remember them all with pain”
Commander General Sarath Fonseka of the men who were injured and who
died in the Eelam War IV. Arrangements are now underway, to honour in a
fitting manner the war heroes who participated in this humanitarian
By Tissa Ravindra Perera
Arrangements are now underway, to honour in a fitting manner the war
heroes who participated in the humanitarian operation. which began with
the battle to free the Mavilaru sluice gates, and ended with wiping out
terrorism for good - after destroying all top LTTE leaders including
Army Commander Sarath Fonseka has already baptised the entire
operation comprising two stages, as` Unceasing Tsunami`. The Army
Commander had not considered giving a name to any of the operations he
led, until he succeeded in eliminating terrorism.
‘We initially hoped to conclude this Eelam War IV in three years. But
we succeeded in bringing it to an end in two years and 10 months. This
was not a war started ceremoniously under an auspicious name at an
auspicious time,” Army Commander General Fonseka said.
‘I did not want to leave this war unfinished for my successors to
continue,” the Army Commander told media persons who were hosted to
dinner by him in 2008. He told media personnel at a similar dinner given
to them in January this year that he hoped to conclude the humanitarian
operation in May.
Now General Fonseka has taken steps to fete every soldier who fought
so valiantly with a selfless commitment to free the country from the
terrorist menace. He has planned to award three separate medals: one
medal for those who contributed towards the victory in the East, a
second medal for those who fought to liberate the Wanni, and the third
medal for those who contributed towards the collective effort to
liberate the country.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Commander –in-chief of all armed
forces will confer separate honours on the war heroes.
Meanwhile, a special ceremony was held at the Army headquarters on May
28, 2009 to felicitate the war heroes. Army Commander General Fonseka in
his address at this ceremony, paid a special tribute to the soldiers
maimed, killed and who disappeared during action. A visibly moved
General Fonseka said: ‘I remember them all with immense pain of mind.”
Troops now engaged in mopping up operations in the North, are piling
up arms and ammunition recovered from bunkers and camps of the
terrorists in the North. Operations to search and destroy the isolated
small groups of terrorists scattered in the jungle areas in the East
began last week. The Army Commander said that 17 groups commandos from
SF and Deep Penetration Units, have been deployed in the East, while two
infantry units were engaged in this mission in the North.
SF 3 commandos destroyed 11 terrorists at Kanchikudichchiaru in Amapara
on May 27. Earlier SF and LRRP commandos destroyed two other groups in
The LTTE military leader in the Yala area known as Ram, fearing
commando strikes, has informed his willingness to surrender through the
Karuna Amman group. It is well known that it was the group led by Ram
which was responsible for the brutal massacres of civilians in Yala,
Buttala and Kataragama areas. This terrorist group is now facing the
fate that their supreme leader Prabhakaran and other Tiger frontliners
When the troops launched the final battle on May 17, the remaining
Tigers, including Nadesan, Pulithevan, Ramesh and Ilango, had been
reduced to no more than 140. By May 18 morning, over 100 of this group
had been killed. It was rumored while the last Tigers were being
decimated, that Nadesan and Pulithevan had expressed willingness to
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaska by 3.30 am on May 18, had inquired
about this from the Army Commander. However, by this time, SF commandos
had finished off all Tiger cadres. SF Echo led by Rajitha Bandara and
ALFA led by Suranga Manatunga, by 3 am on May 18, had killed 50 Tigers
in skirmishes in the Nanthikadal lagoon area where Prabhakaran had been
The bodies of the dead Tigers including that of Prabhakaran, were
picked up by the Vijayaba troops who were deployed for the purpose the
following morning. Sergeant Adikaram of SF 1, while collecting the
weapons of the dead Tigers had found the pistol NO: TVP 1 belonging to
Prabhakaran on the night of May 18 itself. Sergeant Dissanayake of SF 2,
found the other pistol used by the Tiger leader the following morning.
Meanwhile, DNA tests of blood samples of Prabhakaran and his son Charles
Anthony, had confirmed beyond doubt the death of Prabhakaran.
The Army Intelligence on a tip off given by Tamil civilians, had
arrested Prabhakaran`s father Thiruvekkadam Velupillai, 85, and mother
Velupillai Parvatiwhile, 78, while taking refuge in a relief village in
Vavuniya. Born in Malaysia, Velupillai had later taken up residence in
Velvetithurai. He had started his career as a postal employee, and
retired from public service as a land officer at the Mullaitivu
Prabhakaran. was the youngest of Velupillai`s four children. Prabha’s
parents who had fled to India in the 80s, had returned home during the
ceasefire in 2003.
The house Prabhakaran resided in his last days in Wellamullavaikkal, has
been identified by the troops. He had been holed up in a bunker built
inside this house.
Prabhakaran`s wife Madivadini and her mother too had managed to
disguise their identities in the exodus of civilians to Vavuniya.
However, Army intelligence had later identified them.
Army Commander General Fonseka says, “Prabhakaran`s parents have to be
But they are too old to be prosecuted and punished ‘
“Our troops did not hack to death old people and children as the
Tigers did. ‘If Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman could have been taken alive,
we could have shown them how they had committed heinous crimes like
massacring bhikkhus and children. Our soldiers had to shoot him when he
was firing at them from a mud puddle in the Nanthikadal lagoon. He had
come to a tragic end,” says Army Commander Fonseka. He also says that
our troops demonstrated their high standard of discipline by sparing the
lives of over 9000 Tiger cadres who had made it to Vavuniya along with
the fleeing civilians. ‘They were offered abhayadana,.” he said.
By last week the Tigers’ international network too was in the grip of
a deepening crisis. Wracked by increasing dissension, Tigers` chief arms
procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP,) who first denied that his leader was
dead, later admitted that he had been killed. Meanwhile, Tiger leaders
among the Tamil diaspora angered by KP`s statements to the media, had
said that the latter had no right to make statements on behalf of the
Government has now sought international help to have KP arrested and
extradited to take legal action against him.
‘After all KP has now been reduced to an insignificant character. A man
like KP who is used to the Western dress and the Western style of
living, cannot resurrect the LTTE and give it leadership that can bear
the brunt of a hard jungle life in Mullaitivu. However, we are on the
look out for any possible threat to the country`s sovereignty,” the Army
The Army Commander said they are quite aware of the ground realities.
There could be Eelam sympathisers abroad. There are extremists who even
have gone to the extent of attacking our diplomatic missions abroad.
Their dream of an Eelam will never come true.
The Armed Forces have been greatly strengthened to face a possible
threat originating from abroad. The government has decided to further
strengthen the man power, fire power and other capabilities of the Armed
Forces through the introduction of state of the art technology.
‘ Our aim is to reinforce our Forces to face all possible threats in
the future without being complacent after the elimination of the LTTE
leadership For example, our air force has already deployed surveillance
aircraft to reconnoitre our territorial waters up to a 200-nautical mile
strip from the shoreline.” Army Commander General Fonseka said.