Why weren’t flying Tigers intercepted?
The large haul of lethal C-4 explosives
carried by the downed LTTE aircraft at
Katunayake being gathered by Air Force
ground troops yesterday morning (Pic
by Ishara S. Kodikara)
are once again being asked as to why the Air Force
failed to intercept the LTTE aircraft before they
reached Colombo, on their ninth air raid on Friday
night. This is in the light of the service publicly
stating that it was well prepared to meet any
challenge from the rudimentary aircraft operated by
Some are of the opinion that they should have been
intercepted before reaching Colombo knowing the fact
the threat they pose to the vital installations in
the Commercial Capital.
Air Force Spokesman Wing Commander Janaka
Nanayakkara yesterday, however, said that it was
impossible to attack LTTE aircraft, because they
were flying at 300 feet, which was too low for Air
He insisted that the Air Force was on alert to meet
the enemy from the time they were spotted around
8:30 pm and their arrival time was estimated. When
the aircraft reached Colombo to attack the Air Force
Headquarters, they were successfully shot down,
according to the spokesman.
“Once they reached an altitude of around 10,000
feet, they could be targeted successfully. When the
aircraft is flying at a lower level it is impossible
to attack,” he explained.
This was the ninth attack carried out by the LTTE
since 2007. The first was on March 26, 2007, when
they attacked Katunayake, followed almost a month
later on April 24, 2007, by an attack on Palali.
April 29, 2007, saw Kolonnawa being targeted with
October 22, 2007, being the last attack of that year
Last year, there were four more attacks. The first
of 2008 was on Welioya on April 26, August 26 on
Trincomalee and the third on September 9 on Vauniya.
Many will remember the Talliadi and Kelanitissa
attacks on October 28, as the last sighting of the
LTTE aircraft before Friday.