towns remain in Tiger hands
With the LTTE held
territory now reduced to less than 230 square kilometres and any
chance of them making dramatic recovery almost non-existent, the
Army has begun blaring through loud hailers and Tiger radio
channels calls to remaining Tiger cadres to surrender explaining
to them that it is a futile exercise to fight the Army any
This tactic was widely used by the enemy against the Sri Lanka
Army in the past and the two sides had been shouting filth at
each other in ensuing verbal exchanges. But the badly beaten
LTTE cadres no longer shout back filth, but instead listen
silently, security sources said.
They said the LTTE has also been silent on the President’s as
well as international calls for them to allow trapped civilians
to go to places of safety.
In this vastly reduced territory still held by the LTTE, sources
said only two strongholds remain to be overcome. They are the
Sea Tiger Base at Chalai and the town of Pudukuduyirippu, where
the main Tiger checkpoint is located and where many civilians
are prevented from escaping to safe government controlled areas.
It is also where the Tigers are holding 17 local staff of the UN
and 78 of their dependents from coming to Vavuniya for more than
This week the 59 Brigade that captured Mullaitivu town after 13
years, was advancing along the Mullaitivu beach towards Chalai,
while 55 Division, which last week captured the coastal Tiger
base of Chundikulam is also marching towards this last major Sea
Tiger base from the north.
The 57 and 58 Brigades that entered Vishvamadu Town were
proceeding towards Pudukuduyirippu entrapping the LTTE
terrorists in their last bastion.
The Task Force 111 is advancing further up from the area between
Kolamadukulam to Udayarkattukulam.
The Task Force 11 and the Task Force IV are advancing to
Pudukuduyirippu from the east of the Task Force 111. They are
only about one kilometre from Pudukuduyirippu.
The Task Force 11, 111 and IV and the 59 Division are
approaching A-35 Highway.
The 58 Brigade under the command of Brigadier Shavendra Silva,
proceeding along the A-35 Highway and from the north of it,
captured Vishavamadu Junction on January 26. They captured an
area of eight sq.km. and recovered four bulldozers, two
backhoes, and many other vehicles including 10 tractors.
The 11th Light Infantry Regiment that entered Vishawamadu were
advancing when the 10th Gajaba, 17th Gemunu , 7th Singha, 6th
Gemunu, and 9th Gemunu regiments captured the areas between the
A-35 Highway and the Jaffna Lagoon, including Pulimpokkanai
until they were about two kilometres from the eastern beaches.
The 58 Brigade that released an area of 85 kilometres on the
western coast from Mannar and proceeded beyond Pooneryn,
Paranthan, Elephant Pass, Murusamodai and Vishavamadu has now
only two kilometres to reach the eastern coast. The 58 Brigade
has also accounted for the largest land area captured by any
The 10th Gajaba Regiment under Major Janaka Udovita of this
Brigade recovered a 152mm artillery gun and 70 empty shells. It
was the first time that such a heavy weapon was recovered during
the Wanni battle. Similar weapon had been recovered earlier from
Meanwhile, a small group of Commandos of the 58 Division
attacked a tractor transporting LTTE cadres gunning down five of
them at Puliyapokkanai on Thursday. Another Tiger riding a
motorcycle at the time was also gunned down. The LTTE cadres who
came to retrieve their casualties came under multi-barrel and
“Kill them off and damn with motherland, “said an intercepted
LTTE message during this encounter. Another LTTE message said
“dress the wounded by even tearing the sarongs.” This was a
clear indication of the state the LTTE has fallen into.
It has also been revealed that several senior LTTE leaders had
either died or injured in action and that the LTTE ‘Lieutenants
Colonel’ Koby Master and Shantha Kumar had been among those
killed in clashes.
The civilians from the Wanni said that Bhanu, a leading
battlefield commander, was injured. The pro-LTTE website
Puthinam revealed that Prabhakaran’s Chief Advisor and former
EROS Leader V. Balakumaran too had been seriously injured.
It is understood that the LTTE cadres are mingling with the
civilians to desert and that arms and ammunition are being
The security forces were hopeful that most probably the Wanni
battle would reach its last lap this week and the LTTE would
give up the fight.
Army Commander Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka who visited the
Wanni studied the progress of the military operations and issued
instructions for the final battle. Commander of the Security
Forces in the Wanni, Major General Jagath Jayasuriya continues
to coordinate seven brigades engaged in the Wanni battle.