to boost its manpower while the undeclared Eelam War 4 continued to rage near the northern defense lines. Army's regular infantry regiments, artillery regiment, signal corps, women's corps and elite formations such as the Special Forces(SF), Commando regiment, Mechanized Infantry Division and the Air Mobile Brigade have begun recruiting for the second time in 2007.

SLA's recruitment rate has been significantly high in 2006 and 2007 when compared to that of the year 2005's. Only 3400 new recruitments were made in 2005 while more than 30000 (re-joinings included) joined SLA ranks in 2006 and 2007. However, military experts believe that another 20000 troops are required to properly defend the newly captured territory in the Eastern province while being on the offensive in the Northern front.

The Sri Lanka army, which employs more than 140000 troops (SLN and SLAF personnel excluded), is the 34th largest army in the world in terms of manpower.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Heavy fighting erupts in Muhamalai

(Updated) The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were locked in fierce firefights near the forward defense lines of Muhamalai today. Fighting started when SLA launched a limited offensive to capture part of LTTE defence line near Muhamalai. Both parties have suffered heavy casualties in the fierce firefights that raged on for more than two hours.

Fighting started at around 5.30 am morning and lasted till 7.30 am. LTTE used group based attack teams to provoke the SLA into a limited offensive. Soldiers of the 55th division walked into a guerilla killing field, falling for the trap which was set in advance by the tigers. Even under a worst case scenario, SLA soldiers were able to overrun several highly fortified LTTE bunkers in the frontline. However these had to be left behind as the LTTE resistance forced the troops back to their starting positions within two hours.

Intermittent artillery and mortar attacks are still continuing in the area. 23 SLA soldiers have been killed and more than 125 have been injured during today's fighting. At least 20 soldiers out of the wounded will not be able to return to battlefield due to the serious nature of their wounds. Much of the SLA casualties were due to land mines and artillery strikes. LTTE too suffered heavily in the battle and armed forces observed them deploy at least five tractors to evacuate casualties. Exact number of LTTE cadres killed or injured in the incident cannot be confirmed as of yet. However reliable intelligence reports suggest that at least 65 LTTE cadres were killed in action and an unknown number were wounded in the attack.

In addition to the above the following points can now be confirmed:

  • LTTE has not captured nor damaged any MBTs (Main Battle Tank) or IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) belonging to the SLA as per reports by some media.
  • Several light weapons including assault rifles, ammunition, RPG rounds and around 100 Hand grenades have been captured by the tigers.
  • No heavy guns of the SLA were damaged nor captured.
  • All SLA units involved in the operation have now returned to original positions.

This situation resembled a similar blunder made by the army last October where 175 soldiers were killed and over 400 were injured during a failed advance towards Pallai. Although the damages received and the number of lives lost in the latest operation are significantly less than that of last year's, it is still a huge morale booster for the tigers.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

How did black tigers control L-70 AA guns?

According to the latest findings from the investigations on AAB attack, it is now confirmed that the Black tigers who infiltrated the base completely took control of both the L-70 anti aircraft guns and the surrounding area. Investigations also revealed that the guns were under black tiger control for a considerable amount of time. It is also confirmed that the suicide cadres operated the guns successfully and directed fire at hangars and aircraft parked nearby, causing widespread destruction. 


Image: A Mi-24 helicopter gunship which was destroyed in the attack

L-70 is a 40mm close range anti-aircraft cannon which requires dedicated training to operate. However military intelligence has confirmed that LTTE does not have any L-70s in their inventory. If so, how did the tigers manage to operate the guns successfully? Did they obtain training from a foreign country or did they have inside help?  This is a question that has so far proved unanswerable.

Both L-70s at Anuradhapura Airbase were provided by India. In addition to the anti aircraft cannons, India also provided four 'Indra" low-altitude detection radars. In addition to these, Sri Lanka has requested Nishant UAVs, laser designators for guided bombs and artillery guns from India. So far no confirmation on the supply of these weapons has been received.

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Colombo harbor a primary target of the LTTE

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are well known for their devastating suicide attacks on both military and economic targets. Military Intelligence has now warned that Colombo harbor, a key economic structure, is on top of LTTE's hit list. According to intel, LTTE's plan is to inflict massive damages to the harbor and isolate Sri Lanka from the sea based supply route.

Almost all LTTE suspects arrested in the last few months were either aware of a plan to attack the harbor or were part of such a plan. According to some of them, at one point LTTE planned to deploy sea tigers, land units and its light aircraft simultaneously in an attack. This plan however was abandoned when a senior cadre involved in it was arrested by the army.

LTTE will need a major victory to overcome the huge morale buster that was Thamil Selvam's death. Security forces will have to be in constant vigilance to prevent such an attack in the future.

Friday, November 2, 2007

S.P. Thamil Selvam killed in airstrike

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam suffered a major setback when their political wing leader S.P. Thamil Selvam was killed in an airstrike today. His death occurred when SLAF 10th fighter squadron and 5th jet squadron's ground attack aircraft bombed a suspected rebel base in Kilinochci at around 6 AM today. 4 other senior LTTE cadres who were at the  base too are reported to be killed.

Although Thamil Selvam was the leader of LTTE's political wing, he was recently assigned to the defense of the Pooneryn sector from a possible army invasion. At the time of his death, he was commanding a considerable number of LTTE fighters in the Pooneryn sector.

SLA captures tiger bunker line west of Giant tank

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers from the 57th division moved ahead of their defense lines in Mannar to capture a much fought after rebel defense line north west of Giant tank in a pre dawn offensive today. Army's infantry formations backed by the commando regiment and Sri Lanka artillery, were able to overrun the LTTE bunker line today morning amidst heavy resistance.

SLA troopers have so far found 8 bodies of LTTE cadres scattered near the defense line. Interception of enemy communication revealed that at least 20 rebels have been killed in today's fighting.The Army too suffered casualties in the operation with 35 soldiers being injured and 3 soldiers KIA. Most of the SLA injuries were caused by deathtraps, IEDs and land mines which had been set up in the area by the tigers.

The army operation has been temporarily halted due to stiff resistance offered by the tigers. This has been the story of most SLA operations in the Mannar-Vavuniya region for the recent past. However, this strategy has helped SLA minimize the casualty figures. In contrast to the all out attacks involving massive numbers of troops (I.e. - Operation Jayasikuru, Operation Leap Forward - Idiri Pimma, Operation Agni Kheela) SLA have been waging a drawn out war with the aim of tiring out and frustrating the enemy.

Meanwhile fighting raged in the northern defense lines yesterday when a group of LTTE cadres tried to infiltrate Muhamalai forward defense lines. 55th division soldiers stationed in FDL positions near Muahamalai lead a devastating counterattack across the no-man's-land, ultimately destroying four LTTE bunkers along with at least 10 LTTE cadres.

The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), after suffering a setback at the hands of Black Tigers, carried out consecutive bombing runs on LTTE targets yesterday and today. A sea tiger base and a tiger intelligence camp were among the targets that were hit. Effectiveness of these attacks cannot be confirmed as of yet.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

War news censorship will not be imposed

The Sri Lankan government is now reconsidering the decision to impose censorship on news items related to the ongoing conflict. A number of media institutions immediately opposed the ban when it was first announced. Internal sources from the government confirmed that the Gazette regarding censorship has now been revoked. If the censorship was imposed, publication of any information on military operations/ weapons procurement by government forces would have been illegal.

However we assure our readers that DefenceNet will continue its operations normally even if such restrictions were applied. For the 9 or so months that this blog has been online, we have not posted any information that was deemed 'classified' by the military nor released any information that put national security in jeopardy. However we have disagreed with both the government based news sources and pro LTTE media reports on several occasions. Our aim was (and is) to ensure that our readers knew the truth rather than false propaganda and we can proudly say that we have done this without helping the enemy or promoting any political parties.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rising from the ashes

Last week's LTTE attack on Anuradhapura SLAF airbase was a major victory for the tigers. It delivered a severe blow for SLAF's surveillance capabilities and had the Eelam Diaspora jumping up in joy. 1st flying training wing and 11th UAV flight were the squadrons that suffered most. At least 3 UAVs operated by 11th UAV flight were completely destroyed. More than 12 aircraft of the 1st flying training wing including K-8 advanced jet trainers with night flying capability, Cessna 150s and PT6 trainers were destroyed in the attack.

Previously, we reported that two Mi-24 gunships were seriously damaged in the attack. According to latest reports, one of them is damaged beyond repair but the other is repairable.

Destruction of the 3 UAVs delivered a major blow to SLAF's aerial recon capabilities (however the entire UAV fleet was not lost). The loss may not be felt for long as several countries have come forward to aid the SLAF replenish its UAV inventory. Provided that everything goes well, several new UAVs might join the SLAF fleet as early as mid November. We have unconfirmed news that the new UAVs will be more technically advanced than some of those that were destroyed in the attack. Makes and models of the UAVs will not be published here as we do not know when/if that information will be made public.

Another major loss the SLAF suffered in the incident was the destruction of the Beechcraft surveillance aircraft. However the LTTE may not gain a long term benefit; Plans are already underway to repair the other Beechcraft which is currently grounded due to a technical failure.

Meanwhile India has come forward to supply the Sri Lankan armed forces with anti aircraft guns. India previously provided an air defense radar to facilitate early detection of LTTE's  low flying Cessna 150 light aircraft. Although the Indian radar at Vavuniya AFB detected the LTTE aircraft, absence of an effective strategy to counter such a detection helped the aircraft to escape unharmed.

Several pro LTTE media featured stories regarding how the LTTE aircraft shot down the SLAF Bell-212. We can confirm that all such stories are false and according to our information Bell-212 was shot down from ground based AA fire directed from Anuradhapura Airbase (high likelihood of a friendly fire incident).

SLAF may recover quickly from these losses with the help promised by foreign counties. However none of these replacements come free of charge. And the lives of SLAF personnel that were lost in the incident can never be replaced.  Military Intelligence has already warned that future LTTE targets include the Minneriya AFB (Helicopter gunships are parked here) and Palaly AFB (Major supply hub for Jaffna peninsula). Therefore SLAF must take steps to ensure that effects of future terrorist attacks are minimized.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"Human Armor"

LTTE's recent attack on Anuradhapura airbase has somewhat overshadowed the continuous fighting that has been raging along the Mannar-Vavuniya defense lines. LTTE fighters and the Sri Lanka army have been locked in sporadic firefights in the region for the last 4 months. During the initial period of fighting, the army moved ahead of their defense lines on three fronts and captured a significant amount of rebel territory. However the LTTE launched a counterattack and the army lost the territory gained on one of the fronts within a day. After this incident, the army deployed its elite fighting formations such as the Commando regiment and the Special Forces in the area. These units, along with the 57th division have been launching small scale group based attacks on random LTTE bunkers near the frontline for the past month.

During one such attack two weeks ago, soldiers of the 57th division stormed into one of the LTTE bunkers from which the tigers had just been forced to flee. Inside the bunker, along with a few military items, the troopers found a diary. Following is a translation of one of the entries (it is believed that the diary was written by a female LTTE cadre):

"I have been stuck here for a month. The condition is getting worse. I want to go home. I want to see my mother".

In another such attack, SLA soldiers were able to recover 7 dead bodies of LTTE cadres in the general area of Vilathikulam. One of the rebels who got killed in the battle had his diary with him at the time of his death. One of the entries in it read:

"Today we were told we could have a bath but I don't think we'll get the chance. I haven't had a bath in 10 days. Promised supplies are not even here yet."

By reading above entries, one might think that the morale of LTTE is at an all time low. However this is not the case. LTTE cadres who are deployed Vavuniya-Mannar frontline bunkers are not from LTTE's hard core fighting formations such as Jeyanthan, Imran-Pandiyan, Charles Anthony or Victor. Most of the cadres manning the first bunker at at Vavuniya-Mannar border are inexperienced, young fighters (female cadres included). They are controlled by experience LTTE cadres who are in much safer defensive positions. LTTE gains two primary advantages by adopting this strategy:

1. Inexperienced cadres act as a human armor. Even though they are inexperienced, they are capable of offering plenty of resistance to the army and they cannot flee as the senior cadres are stationed to prevent such an act (fight-to-death scenario). Even if the army managed to breach the first defense line, experienced cadres manning the secondary defenses will meet an exhausted enemy.

2. Losses to LTTE's elite formations will be minimal. Even if the army launched a massive operation which the LTTE cannot sustain, elite cadres and secondary leaders will still be able to flee without being harmed as the 'human armor' will buy them time. This way the LTTE will save its elites for a more decisive battle (i.e- Mullaithiv, Kilinochci,etc.)

Although this method has so far worked well for the LTTE in most of the battles in Vavuniya region, its stability will be tested in the coming days. The Sri Lanka army too is using an effective strategy to counter this threat. Launching of small group based attacks instead of major offensives has increased the enemy's frustration.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Tiger ambush in Hambanthota a fiction

Several pro LTTE web sites yesterday spread the news about an alleged guerilla attack on a SLN convoy in Hambanthota district. According to the report on Pro LTTE web site, an elite commando unit of the tigers ambushed an SLN convoy near Thissamaharama at around 4.30pm yesterday, killing 6 soldiers and wounding 12 more.

According to our information, no SLN convoy has been ambushed in the said area. In addition to that, no LTTE presence was detected in the area although a joint search operation was conducted by the army and the police. A rumor about men clad in black seen entering the jungles near Thissamaharama was the primary reason for conducting the search operation. However it was later discovered that 3 lumberjacks clad in black clothing were mistaken for LTTE cadres by several civilians.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Anuradhapura Airbase Attack : The Aftermath

During the last month, the Sri Lanka Air Force attacked a series of LTTE military installations and targeted several hideouts of senior LTTE leaders. Some of these attacks were successful and they dealt a significant blow to LTTE's military machine and to the morale of its cadres. Therefore it is not wrong to say that SLAF had the upper hand on battle for the most part of October. However, a team of 21 Black Tigers and two propeller driven light aircrafts changed the entire situation in one night.

Although not publicly admitted, SLAF suffered heavy losses in the attack. More than 15 aircraft of SLAF fleet received damages in the incident. At least 8 of them are damaged beyond repair. Two Mi-24 helicopter gunships (9th Attack Helicopter Squadron), a Mi-27 transport helicopter (6th Helicopter Squadron), K-8 and PT6 trainer jets (1st Flying Training Wing), Cessna 150 aircraft (1st Flying Training Wing), a Beechcraft 200 HISAR, a Bell 212 fitted with guns (7th Helicopter Squadron) and at least two UAVs (11th UAV Flight) are among the damaged aircrafts. Greatest loss of all, next to the lives of SLAF personnel who perished in the attack, is the Beechcraft 200 HISAR surveillance craft. This was the only active aircraft of this type in SLAF inventory and had sophisticated spy equipment such as Hughes synthetic aperture radar and thermal imaging unit installed to it.

Loss of the Beechcraft and the damages done to the UAVs deliver a significant blow for the SLAF's aerial and naval surveillance capabilities. 11th UAV Flight, which operated these aircraft was stationed at Vavuniya AFB until 2007. The squadron was moved to Anuradhapura AFB from Vavuniya when fighting erupted near Vavuniya-Mannar defense lines.

Investigations into the incident has revealed startling facts. One such is that the Bell 212 which crashed near Doramadalawa was hit by friendly fire. Both pilots and the gunner was killed in the incident. Bell 212 (converted into a gunship) was launched from Vavuniya AFB to hunt down the LTTE light aircraft.

After the attack, it was evident that LTTE cadres who carried out the attack wore SLA uniforms. It is still unknown whether one attack team simply 'walked in' to the base under the guise of this SLA uniform.

Black tigers who stormed into the base were armed to the teeth. Some of them even carried heavier weapons such as LAWs (Light Antitank Weapon). How the LTTE smuggled in such large quantities of weapons and ammunitions to Anuradhapura is another question that is bugging the military leadership.

Although there undoubtedly were many lapses and weaknesses in the base security plan, we should not forget one fact. LTTE cadres who infiltrated the base never planned to return. An enemy who does not have a will to live is indeed very hard to stop. SLAF personnel deployed in the base acted quickly to retaliate and minimize further losses. However it was a special fighting formation of the SLA's  2nd Special Forces regiment which completely neutralized black tiger threat. We will not reveal further information of this team to prevent possible intelligence leak.

The LTTE has won this battle. But they have not won the war.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Anuradhapura Airbase under attack

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam launched air and ground attacks on Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) base at Anuradhapura at around 3.20am in the morning today. A group of LTTE cadres infiltrated base premises and initiated a surprise attack on SLAF personnel on guard. Meanwhile an aircraft belonging to the LTTE dropped at least 1 bomb on base premises which exploded inside the perimeter.

Exact damage caused by the attack has not been assessed yet. However unconfirmed reports suggest that at least two helicopters in the base have been damaged by enemy fire. Another helicopter which was launched to hunt down the enemy aircraft, crashed near Mihinthale while trying to make an emergency landing due to a technical fault.

Irresponsible media coverage on SLA container accident

On the last 15th, a container belonging to the army crashed near Koswatte junction. Although there were no injuries nor any serious damage to the transported goods, the incident immediately drew local media attention. However most of the media reports that surrounded the incident were inaccurate.

The container was transporting uniforms, weapons and other supplies to SLA positions in the Northern FDL. Transport missions such as these are usually performed in utmost secrecy. Therefore the army immediately cordoned off the crash site, making it off limits to pedestrians and journalists alike. Even the mobile phone services in the area were temporarily suspended. This was all done to prevent the enemy gaining access to critical intelligence information. However several local and international media institutions  interpreted this move as 'a threat to media freedom'. Some local news bulletins even mentioned that the SLA personnel deployed at the site 'harassed' the journalists. 

If any video footage of the incident was released to the public, it could have put army's next move in northern FDL in jeopardy. Anyone with a fair knowledge on defense matters could have determined the army's battle plan if they saw what was on board the container. We do not have any hatred towards media institutions but it's our belief that "Media freedom" should never be exploited to aid the enemy.

Search operations continue in Yaala

It has been almost a week since the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) raided the SLA mini camp at Thalgasmankada and killed 7 soldiers. Major search operations are now underway in the are to find the rebels who carried out the surprise attack. So far, these search operations have had very little success.

Immediately after the raid, a squad of Special Forces soldiers was airlifted from Vavuniya using a Mi-17 transport helicopter. Another Mi-17 was boarded by soldiers of the Commando regiment. Destination of these choppers was Thalgasmankada. Commandos and SF were the ideal choice for the scenario due to their expertise in jungle warfare. Although these elite units stormed the jungles searching for LTTE cadres, they did not have any success. Still, there is no confirmation on the whereabouts of the LTTE cadres who were involved in the attack.

It is believed that between 100-150 hard core cadres along with LTTE's eastern leaders Jeyam and Nagesh have retreated South after the fall of Thoppigala. However, evidence suggests that only around 20 LTTE cadres took part in the raid on Thalgasmankada army detachment.

This is the second time the LTTE has carried out an attack inside Yala sanctuary. In 1997, a group of LTTE cadres stormed into Yala - Palatupana and set fire to the temporary shelters the fishermen had set up.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Clashes continue in Northern front

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) have been engaged in fierce firefights in the no-man's-land ahead of the Vavuniya-Mannar defense line for the past week. Nearly 20 LTTE cadres have been killed in these battles. SLA units involved in these limited offensives too received casualties mostly due to enemy artillery fire.

Special Infantry (SI) formations of the 57th division moved ahead of their bunker line into the LTTE controlled territory to carry out several successful strikes on rebel positions on the 15th. First of these strikes was launched on a target in Mullikulama area. LTTE pulled back to defensive positions after a fierce battle. SLA troopers recovered 7 bodies of LTTE cadres killed in the battle. These were later handed over to the International Red Cross.

Another such attack took place near Vilathikulam in which the army killed four more LTTE cadres. SLA have been increasing pressure on tiger positions in and around Vilathikulam during the recent times, possibly indicating the initial step of a major offensive into Wanni. Capture of Vilathikulam will be critical to a future Wanni offensive as it can play a vital role as part of a MSR (Main Supply Route) to the besieged Jaffna region.

Meanwhile the death toll of the Yala LTTE attack has now risen to 7. 6 soldiers were killed in the LTTE raid and another one was killed when the tractor that was sent to transport the bodies of fallen soldiers was hit by a claymore mine. Whereabouts of the LTTE cadres who carried out the attack is still unknown.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

LTTE raid targets Thalgasmankada SLA mini camp

A mini camp of the Sri lanka army (SLA) near Thalgasmankada (south of Panama) came under a LTTE attack at around 6pm today (15th). Unconfirmed reports suggest that at least 2 soldiers have been killed in action and another one was wounded. LTTE casualties are unknown as of yet. A vehicle belonging to the wildlife department has also been damaged by LTTE fire.

It's suspected that LTTE cadres who took refuge in jungles after the fall of Thoppigala carried out the attack. Additional troops that were rushed in when the attack began, have now reached the camp premises and have taken complete control of it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

SLN Inshore Patrol Craft sunk near Jaffna seas

5 SLN personnel were killed and a Navy Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV) was sunk
in a sea battle which took place near Passayoor (Near Gurunagar Jetty)
yesterday. Sea Tigers, the sea going arm of the LTTE, was behind the attack.
It is now known that the sea tigers were able to capture weapons mounted on
the disabled IPV.

The battle erupted when 3 SLN vessels patrolling Gununagar area came under
23mm cannon fire from two sea tiger craft. These were disguised as fishing
vessels and was hidden among a cluster of fishing boats. After the initial
attack, 5 more sea tiger attack craft launched from Pooneryn sea tiger base
arrived at the scene to take on the three SLN vessels. Once of these boats
was a suicide craft and it rammed against one SLN IPV killing 3 SLN
personnel on board and disabling the IPV itself. Meanwhile Sri Lanka
Artillery stationed in Gurunagar area fired at the incoming sea tiger
vessels. One artillery round hit one of the incoming sea tiger craft,
destroying it completely. It is believed that 3 tigers on board the vessel
was killed in the incident.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

SLN warships destroy LTTE arms vessel in international waters

Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) delivered yet another blow to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) clandestine arms network when it successfully intercepted a LTTE cargo vessel in international waters 1700km away from Colombo. We can confirm that the destroyed ship, known as "Matushima", is the same ship that fled when Navy intercepted 3 other LTTE vessels last month.

Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) SLNS Suranimala, SLNS Sayura and SLNS Sagara formed the core of a special naval task force that sailed to the deep seas off Dondra Point to hunt down the LTTE vessel after an early intelligence tip off. Supply vessels A520 and A521 were also engaged in the operation. LTTE vessel was identified at 5.30am today (7th) and was completely destroyed by 9.30 am after it drew 76mm, 37mm and 30mm cannon fire from SLN warships.

This ship is supposed to be the last of LTTE's fleet of cargo vessels. However this claim cannot be verified. LTTE is known to fill up its inventories in utmost secrecy. Most LTTE agents that operate their arms network are still at large. That being said there is no doubt that the Sri Lanka Navy, with its limited resources and small OPV fleet, has delivered another deadly blow to the terror movement with the destruction of the 7th arms vessel during an year.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

SLAF targets LTTE safe house in bombing raid

SLAF bombers carried out a bombing raid on a LTTE safe house in Vishwamadu yesterday at around 6.30 in the morning. This safe house is known to have been the meeting place of top tiger leaders. Fighter jet pilots have confirmed that the targeted location was successfully hit but we are unable to confirm if any LTTE leaders were killed in the incident. Possible targets include LTTE's elite Charley Anthony brigade commander Amithab, LTTE intelligence wing leader Pottu Amman and LTTE IT division head Charles Anthony (son of Velupillei Prabhakaran). Ground based intelligence sources have still not confirmed the status of the attack and LTTE communication interception has proved to be difficult with the base maintaining radio silence ever since the bombing raid.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka Army has increased the number of small scale operations on LTTE defense lines in Kilali, Muhamalai, Nagarkovil and Thampanai. The purpose of these small scale offensives is to destroy as much LTTE assets on the frontline as possible. However no major operations have been launched so far by the SLA into the LTTE controlled Wanni heartland. The operations near Nagarkovil, Mahamalai and Kilali are undertaken by soldiers of the 55th division. Operations near Mannar/Vavuniya defense lines are undertaken by soldiers of the newly created 57th division , Special Forces units and army commandos. Capturing ground has never been an objective of these small scale operations so far. Instead, the SLA is targeting LTTE's military assets on the frontline and the morale of its cadres deployed in FDL bunkers.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Heavy fighting near Kilali, Mannar FDLs

Heavy fighting erupted between the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ahead of forward defense lines in Kilali and Mannar, yesterday(24th) and today(25th).

Fighting in Kilali was triggered when the LTTE attempted to infiltrate SLA controlled territory in a pre dawn offensive. SLA soldiers deployed in the forward defense lines detected the LTTE advance while it was crossing the no-man's-land and were able to stage a surprise counterattack. LTTE cadres, knowing that they were at a disadvantage, tried to return to their bunker line. However they received casualties while fleeing and at least 8 of their bunkers in FDL caught fire due to small arms fire from SLA soldiers and from artillery fire directed at their FDL from artillery bases in the region. Dead bodies of two LTTE cadres have been recovered by the army and another 10-15 bodies could be observed scattered in the no-man's-land ahead of FDLs. Two SLA personnel were killed and 30 others were wounded in the incident. Most SLA casualties were due to LTTE artillery fire.

Meanwhile SLA launched a small scale offensive in the Mannar region today morning which was immediately met with heavy resistance. Soldiers of the 57th division advanced more than half a kilometer into LTTE controlled territory amidst heavy artillery and small arms fire. Two soldiers were killed and another 14 have been wounded so far in the offensive. LTTE casualty figures are not available as of yet. Pro rebel media were quick to categorize the offensive as "a major military thrust to capture Wanni" but DefenceNet can confirm that this claim is entirely false. The goal of the offensive was to re adjust the forward defense line which was breached in recent clashes.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

LTTE's Vishwamadu base hit hard

Sri lanka air force (SLAF) fighter jets carried out consecutive air strikes on LTTE's Vishwamadhu base yesterday (21st) and today (22nd). Initial bombing run was performed at 12.15pm yesterday and the base was hit again by SLAF bombers today at around 7.00 am. The second air strike targeted the LTTE cadres who were engaged in recovering usable items from areas targeted in the first raid. As with most air strikes, LTTE casualty details cannot be confirmed as of now.

Vishwamadhu base was frequently used by LTTE's Imran regiment. Several of their ammunition and fuel dumps were said to be located inside the base premises. UAV footage shows secondary explosions after the initial bombing run which suggest that at least one of the ammo or fuel dumps was hit.

Imran-Pandiyan is regarded as one of the most powerful fighting formations within the LTTE. This unit, along with Charles Anthony brigade, has not been used in any major battle since the 2002 CFA. The tigers seem to be keeping their two most experienced brigades in reserve. LTTE is most likely to use these brigades to defend Wanni from a possible army invasion but the possibility of these units being deployed in a major LTTE offensive to recapture Jaffna peninsula cannot be overruled either.

You can see images of Imran regiment here (Released by LTTE photography unit).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

SLAF raid targets LTTE ammo dump: Puthukuduirippu

Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) fighter jets carried out a bombing sortie today morning targeting a suspected LTTE ammo storage located in the Mullaithiv district. The raid involved Kfir multi role fighters and Mig27 ground attack aircraft.

Suspected warehouse was located in the Puthukuduirippu area which is a core part of LTTE operations.The target had been monitored by military intelligence for a long time and was the target of multiple aerial surveillance missions. Judging by the secondary explosions which occurred after the initial bombing run, it is assumed that the ammo dump was successfully destroyed. However this is yet to be confirmed by ground intelligence and enemy communications intercepts.

Monday, September 17, 2007

"Blue Water Navy"

Sri Lanka Navy's (SLN) latest mission to thwart LTTE arms smuggling will no doubt be recorded as one of the most successful Naval missions of all time. This is not only because the mission caused the destruction of 3 large LTTE vessels in less than 24 hours but also because it demonstrated SLN warship fleet's ability to engage in deep sea missions.

  Image: SLNS Sayura Offshore Patrol vessel

Naval intelligence had previously collected information about 4 LTTE arms vessels which were bound to Sri Lanka. Their destinations were Mullaithiv, Challei, Alampil and Chundikual beaches. However the tigers had devised a new plan to avoid detection. The large vessels full of weapons were never to be beached. They were to stay in deep seas acting as floating warehouses while LTTE cadres used smaller craft such as fishing trawlers to smuggle the weapons in to their territory. This method not only reduced risk of detection but it also acted as a damage control mechanism; If a trawler was hit, only a small portion of the cargo would be destroyed. The rest would be safe in the main vessel. Unfortunately for the tigers, locations of the floating warehouses were picked up by naval intelligence.

Following the intel warning, SLN command dispatched four warships to investigate the targets. These were SLNS (Sri Lanka Navy Ship) Sayura, SLNS Samudura, SLNS Suranimala and SLNS Shakthi. One highly trained Special Boat Squadron (SBS) attack team was on board each of the four ships. Their mission was to board the enemy vessels and take control if the sea tigers surrendered.  Two supply ships (A520 and A521) were sent to resupply the warships if needed.

Although the intel information was correct, it took 10 days to find the first LTTE vessel. The detection was made in international waters 1200Km away from Colombo. LTTE's 50 meter long Manyoshi vessel was surrounded by two SLN warships. However the vessel opened fire on SLN ships using 5.0mm (commonly known as "five zero") weapons and tried to flee when they were asked to identify themselves. Manyoshi was sunk on 10th of September at 10.30 am local time.

The second ship too was detected in the same area several hours later. 50 meter long Sishin was discovered by the other two SLN warships. It too tried to flee and was sunk in the battle on 10th of September at 5.30pm.

3rd LTTE arms vessel was discovered 80km off the location where the second vessel was sunk. By this time, the two warships that destroyed Manyoshi had joined the rest. LTTE's 70 meter long Koshia arms vessel was now surrounded by four SLN warships. By this time, naval intelligence picked up a message to Koshiya from Wanni command. Message sender was Chelian; LTTE's new sea tiger leader. LTTE cadres on board the Koshiya were instructed to fire at SLN warships using 3 heavy 120mm mortars on board the ship. After firing several rounds, sea tigers reported back to their leader that it was impossible to get a clear target because of the rough seas. They were then ordered by Chelian to commit suicide and avoid capture. Koshiya too was sunk when it was hit by 76mm, 37mm, 30mm 25mm and 23mm cannon fire from SLN warships.

If the LTTE had the chance to upload the cargo on these ships, it would have been devastating for the army. On board were a large amount of 120, 122mm, 130mm and 152mm artillery shells, a fast attack craft of unknown type, a bulletproof vehicle, engine and spare parts for 3 light planes and a large collection of various weapons and ammunition including even torpedoes.

Meanwhile military intelligence has confirmed that a 4th LTTE arms ship bound to Mullaithiv had fled  after the destruction of the first 3 ships.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Did LTTE receive early information on Army's Silawathura offensive?

Few days ago, the Sri Lanka Army launched a medium scale offensive to capture Silawathurei area; a known sea tiger launching pad and a major LTTE supply hub. The operation was a top secret one and was well planned. It went according to plan except for one little unexpected twist; the heavy resistance which was expected from the LTTE was almost non existent. When the army's crack troops paradropped from Mi-17 helicopters, there were no tigers left to defend their turf. They had either fled into the jungles or had mixed in with the civilians. Did LTTE plan their retreat early? Did they receive early intel on a top secret military offensive? These are questions to which we may never know the answers.

When Special Forces reached the Silawathura sea tiger base premises, it had already been abandoned by the tigers. Only around 12 tigers were killed in the entire offensive. However the military was able to recover war related hardware from the base premises:

  • 25 Fiber Glass boats
  • 1 small boat loaded with explosives (possibly suicide craft)
  • 29 boat engines
  • 110  40mm mortar rounds
  • 269 81mm mortar round
  • 5000 assault rifle ammunition
  • 1 suicide jacket

But was this all the LTTE had in Silawathura? We don't think so. They maintained a major sea tiger base and had some valuable military hardware stationed there. The base was commanded by "Nambi" and it was defended by nearly 200 LTTE cadres (approximately 80 sea units and 120 land units). Previous military intelligence reports suggested that LTTE had the following military hardware stationed in the base:

  • 10 small sea tiger attack craft
  • 5 sea tiger craft fitted with 14.5mm cannons
  • 2 sea tiger craft fitted with 23mm cannons
  • 2 supply vessels fitted with 14.5mm cannons
  • 3 explosive laden suicide boats

One might think that the army had recovered all these boats after reading the previous paragraph. Army actually did find 25 Fibre Glass boats in the base but they were not attack craft. They seemed more likely to be fishing boats which the LTTE used as supply gatherers. What happened to the attack craft, weapons and ammunition storage? Did the LTTE move them to a safer location before the army advance? If so, where was the leak? These questions will no doubt trouble army's veteran commanders who planned and lead the Silawathura offensive.