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.