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Anatomy of the LTTE military debacle at Aanandapuram

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

This article was first written on April 10th 2009 under the heading”Top Tiger Leaders killed in a major debacle for LTTE”.Subsequently it was updated,revised and posted under the current heading. “It is being posted here again to commemorate the third anniversary of the decisive battle of Aananthapuram that concluded on April 5th 2009. As I wrote then the Aananthapuram battle was indeed the defining moment of the on going war from an LTTE perspective-DBS Jeyaraj

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the gate:
“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods, – Thomas Babington Macaulay

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization has experienced many major setbacks during the course of its 33 year old history.

Despite misgivings expressed on these occasions by prophets of doom, the movement has always managed to withstand these blows and continue on its politico-military journey. Nevertheless the debacle it suffered in the Aanandapuram area of Puthukkudiyiruppu AGA division, during the first week of April seems to be different both qualitatively and quantitatively.

In what may very well be the defining moment of the on going war the tigers have lost a vast array of illustrious fighting commanders as well as large numbers of cadres in a single battle. More than 625 bodies of dead LTTE fighters have been recovered and a special military intelligence squad was busy identifying those killed. Some details are being revealed in stages. The LTTE keeps “official silence” over the debacle and its propaganda networks keep “mum” but the bad news is spreading slowly yet surely.

LTTE stalwarts are contacting close relatives of the tiger leaders who died at Aanandapuram and informing them of what had happened. The relatives are told to conduct religious rites and funeral ceremonies on a low-key level. Likewise different tiger officials are informing close family members of the other tiger cadres also about what had happened to their departed relatives.

Among the fallen tigers “Col” Theepan (presumably promoted posthumously as Brigadier) is perhaps the single biggest loss to the movement. This LTTE veteran with 25 years of experience hails from Kandawalai in Kilinochchi district and served as overall commander of the LTTE northern front fighting formations. Velayuthapillai Baheerathakumar alias Theepan was also the de-facto deputy military commander of the LTTE after the demise of Kandiah Balasegaran alias Balraj. Theepan’s communications codename was “Tango Papa”. He is married to an ex-tiger woman fighter. They have no children.

Along with Theepan, the top four woman fighter commanders have also been killed.
Vidhusha, special commander of Maalathy regiment, her deputy and Maalathy regimental commander Kamalini, Durga, special commander of Sothia regiment and her deputy cum Commander Mohanaa have all been killed.

An unconfirmed report states that womens wing political commissar Thamilini has also been killed. Among other senior tigers killed were the special commander and commander of the Jeyanthan infantry brigade, Keerthi and Nagesh.The Jeyanthan brigade is raised from Eastern province cadres.

Manickapodi Maheswaran alias Keerthi is a native of Arasaditheevu in Batticaloa district and served as intelligence chief for the east earlier. Selvaratnam Sundaram alias Nagesh is a native of Periyaporatheevu and has served as district military commander earlier. Both remained loyal to Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and despite being eastern sons of the soil opted to fight against Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan alias Karuna after he revolted against the leadership citing northern hegemony.

Another huge loss is that of Gaddafi also known as Viduthalai and Amuthan. This Native of Kotraavathai in Vathiri, Vadamaratchy was at one-time a bodyguard of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran . When Prabhakaran delivered his famous speech at Suthumalai after the Indo-Lanka accord was signed, Gaddafi was one of the two bodyguards standing behind the leader.

Gaddafi was later a commander of the Imran-Pandian regiment. He was in charge of an RPG unit at one time. Gaddafi was one of a ten-member squad trained by the Indian government in firing anti – aircraft missiles. Later when the LTTE acquired some SAM-7 missiles in the nineties of the last century, Gaddafi became the specialist in firing them. Gaddafi has brought down several aircraft of the Sri Lankan air force through his shoulder-fired missiles. He was also a weapons expert and spent some months in Europe undergoing special training.Currently he was in charge of the tiger training academy for special forces. The LTTE’s elite special forces division is named after former tiger leader Harichandran alias Radha. This special force was led by Silambarasan . He was killed.

The deputy-commander of Radha regiment was Anbu. He was seriously injured and captured alive. Likewise Asmi the leader of “Ponnamman” mining unit was also seriously injured and captured alive. The fate of these two is unknown. The leader of “Kittu” artillery unit, Manivannan and chief of “Kutty Sri” mortar unit Gopal were also killed. An unconfirmed report states that S. Thangan , the deputy-political commissar and administrative officer under SP Thamilselvan is also no more. Seralaathan who was in charge of the Tiger TV “Nitharsanam” was also killed.

Among other senior tigers killed who have been identified are Ruban, Panjan, Nehru, Anton, Maankuyil, Amudha, Iniyawan, Aadithyan and Chitrangan. A senior sea tiger Mahindan has also been killed.

All these top tigers were killed in the first week of April. But the military hostilities leading to their death commenced on March 30th.

Another two senior tiger leaders were killed on March 31st. They were Gopith the Charles Anthony infantry brigade , special commander and Amuthaab , the commander of Charles Anthony brigade. There is much bewilderment about how so many top tigers could get killed in a single battle and why so many top commanders got caught up in a single location. To understand what had happened a brief re-run of preceding events is necessary.

The LTTE has been suffering a series of military setbacks in the recent past. It has been a case of the Army advancing and tigers retreating because the security forces enjoy an overwhelming superiority over the LTTE in terms of manpower, firepower, airpower and armor power.

The military juggernaut has rolled forward relentlessly and the tigers are currently confined to a small littoral strip of territory located between the A-35 highway (Paranthan-Mullaitheevu road) Nanthikadal and Chalai lagoons on one side and the Indian ocean on the other.

Soldiers numbering more than 50,000 from five divisions and three task forces have besieged the LTTE. The tigers have been trying desperately to break out of this encirclement and drive the forces back. The LTTE registered minor success in late March when it launched a counter-strike led by senior commanders Sornam and Lawrence. The LTTE pushed soldiers back by about 600-700 metres from their forward defence line positions and then proceeded to the north for about 8 km.

The soldiers however rallied and fought back. They managed to beat the tigers back and regained original positions. Both Sornam and Lawrence sustained injuries. Also, Prabhakaran’s eldest son Charles Anthony also received minor injuries on his back and shoulder. Against this backdrop the LTTE planned to launch a massive counter-offensive against the armed forces. The idea was to conduct a meticulously planned operation that would deliver a crippling blow to the security forces.

Apparently the tiger leaders were holed up in Aanandapuram along the Puthukkudiyiruppu-Iranappaalai-Puthumaathalan road busily planning a major counter-attack on the armed forces. The road to Iranappaalai proceeds eastwards from the Puthukkudiyiruppu junction on the A-35 highway.Another road starts out from Iranappaalai east to Puthu (New)maathalan along the coast. There is another minor junction on this road at Pachaipullumottai from where a small road goes to Palam (Old) maathalan.

Anandapuram and Iranappaalai are part of the Puthukkudiyiruppu AGA division, Other areas belong to the Karaithuraipatru AGA division. More than a thousand tiger cadres converged at Aanandapuram to prepare and launch a well – planned counter attack. The defences in and around the Puthukkudiyiruppu-Iranaippaalai – Puthumaathalan road was in the hands of the Charles Anthony infantry brigade. What happened however was that the 58 division commanded by Brig. Shavendra Silva, 53 division led by Gen. Kamal Gunaratne and task force 8 led by Col. GV Ravipriya mounted a successful military operation on March 30th that yielded quick results.

The 58 proceeding south by south-east from northern Puthukkudiyiruppu and the 53 & TF 8 proceeding north by north-east from Southern Puthukkudiyiruupu advanced rapidly and linked up at Pachaipullumottai junction along the Puthukudiyiruppu road behind LTTE positions. There was very heavy fighting at Pachaipullumottai where tiger resistance was spearheaded by the special commander Gopith and commander Amuthaab of the Charles Anthony infantry.On March 31st both Gopith and Amuthaab were reported killed.

The Aanandapuram debacle was preceded by this incident which proved to be a major loss to the LTTE. The loss of these brave fighters Gopith and Amuthab who had a demoralising effect on cadres. This loss of morale is attributed to be the cause of weakened tiger defences which in turn led to rapid breaching, linking and encircling by the armed forces.

The LTTE cadres in Aanandapuram who were engaged in preparing for the major assault were suddenly and unexpectedly “marooned” on land. Realising that top tigers were stranded in Aanandapuram and suspecting that Prabhakaran himself may be there the army moved swiftly and encircled tiger positions. A siege was in progress. Prabhakaran was not there as he had left the place on March 26th.But the other important tigers were ensnared.

The 4th, 6th,8th, 12th,14th and 20th Gajabahu battalions, 5th Vijayabahu,9th Gemunu Watch, 11th and 20th SL Light Infantry along with 1 special forces and 2 commando got into action. Meanwhile a footpath from Ambalavanpokkanai to Pachaipullumottai used as an emergency supply route by the LTTE was also interdicted. Thus more than a thousand tiger cadres and leaders were trapped and encircled in a two sq km area consisting mainly of coconut plantations and palmyrah groves. In a desperate bid to break the siege Sea tiger special commander Soosai sent a contingent by sea to aid his beleaguered comrades at arms. These boats began sailing from Valainjarmadam and hoped to beach near Pattiaddy and fight their way through.

This did not materialise as the Navy maintaining strict vigil engaged the flotilla and beat back the sea tigers, thus preventing the boats from landing. The tigers also sent 120 cadres as reinforcements under Lawrence who was already injured. The army using lethal devices , scorched and destroyed two buses and a truck. Most occupants in the three vehicles were killed and the vehicles virtually reduced to cinders. A few survivors escaped along with the other cadres in the two remaining vehicles of the convoy.Lawrence also returned to safety.

Eventually on April 3rd a sizable number of cadres led by “Col” Bhanu succeeded in penetrating the cordon and escaping to safety. Bhanu himself was injured in the process. Theepan , the de-facto deputy military commander of the LTTE had an opportunity to escape along with Bhanu. Apparently Theepan was injured twice on both April 1st and 2nd.

Bhanu who goes a long way back with Theepan wanted to carry Theepan along with him. But Theepan the courageous fighter known for leading from the front refused. He said that he wont desert or abandon his fighter cadres and seek safety. “If I come out I’ll come with the cadres. Otherwise I’ll die with them” he told Bhanu and later informed Pottu Amman.

The military intercepting this were amazed at Theepan’s sense of loyalty to his cadres and his readiness to die willingly. Theepan’s conduct came in for praise among several officers from the Army’s upper echelons. Another intercept was an exchange between Intelligence chief Pottu Amman and woman tiger leader Vidusha. She was heard pleading for reinforcements and supplies urgently. A thoroughly upset Pottu was virtually choked up saying all his efforts had failed and that they could not penetrate the blockade.

The writing was on the wall for the besieged tigers. Despite his commitment to cadres, the rest of the tigers under the overall command of Theepan were not lucky as those who escaped with Bhanu. Despite the dangerous situation the tigers led by Theepan continued to withstand the three day siege . The tigers were deprived of food , water and medical supplies.Nevertheless the beleaguered tigers did not wilt.

Appeals were made in Tamil through amplifiers to the tigers to surrender but the majority of the tigers refused to heed the call to surrender. 116 tigers surrendered to the army in small groups at various times. But the others in the courageous tradition of the LTTE fought on against overwhelming odds preferring to “die on their feet” rather than to “live on their knees”. From midnight on April 3rd the nature of combat changed.Massive aerial bombardment through planes and helicopters was done. Continuous artillery shelling was also done. It appears that more than 30,000 shells were fired throughout April 4th.

It was all over on Sunday April 5th and the soldiers began gradually recovering LTTE bodies and identifying them. By Monday around 525 bodies had been recovered and around 60 identified. Many tigers had died by biting the cyanide capsule and swallowing its contents.

By Tuesday a further 100 bodies were found. About 60 of these were recovered in a bloated condition lying in a field.Another 40 bodies were in charred condition inside two small buildings where the cadres had sought cover. At least 18-20 injured cadres were captured alive. Some of these are top rung tigers. Three girls were discovered hiding in a makeshift pit , covered by leaves.

The army released some pictures of the dead tigers including Theepan and Vidusha. Some pictures of dead tigers laid out in rows were also released. The state of the bodies shown in the pictures were in abysmal condition. This led to much suspicion. Allegations have been made by pro-tiger elements in the Diaspora that incendiary bombs and chemical weapons including poison gas were used to overcome the LTTE.

Some Indian Military analysts however were skeptical of such allegations as the debacle seemed to be a classical example of a successful outflanking manoeuvre. Other informed sources ruled out poison gas but suggested that “white phosphorus bombs” may have been used. These bombs are not banned from usage on the military front but are strictly prohibited from use against civilians.

They are used in “siege conditions” to overcome tenacious fighters who resolutely dig in.
The US in Falluja, Iraq, Russians in Grozny , Chechenya, Israelis in Beirut, Lebanon have all been accused of using these incendiary devices. The US has used them in Korea and Vietnam while Saddam Hussein has done so against the Kurds. These are not classified as chemical weapons. The pictures displayed of killed tigers indicate that these “White Phosphorus” bombs referred to as “Will Pete” may have been used.

The hasty manner in which the recovered bodies were cremated has also fuelled suspicion. The defence establishment has flatly denied these charges. The reason for hasty cremation was the deteriorating condition of the corpses it is said.

Apart from this development, senior commander Sornam has sustained serious injuries while another leader Lawrence has received minor injuries in earlier skirmishes. The Aanandapuram debacle also resulted in the LTTE losing many weapons including three 130 mm artillery, one 85 mm pounder, five 81 mm mortars, four 12. 7mm anti-aircraft guns and a multi-30 mm Pedal gun.

This piece of equipment has proved very lethal in previous rounds of fighting as it can be used both as artillery and anti-aircraft gun.

Four 30 mm barrels were fixed on this and they could be fired simultaneously like a multi – barrel rocket launcher. It can be fired by stepping on a pedal. According to military analysts the Aanandapuram debacle appears to be the major turning point in the defiant last stand being put up by the LTTE. The armed forces had been expecting a major counter-offensive from the LTTE for quite a while now. Had the envisaged counter-offensive occurred as planned the army would have received a tremendous jolt.

Ironically, the tables were turned and the expected offensive was thwarted by the army in a military move amounting to a pre-emptive strike.pre=empted and thwarted. In the process the LTTE has been dealt a massive setback from which it may never recover.

45 Comments

  1. Kamal says:

    It is sad that the LTTE in Diaspora does not commemorate these fallen heroes

  2. Chaminda says:

    Let this never be repeated!

  3. jagan sriram says:

    while after three years of reading about tamil tigers and their debacle i have wisened up a lot.unfortunately my mind says that end of tamil tigers was a blessing in disguise because atleast moderates have gained ground and there is a chance that international pressure will force sinhalese chauvinists to implement 13th amendment whereas my heart says what a glorious set of people prabakaran had who could have been used constructively have been wiped out.let bygones be bygones tamils in srilanka should start a new chapter.un resolution on srilanka has proved that tamils of the world if they have the will they can have the way.tamils of the world should rally around and support tamils of srilanka in getting their political rights.if 13th amendment is passed due to international pressure with full land hand police rights that will be the perfect tribute we as tamils can pay to the countless courageous fighters who laid their life.though their laying their life is perfect idiocy decision premised on emotions still they are tamils .if i have to rephrase marx words tamils of the world unite we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.thank you jey for reminding the sacrifices made by theepan,balraj countless young tamils oh jey who can forget pulendran,kumarappa one of whom was newly married died biting cynide i am choking with emotions.

  4. Mahesh says:

    Those besieged were killed using 30000 shells. Some 50000 soldiers encircled them.

    While we cannot complain about these things in war, it shows the brutal nature of the war. The use of White phosphorus (can we look the other way for its usage) bombing by aircraft on some 1000 encircled fighters…

    The words of Leonidas the Hero in the battle of Thermophylae comes to the mind.

    GO TELL TO SPARTA THOU THAT PASSETH BY
    HERE OBEDIENT TO HER WISH WE LIE

    Unlike the Leonidas these are the fallen Heroes. Leonidas succeeded against a 100,000 strong Persian army under Xerxus. He just had some 300 soldiers of the Sparta.

  5. victor says:

    this is the end of tiger terrorism in srilanka .but when is the end of srilankan state terrorisms which is a common occuerance since 1948?

  6. Senathi says:

    When the SL Army was nearing Kilinochy they tested a bomemade of WMD (weapons of mas destruction). We saw that through the medias on the Internet with pictures of dead cows lying dead without any noticeable wounds. Once LTTE realized they are going to use it in the fighting they should have retreated into the jungle. The problem was Methaku Pirapakaran. He was not adapted to the life in the bushes. He always wanted to live among the people. In the last stages of the war they wanted only to save the life of Pirapakaan and taking him to a save place/country. So finally everybody including major comandos had to die of WMD just for saving the life of Thalai. If they would have sneaked into the jungle the war would still be continuing.

  7. Anuradha says:

    DBSJ’s blood is thicker than water….He lets his heart to write often while making a disinct with the articles written with his brain… I hope you publish this….

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    I have published as you wished.

    By the way an equivalent in Tamil to “blood is thicker than water” is “Thaan Aadaavittaalum Than Sathaiyaadum”.

  8. vanampadi says:

    The situations on our home land is verse than naragalogam for our same blood.
    our innocent people are speechless. Suffering from ruling parties ayokiyathanams and finacial difficultie. So many girls and boys are depressed or mental illness.

    if there is God, I hope this situation is not going to continue. Afterall when we die we are not going to take what we have. Why can’t we live peacefully in this world.

    Why is the G.C.E (O/L) results has gone down to 9th in comparisin of provinces?

    How many licenced bottle shops are available in Northern province?
    How many girls are widowed and how many divorced or not willing to live with their alcoholic husbands?

    if you are a Hindu, please sing these two prayer songs.
    1. “Sottrunai vethian sothy vanavan…..”
    2. ” Vanmukil valathu peiyka, Mannan Konmurai arasu seiyka”

    Please give those innocent people a peaceful life.

    “Arasan antru arupan Theivam Nitrarukum”………..This is true.

  9. Purush says:

    Excellent writing. Truly a masterpiece.There is no one to touch you in articles of this type DBS.

  10. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    I am lost for words. DBSJs account of this battle, evoked much sadness and also admiration for the men and women who died. Visualizing the scenario, resembled scenes we see in war films and the epics. Hats off, bent head and palms held in prayer, for those who died for a cause they believed. They won the admiration of even their enemy! The lesson: wars are horrible and violence is evil. All Sri Lankans should learn their lessons and draw the right conclusions.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  11. C. Senthilan says:

    I am saddened to read this. I don’t want to get into an argument as to who is right and who is wrong; but when I see these youth have sacrificed their lives for the betterment of our future, my heart bleeds!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hero Theepan!

  13. jay pathbey says:

    I have no sympathy for cowards who kill people to fight for a foolish but a cowardly cause at the whims of a maniac.

    JP/USA

  14. hunchback says:

    3 years later, I have no hatred for these fallen, or any satisfaction at their deaths. Only sadness. What a senseless waste.

    Perhaps they should have surrendered and lived to see another day like others who did so.

    However they were brave to fight for what they believed in, misguided as they were to follow leaders such as Prabakaran.

    They should have been returned to their families for a proper burial with hindsight. R.I.P along with our brave armed forces who died on that day and after.

    I am curious however what was the ultimate fate of the ‘top rung tigers’ who were captured alive, although I suspect they probably joined their fallen comrades, unless they are among the 600 ‘hardcore LTTE’rs’ in custody.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Kamal,your are ill informed

  16. saba says:

    I am still angry with the diaspora supporters who were funding the organisation with a blind eye.
    As a result many youg lives were sacrificed in the name of war, whereas the supporters offsprings have been educated and holding good jobs abroad.

    Do you think that these supporters would have send their children to the war front?

    I dont think so.

    Saba

  17. Pathy says:

    This account can be written only by a journalist like you Jeyaraj. You have reconstructed the battle from many angles. It is as if you were present in many sectors during the battles. I think that is why LTTE leader like to read your article

  18. Chinthaka says:

    It was just Sri Lanka’s corrupted politicians without a vision that helped terrorism ran that long, getting them some conventional military abilities…. If not for that, they would have been eradicated and reduced to powder at least 20+ yrs ago.

  19. Raju says:

    As a tamil. I feel sad and “Survival Guilt”. Veera vanakangal for brave fighters.
    This is the minimum that.I am able to offer.
    They will live with me for my life time.
    Thank you DBSJ.

  20. Chinthaka says:

    Wow.. Mr. DBSJ,
    I think you’re too aroused by Tamil sentimentalism than facts or real sense. It is increasingly visible in what you publish these days. I know you criticized LTTE than to the extent that even a Sinhalese journalist did. But, your criticism was mainly constructive on them and was based on the principles that LTTE harmed too many Tamils that they shouldn’t have. Other than that you agree with LTTE principally, and that’s why you publish this sort of articles to heal your nostalgic feelings. You wanted everyone in the LTTE to be like Theepen, Balraj and Sussai, and the fact that it was not the reality has made you disappointed.

    But, you still cannot get out of that mindset while calling on Tamil diaspora to accept the LTTE Defeat. Mr. DBSJ, this is something I never expected from you even though I accused you of doing this from those days.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Just to clarify.

    You say you never expected this from me though you were always accusing me from those days.

    Why then were you accusing me of something which you never expected from me?

  21. Pro Bono Publico says:

    Bravery in battle is something that has been admired from time immemorial

    DBS,It will be great if you can also write a similar article about the siege of the Jaffna Fort from June -Sept 1990 when a battalion Soldiers (Sinha regiment) and cops from the Jaffna Police station (including Tamil policemen) were besieged without food ,running water , causality evacuation (excepting once) or medicine and under attack 24/7 ,food was air dropped daily and many parcels were way off mark,there were many attacks to breach the Forts defences but the Soldiers held on till they were evacuated it was nothing short of an epic and heroic stand by them

    Please do justice to them and write about it with accounts from those who took part in both sides,I was in my early teens and living in Jaffna at that time and even days before the break of war I had seen the Soliders from Fort shopping in Jaffna town and the cops providing security to banks in town little knowing that the peace prevailing at that time will be but a dream in a few weeks time and many of them dead too which is very sad

  22. Don says:

    Hi DBS,
    I think one of the previous comments about your blood being thicker than water is correct and that is the way it should be.Either way I read a lot of your articles towards the last chapters of war as they were really informative and interesting and had a lot of finer details which any other writer could not have accessed.Any tamil should and will support LTTE as that is quite natural unless ones family members have been killed/harressed by the LTTE.But again this article clearly shows how brutal war is.I am living in Australia and live in an area full of Sri Lankan Tamils with whom I am quite friends with.We are the same people Tamil or Sinhalese and do not like extremist ideas from any side which does not really help.If we look at the root causes of war we can find many like sinhala buddhist racism,the way British divided and ruled and currently smaller nations being victims of bigger nations.It is really sad that we fought each other and hope this mistake will not be repeated.I have not been to North & East since the end of the war but have heard about the destruction it has brought forward.Currently priority should be the welfare & economic development of war affected areas.

    DOn

  23. Kanna says:

    Hi DBS,
    This is just for your reference:

    There are multiple international laws that could be seen to regulate white phosphorus use. Article 1 of Protocol III of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons defines an incendiary weapon as ‘any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injury to persons through the action of flame, heat, or combination thereof, produced by a chemical reaction of a substance delivered on the target’.

    However, the use against military targets outside civilian areas is not explicitly banned by any treaty. “”"There is a debate”"” “The use of this weapon may technically have been legal, but its effects are such that it will hand a propaganda victory to the insurgency.

    However, the 11 year old ST 100-3 Battle Book, a student text published by the US Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth states that “It is against the law of land warfare to employ WP against personnel targets. I hope you will publish this .

    Regards,

    Kanna

  24. Thasan says:

    I read this article when you wrote it first in April 2009. I thought it was great that you can write so much information about battle from Canada. It was brilliant and as you said the defining moment of the war. I read it again and then again this time. Even after three years gone the article id fresh and attractive

  25. Nanthu says:

    They fought like heroes and died as martyrs

  26. Senathi says:

    The war proved to the world that the Tamils are great warriors. Unfortunately the war didn’t yield anything because of the wrong leader.

  27. esbee says:

    Good on you DBSJ!

  28. Ura says:

    A lot of well meaning folks died for no good cause, both Sinhala and Tamil. The fighting will go on until we realize that we all are in the same pit.

  29. TISSA says:

    I am a Sinhalese but some of my ancestors were Agampadi soldiers from tamilnadu who came as mercenaries, body guards to kings,& as palace guards,they had a fearsome reputation & had red turbans tied on their heads to distinguish from the common soldiers,they fought the Portuguese invaders in order to protect sinhala villagers in the south western Srilanka,though I do not support or approve the LTTE,as I myself escaped a bomb explosion where a colleague lost his life,I have no respect for Prabakaran who was trying to save him & his family,but lot of Sinhala army officers journalists & civillians praised this brave group who died sacrificing their lives for their cause,even the Sinhala King Dutugemunu imposed a law not to where slippers or shoes when passing the tomb of the tamil King Elara,as he was a brave King who was just,which I believe is respected even today at anuradhapura, though they were the adversaries of the sinhalese “Theepan & the others who fought to the last man were heroes.

  30. Jay Chambers says:

    Someone here said it right, if all fighters are like Theepan, then the LTTE would have been unbelievably strong. still, this was a senseless war waged on behalf of a madman who was able to bring more pain and suffering on his people than his arch enemy could ever have done, if he had no started it all.

    Another thing: the Sinhala soldier may earn a salary, but there is a fundamental difference between him and the LTTE fighter. The shadow of the chronicles Mahavamsa, heroics of prince Dutugemunu, and his generals, and the historic sense of fighting the enemy, saving the motherland and Buddhism – there is no such motivation for the LTTE fighter.

    The Tamil diaspora should now embrace the peace and build back their place in Lanka. Beware the likes of that old codger Brian Seneviratne, they want to shed more Tamil blood.

  31. Goshi says:

    the reason for this entire war is mainly the stupid political decisions taken by both tamil and sinhala politicians by blaming the other ethnicity to garner more votes, after independence and then indian regional aspirations. but the fact is that we killed our own people no matter what side we were on. So its due time that we rise as a nation and develop our motherland. In this context the tamil diaspora has a huge responsibility not to finance tiger elements as blindly as they did because non of the diaspora people or their children will come to fight in the front lines with the Lankan (sinhala or tamil)youth !!

    A Sri Lankan
    (who actually lives in sri lanka).

  32. Punchi says:

    He who lives by the sword dies by the sword

  33. TISSA says:

    Theepan died a hero & even Sinhalese respect him for his bravery,& in the same context I would like to remind the tamil readers about Lt. Aladeniya,who refused to retreat leaving behind his injured soldiers,in spite of repeated requests by his superiors,The nation’s highest awards for bravery, the Parama Weera Vibushanaya (PWV) was awarded to Saliya Upul Aladeniya in recognition of his bravery. Lt. Saliya Upul Aladeniya, was just 26-years-old when he sacrificed his life, valiantly defending his camp at Kokavil and standing by his injured troops in the face of a massive attack by the LTTE in 1990. Although Saliya had orders to abandon the camp and withdraw, he refused to do so because the majority of his troops were injured and unable to move.

    He ordered the able men to withdraw, leaving him with the injured. At 11.45 p.m. the camp was overrun. The last they heard from him were his words, “Don’t worry sir, I will fight till I die.” Source: ST / 1st october 2000 Saliya Aladeniya,

  34. TRN says:

    lessons to be learned ! no more war , No more death, no more hatred, no more revenge.

    Enough is enough. How many youth sacrificed their lives for the political motives of shortsighted leaders?

    Let us overcome the sorrow of war, loss and death. Let us be human first and protect all the living ( who survived the war).

    All have a right to remember the dead. They are no more.

  35. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran says:

    Late Lt. Saliya Aladeniya was a brave and great man. He stood by his men against overwhelming odds. My respects to him too. There have been heroes on both sides of this conflict. They were all sons of Sri lanka, although forced to fight against each other by circumstances. We have lost lots of good, dedicated and committed young men and women to a cruel and unlimately futile war. Let us look at the war and its aftermath as humans and not as Sinhalese or Tamils. There should be a national day of commemoration for all the war dead-civilians included. It will be apt to call it a national reconciliation day. It should be a somber occasion. The date selected should be neutral in terms of events connected with Tamil or Sinhala memories. Will the government act?

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  36. NAN says:

    LTTE Trained & financed by Indian RAW
    .

    If NOT for the GOVT. of SL & the huge sacrifice they made by the gallant SL Forces ; for ALL Sri Lanlan citizens the future would look bleak .

  37. Robin says:

    This is a good write up. It clearly shows there were no civilians or hardly were left. Tigers with arms trapped but still fighting. In every war fought first they will bombard, use artillery, smoke, what ever to flatten or reduce resistance. In desert wars they send tanks, and behind soldiers to Finnish. You must understand you cannot take so large captors. Similarly more than 600 policeman who were ordered despite willingness to fight by premedasa was killed cold blood. Then there is famous hasalaka weeraya who single handedly destroyed a tiger tank which would have blown up a army regiment. So many who intercepted tiger boats and blew them up. Mainly tigers killed monks, priests, civilians with hatchets, bombed busses, trains, religious places. This is what I hate. Arme, navy, police,air force are trained to kill fight them but not innocent civilians.
    International organizations have blood in their hands. Thru used atomic, mustard gas, fire bombs to wipe out.
    Let all srilankans live peacefully have rights n live where they want.
    This is all I want

  38. Pro Bono Publico says:

    @Robin,you have missed the point man,anandapuram battle had nothing to do with civillian deaths it was a pure one on one battle but civillian deaths at the no fire zone are something else which you cannot EVER HIDE so dont get your wires crossed!

  39. tamilan says:

    Brave tamils were defeated only by the covered world and not SLA

  40. Jay Chambers says:

    Saliya Aladeniya, Theepan – both the type of individuals who would hav been immensely valuable if it were a united country. I feel Lanka should have stayed a dominion of UK for a little longer, and tried to work on developing educational opportunites for both Tamil and Sinhala people. If they had built a larger Peradeniya university with facilities for doubling intakes to critical faculties such as engineering, medicine, sciences then the sense of desperation would not have set in despite quota system for universty admission.

    Anyway, there is now another chance. My suggestion: ignore and silence by that ignorance the rabid players that ask for nothing less than separation. And work with the most important demographic – the Busshist clergy. Appeal to their sense of equality that I am sure resides somewhere deep inside – given the compassion of the Buddha. Build a deep bond between those who are ready to work together, the pragmatic few.

    And beware of new dangers lurking in corners. I visit the country every year and each timeI see more radicalization of the Muslim community. It manifests in dress and a general dislike for order and authority. All the communities should get together to curb these dangers.

    Good luck to beloved Lanka!

  41. vinod says:

    Hi DBS
    I read somewhere few months back that Mathivathany’s mother passed away last year. Is it true? Can you please shed some light of Mathivathany and her family. Thanks.

  42. shankar says:

    [In what may very well be the defining moment of the on going war the tigers have lost a vast array of illustrious fighting commanders as well as large numbers of cadres in a single battle. More than 625 bodies of dead LTTE fighters have been recovered and a special military intelligence squad was busy identifying those killed.]

    —————————————————-

    I just cannot understand Theepans mentality.He had about a 1000 guys there.Was he thinking of a great counterattack with 1000 guys,against an enemy force of more than 100000.If he was going to get more guys for the attack,then what was these 1000 doing in ananthapuram.About 10 commanders could have planned an attack there without bringing in the troops too.

    Also why bring in all these commanders to one spot.Naturally there was no leadership at other points and positions were overrun and these guys were all encircled.

    Theepan did not have the capability to plan a counter attack on his own,or at the least go and talk to a few commanders about any ideas he may have.he was essentially a middle level commander and had to work with someone like mahattaya,balraj or karuna to deliver the goods.Suddenly he found himself running the show by himself after balraj died and it was just too much for him.Balraj’s death was a disaster for the LTTE,as he was definitely in the same standard as someone like fonseka,a top level commander.Prabha,lost all his top commanders mahattaya,karuna and balraj one by one and was only left with Theepan,who was like a one man band doing everything.Earlier he was looking into muhamalai and kilinochi at the same time shuttling back and forth and doing a wonderful job,but coudn’t at the same time handle pooneryn and paranthan.

    It begs belief for me that they were even thinking of a counterattack with only a knight and bishop on the board,against a queen,2 knights,2 bishops and a castle.

  43. TropicalStorm says:

    Hi
    Due to some computer glitch your comment got deleted and I am unable to restore it. If you dont mind could you please re-post it?

    I am sorry for the trouble

    DBSJ

  44. Kalu Albert says:

    Evidently Maruvil Aru sluice gate was shut on an earlier occssion by the Tamil operators to demand a wage rise ,The authorities acceded to their demands after the Sinhala villagers, who were starved of water, put pressure.

    LTTE cadres, in the area followed suit ,thinking they can use the same tactic.

    Prabkaran didn’t know about it until the Govt exploited this opportunity to go after the Tigers.

    Apparently VP was so pissed off that he turned on Pottu Amman.

    May be it is the reasonthat there was no sign of Pottu, when even lesser cadres were identified after the final battle.

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