About two months ago, we revealed about the possibility of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) opening another major front in the Wanni operation through the Weli Oya (Manal Aru in Eelam terminology) sector. As predicted, the front lines of Weli-Oya have been heating up due to the sporadic clashes for the past few weeks. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are offering fierce resistance to advancing troops of the 59th division, who are equal to the task.
Military Intelligence (MI) reports from the Weli-Oya front indicate that LTTE has stationed one of their Multi Barreled Rocket Launchers (MBRL) in the region in a bid to prevent the army advance. The weapon is said to be a 12 barreled variant which can fire 107mm rockets over a distance of 7-10Km. A similar weapon was uncovered by the army during the Thoppigala operation. LTTE used this weapon when they staged a counterattack on 5 army positions in the eastern province in the final phase of Thoppigala operation. The damage was minimized as the full 12 barrels were not used, either because of a shortage of ammo or due to some barrels being damaged by continuous use.
A significant turn of events took place in the Weli Oya front when the army's Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) ambushed LTTE's regional military commander "Lt. Colonel" Kumaran inside rebel held territory few months ago. Kumaran was seriously wounded but survived the assault. As per MI reports, Kumaran has been reassigned to the Weli Oya sector by orders of LTTE's senior leadership, even before his wounds are fully healed. However his reappearance has not made any drastic changes. The 59th division is still on the offensive. The tigers have been forced to follow a defensive strategy and most of the time have found themselves at the receiving end.
Meanwhile 8 suspicious personnel were arrested by police today in the Minneriya region. Security has been tightened in the Minneriya town where an air base of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) is located. This airbase is home to the gunships of the 9th attack helicopter squadron, a prime target of the LTTE according to latest intelligence reports.