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 Post subject: Govt. says eight aircraft destroyed
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:52 pm 
Govt. says eight aircraft destroyed
A’pura attack not a defeat for military, no one will resign - PM

The main Opposition UNP claimed in Parliament on Wednesday that 18 aircraft had been destroyed and the total loss estimated at US $ 439 million.

By Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera
@ DM / Thursday, October 25, 2007


Amidst conflicting information about the destruction caused to the Anuradhapura air base, the Government yesterday told Parliament that only eight aircraft were destroyed in the LTTE attack and one craft badly damaged.

Making a special statement to the House, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said that the aircraft destroyed were an MI 24, a Beechcraft, three BT6 aircraft, one K8 aircraft, one MI 17 aircraft and a Bell 212 aircraft.

On Monday the Government said only three aircraft were destroyed, but the main Opposition UNP claimed in Parliament on Wednesday that 18 aircraft had been destroyed and the total loss estimated at US $ 439 million.

Mr. Wickramanayake said that one MI 24 air craft had been badly damaged. The Prime Minister said that this was the reality.

“We are sure that our military officials will learn a lesson from this attack which occurred on Monday, and make future plans in the fight against terrorism. We always learn through experience,” he said.

However, Mr. Wickremanayake said this attack was not a defeat inflicted on the security forces at all.

He said that the Government forces gained a series of military victories in the recent past including the liberation of the East.

“Terrorism cannot be defeated merely by demanding the resignation of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Air Force Chief Roshan Gunatilake from their office. We have to deviate from petty political goals in this exercise,” he said.

He said the situation in Anuradhapura had been brought to normalcy.

He also said they were all indebted to the security forces engaged in a struggle, at the cost of their lives, to protect the nation from terrorism.


Did he stumble on Tigers?

The discovery of a decapitated body in Anuradhapura has been linked with the attack on the air base. The victim was identified as Hanwellage Daniel (53) of Kanampiritiya.

By Athula Bandara – A’pura cor.
@DM / Thursday, October 25, 2007


The discovery of a decapitated body in Anuradhapura has been linked with the attack on the air base earlier this week with police suspecting it may be that of a man killed by the LTTE cadres who would have accosted the man on their way to the air base.

Mihintale police who conducted inquiries to identify the headless body which was lying by the roadside along the Mihintale-Anuradhapura road on Monday, recovered the head from a shrub jungle in Asokapura yesterday. The victim was identified as Hanwellage Daniel (53) of Kanampiritiya.

IGP Victor Perera who visited the area in the aftermath of the LTTE attack on the Anuradhapura Air Force base, had ordered the police to initiate inquiries to recover the missing head.

Police said they suspect Tiger cadres who carried out the ground attack would have killed the victim to prevent him from providing information to the authorities.



The last words of the pilot

Investigators will have to find out whether the gun was fired by a member of the security forces who had mistaken the helicopter for an LTTE aircraft, or by LTTE cadres who had infiltrated the base.

@DM / Wednesday, October 24, 2007

“Take this chain and give it to my wife, because I can’t be sure if I will return alive,” were the last words of the Air Force pilot who flew the ill fated Bell 212 helicopter which crashed while pursuing the LTTE aircraft involved in the attack on the Anuradhapura airbase on Monday.

The pilot, Squadron Leader Amila Mohotty, had handed the chain to a friend before taking off to give chase to the two LTTE light aircraft, accompanied by another helicopter, only to face fire from anti aircraft guns on the ground which hit his helicopter and brought it down in Mihintale, some 12km from the airbase, killing all four Air Force personnel on board, according to his grieving colleagues.

The Bell 212 helicopter was shot down by an anti aircraft gun within the perimeter of the airbase and investigators will have to find out whether the gun was fired by a member of the security forces who had mistaken the helicopter for an LTTE aircraft, or by LTTE cadres who had infiltrated the base.

Air Force colleagues of the pilot of the ill fated helicopter, who did not wish to be identified, also claim that the authorities in Colombo had asked the Anuradhapura airbase to fire at any aircraft in the sky as none of the government owned planes were in the Anuradhapura air space at the time.

The miscommunication between Colombo and Anuradhapura could have led to the security forces shooting down the Bell 212 in the dark, sources said.(031)


Bodies of LTTErs displayed in A’pura

@DM / Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Agence France- Presse reports yesterday alleged that, local residents said Sri Lankan authorities had stripped the bodies of Tamil Tiger guerrillas killed in an attack on a key military air base and put them on public display.

Two farm tractors pulled trailers loaded with the corpses and mutilated body parts to the Anuradhapura hospital mortuary, 210 kilometres (130 miles) north of the capital Colombo, local journalists and residents said.

“The tractors stopped outside the hospital where there was a large gathering of people,” one journalist said. “People took pictures while others were even filming.” Police and military chiefs in the area denied that the display had been officially sanctioned, saying an investigation would be launched into the incident.

Earlier, the defence ministry posted photographs on its website of the dead Tigers dressed in camouflage uniforms, similar to those worn by the military, on the tarmac at the base.

The rebels and the security forces usually exchange their war dead through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Police said they had not received a request for the return of the bodies.

The Red Cross here said they had not received a formal complaint. (AFP)



Black Tigers were no match for the powerful Special Forces

Led by a Special Forces Major from the 2nd Special Forces Brigade, the unit was knowledgeable of the Base inside-out, having previously trained in airborne operations from the base. The SF team was a highly capable fighting formation. Within minutes of being airborne, the unit started battle preparations. Arriving in two waves, the unit went into immediate action. They were capable of locating and completely annihilating the Black Tiger unit within a matter of few hours. Suicide cadres or not, the Black Tigers were no match for the powerful Special Forces.

@DW

The Tigers were believed to have entered the premises through the northern edge of the base dressed in Air Force combat uniforms using the cover provided by a nearby jungle patch near the Nuwara Wewa.

Initially the Tiger team had captured three guard points and one anti-aircraft gun located near the runway. The LTTE cadres had reportedly used the gun to attack the hangers, in which the air craft and training planes were parked.

The Tigers also reportedly destroyed an anti-aircraft gun position located near the air craft hangers. Sources claimed the Tigers damaged and intercepted some of the air craft parked in the hangers, to facilitate the get away of the two rebel air craft.

The 20 member team had entered the base by cutting a portion of the wire fence. Military Intelligence (SLA) piecing together the attack believe at least a small recce team had done primary intelligence -gathering many days prior to the attack. They were well aware of the entry/exit points of the base, the location of the UAV and Beech King hangars and also the absence of the Air Force Regimental Special Forces at the base.

The Black Tiger unit, considered the most lethal force in the LTTE next to the Black Sea Tigers, had little problem in countering SLAF units that challenged them. In fact, SLAF units were unable to trace the Black Tigers and launch effective counter attacks. Although the group was a potential 'write off' for the LTTE considering they were a suicide unit, the Tigers were preparing for a total takeover of the base. After destroying the aircraft in the base the Black Tigers turned to hoisting Tamil Ealam Flags inside the SLAF base. However, the fortunes of the Tiger unit soon began to change.

A 40-man elite team of Special Forces was on their way from Vavuniya. The unit, a part of a much larger Special Forces operation ahead of the Vavuniya FDL, was successfully engaging the LTTE's other elite units, including the Charles Anthony Regiment when Military Planners withdrew them from their original task. Led by a Special Forces Major from the 2nd Special Forces Brigade, the unit was knowledgeable of the Base inside-out, having previously trained in airborne operations from the base. The SF team was a highly capable fighting formation. Within minutes of being airborne, the unit started battle preparations. Arriving in two waves, the unit went into immediate action. They were capable of locating and completely annihilating the Black Tiger unit within a matter of few hours. Suicide cadres or not, the Black Tigers were no match for the powerful Special Forces. Their 'handiwork', captured in gruesome images, are available on defence.lk and is perhaps the only success story in this whole debacle.


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 Post subject: Anuradhapura Air Base attack: The full story
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:01 pm 
Anuradhapura Air Base attack: The full story

Flight Lt. Ruwan Kumara Wijeratne was under the air control tower and was attempting to reach for a gun in order to stop the enemy movement when he was hit on his stomach by the shooting and fell. It was later revealed that he had died due to heavy bleeding.

Special Forces contingent led by Major Chandimal Peiris and Captain Kosala Munasinghe took over the task and around 11 am, they able to completely take control of the base after killing the 21 LTTE cadres.


Friday, October 26, 2007
@ DM / By Sunil Jayasiri


The Anuradhapura Base acts as one of the main bases in forward operations for military activities in the North. This base is located about four kilometers away from the Sacred City of Anuradhapura on the banks of the scenic ‘Nuwarawewa’. In an environment of peace, the airfield and associated infrastructure at SLAF Anuradhapura plays a significant role in facilitating the passage of air traffic in this region. Considered as one of most protected air bases, it housed the SLAF’s main pilot training school, 9th Attack Helicopter Squadron, 6th Helicopter Squadron, 1st Flying Training Wing, 7th Helicopter Squadron, 11th Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Flight etc.

The air base was also providing intelligence support to the SLAF and the Navy through the sophisticated Beechcraft plane fitted with equipment for aerial photography and the collection of electronic and technical intelligence and unmanned drones. Most of the time, instructors from Pakistan, China and Israel were periodically visiting the base to carry out training of newcomers.

On the night of the Gajaba super cross - 2007 that was held the previous night at the Saliyapura Super cross track, in Anuradhapura a function was held with the participation of most of the area senior military officers and other ranks as well as competitors with their relatives and friends at the Saliya Pura Army Camp, which is located near the Anuradhapura SLAF base.

Meanwhile most of the staffers at the base were reportedly watching a popular music competition on TV, while others were reportedly listening to the programme. While these distractions were taking place, a team sent by LTTE’s Spy Chief Pottu Amman waited in a coconut estate, adjoining the base until the green light came from their leadership in Kilinochchi and also till the activities in the base had quieted down.

The team was equipped with modified T-56 automatic guns, hand grenades, LAWs (Light Antitank Weapon), Multi-Purpose Machine-Gun (MPMG), Lightweight Machine Guns (LMG), seven satellite phones, knifes etc.

The LTTE squad, comprising mostly of the cadres from east and three females entered from the northern edge of the base after crossing the Anuradhapura-Nelunkulam road.

Around, 2.30 am the Tigers cut off the first steel-net that goes around the entire outer perimeter of the base. A few feet away from this protective net, within the base too there is a similar kind of protective steel net going around it parallel to the first net. However in between these two nets is a smaller electrically charged net. The electrified net however apparently was at this time not connected to the electricity supply and this allowed the Tiger team to easily enter through the fence lines. The questions that are now important are how this lapse occurred and who was responsible? Was it purposely done or was it an oversight?

Once the team infiltrated on the premises, they had removed the sound mines that lay on the ground between the runway and the fences. The sound mines are laid vertically towards the closest bunker. On either side of the path, mines had been laid with explosives that could badly wound or kill anyone who stepped on them.

However the LTTE team had systematically removed the sound mines and reached a mound just behind the first row of the bunker lines, in which air force personnel had been deployed.

Once the Black Tiger team took cover behind the mound, a group of them went in front of the corner bunker by rolling quietly towards the runaway, while another group moved in between the corner and second bunkers. Three of the cadre remained behind the mound in order to prevent the airmen, if they tried to attack the moving cadres in front. However, it is surprising that no air force personnel in these bunkers noticed the moving LTTE cadres, which the investigators now believe was due to the fact that they were most probably asleep.

Accordingly, the first team comprising 14 cadres tasked to neutralize the bunkers reached to the Helicopter Hangar area, while the others waited to enter into fixed wing hangars and destroy them.

As the first team reached the runway, the second team also commenced moving towards the ‘V area’ in the air base where two Mi-24 gunship and troops carrier Mi-17 helicopters were parked. Once the two teams reached the runaway, the three cadres, who were behind the mound opened fire at the bunker lines killing those who were there and then, joined the other team.

The time was almost 3.20 am. The entire air base by now knew that some attack was taking place due to the sound of automatic rifle fire exchange and the entire base was put on red alert. With firing started the LTTE neutralized the first line of the bunkers that were there to protect the hangers of the fixed wing air craft and the helicopters, which were located near the air force base’s air control tower.

Near the tower there was a 12.7 Anti-Air Craft gun along with a gunner. After a few minutes of heavy exchange of fire, the intruders took control of that gun and also neutralize communication, radar and an anti-aircraft gun position of the base.

But before they did this the Tigers had shot at several airmen including Officer Command Air defence System at the Base Flight Lt. Ruwan Kumara Wijeratne. He was just under the air control tower and was attempting to reach for a gun in order to stop the enemy movement when he was hit on his stomach by the shooting and fell. It was later revealed that he had died due to heavy bleeding. In the meanwhile, the radar system at Vavuniya and Bandaranaike International Air Port in Katunayake, captured movements of two unidentified flying objects, which were moving towards Vavuniya. After confirming that it was the Tigers air craft, electricity had been shutdown in Colombo, Vavuniya and Anuradhapura. It was around 4.10 am, the two air craft flew towards Anuradhapura over Vavuniya. It is however unlikely that the anti aircraft guns were activated through Vavuniya to Anuradhapura, and the two air craft safely reached the air base and dropped at least three bombs. One bomb fell near the helicopter hangar, but no damage was done to the air craft, the second fell near the Saliyapura army Camp, but no damage was done, while the third fell on to a farm with buffalos just outside the air force base. Later it was revealed that 12 of buffalos were killed due to the bombing.

In Colombo, Air Force Commander Roshan Goonetilake and Director Operations Air Commodore Harsha Abeywikrame were already in the Operation room at the Air Force Headquarters in Colombo. With the detection of the two LTTE air craft, the Vavuniya Helicopter Squadron was ordered to track down the two Tiger air craft.

Squadron Leader Amila Mohotti and pilot officer A.B.M de Silva, along with two gunners, took off in a Bell 212 from the Vavuniya base. Their main task to bring down the two enemy craft as soon as possible.

The Bell 212 was on its way towards the Anuradhapura area as the two enemy craft were already over the Anuradhapura sky. At this time, instructions had been given to all the ground troops in Vavuniya and Anuradhapura to bring down the LTTE air craft. But around 4.30 am, the Bell helicopter had crashed at Doramadalawa area some 15 km from Anuradhapura and within a few minutes exploded.

It is reliably learnt that the helicopter was hit by ground troops as they appeared to have mistakenly identified it as one of enemy air craft. It is also learnt that once the helicopter was hit by a ground bullet, it had informed the Vavuniya base. The matter is now under investigation.

By then the two Tiger air craft passing over Vavuniya disappeared from the radar monitor and returned to its jungle hideout in Kilinochchci, completing yet another mission.

Meanwhile on ground, with the capture of the Anti-Air Craft gun, the LTTE fired towards the hangars of the fixed wing aircraft and also at the helicopters, while they also continued firing at air force personnel around the area.

Six LTTE cadres had captured two bunkers and fired at the troops, while, the others destroyed the aircrafts one by one. During this battle, the Tigers had also blown up SLAF’s second main fire service station inside the base.

While the heavy confrontation continued, Anuradhapura SLAF Base Commander Group Captain Priyantha Gunasinghe informed the Vavuniya Special Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Upali Edirisinghe to immediately dispatch a team to bring the situation under control. In the meantime, soldiers of the nearby Gajaba Regiment also came to the assistance. By this time a few of the LTTE cadres had also been killed and many were injured, but fighting continued.

The Tigers had also succeeded in blowing up the Beechcraft, and few other helicopters. Unable to control the situation, around 7 am, a Special Forces contingent led by Major Chandimal Peiris and Captain Kosala Munasinghe took over the task and around 11 am, they able to completely take control of the base after killing the 21 LTTE cadres. Later it was found that six of the cadres had blown up themselves.

It is reported that the LTTE cadres had constant contact with Kilinochchi Headquarters through satellite phones till around 10.30 am. The security forces later found two Tamil Eelam flags.

During the attack 13 air force personnel, including four officers and one soldier were killed and eight air craft were completely destroyed- Two Mi-24 helicopter gunship (9th Attack Helicopter Squadron), a Mi-27 transport helicopter (6th Helicopter Squadron), K-8 and PT6 trainer jets (1st Flying Training Wing), Cessna 150 aircraft (1st Flying Training Wing), a Beechcraft 200 HISAR, a Bell 212 fitted with guns (7th Helicopter Squadron) and at least two UAVs (11th UAV Flight) were completely destroyed.. However another ten air crafts, including three of PT-6 Trainer air craft, K-8 advanced Jet trainer and Cessna training air craft were also damaged.

A few hours after the attack, the LTTE claiming the responsibility released the personal particulars of the 21-Black Tiger team. Two Lieutenant-Colonels, six Majors, 12 Captains and one Lieutenant ranked Black Tiger members took part in the operation. A Lieutenant-Colonel who led an attack team was from Trincomalee, two of the members, a Major and a Captain, were from Batticaloa, one from Mullathivu, one from Mannar, three from Kilinochchi and eleven members from Jaffna .Three Captains were women.

This operation appeared to have been launched by the LTTE in retaliation of the recent operations of the Sri Lankan Navy against the transport ships of the LTTE and the air strikes of the SLAF over LTTE positions in the Northern Province.

After hearing the news, President Rajapaksa immediately summoned the security council, which was attended by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the Air Force Commander, Chief of Defence Staff Donald Perera, IGP Victor Perera and several defence ministry officials. Army Commander Sarath Fonseka and Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda were not in the country. It is learnt that the President had been critical of the Air Force Chief and his men, and directed the Defence Secretary to visit the area immediately.

On the same evening, Secretary Gotabaya toured the base along with the Police Chief and the Air Force Commander. After seeing the devastating scene at the base, the Secretary immediately ordered the Army to take charge of all Air Force bases in the countryHowever later after discussion with the Army Commander over the phone, the President appointed GOC II Division at Panagaoda Major General Sanath Karunaratne as the Overall Operational Commander in Anuradhapura.

On the same day, the two Air Force teams headed by Air Force Chief of Staff Air Vice Marshal M. Premachandra commenced their investigations into the attack and Bell 212 crash.

Loopholes

It is revealed that the base had no contingency plan to meet such an emergency situation, as the base authorities had not carried out any rehearsal or mission oriented training in order to protect the camp. The air force personnel, who were providing security at that time were never given any military training to meet such an emergency. Accordingly, there should be well-trained teams deployed in the camp around the clock in order to protect such a base.

The other important issue was that, the base didn’t have any outer fences to defend localities of the base. The defended localities include lands around the base which should be free of civilian movement.

It is also revealed that, in the Anuradhapura area, the intelligence gathering was in a poor stage as there was no proper leadership to strengthen the military or police intelligence in the area.

Tigers are weak, not their terrorism

On the next day morning, Government Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukkwella said that ‘the LTTE is now desperate due to the liberation of the East and the pressure building up in the North that they resort to uplifting their image by this type of attack.’


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 Post subject: Brave defenders' remains taken to native places
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 7:34 am 
Brave defenders' remains taken to native places

Wing Commander Amila Mohotti, Squadron Leader Ruwan Wijeratne, Flight Lieutenant A.B.M.Silva, Flying Officer S.R.Siyambalapitiya, Warrant Officer KPS Dayaratne, Corporal M.P.W. Deegalla, Corporal W.M.Warnakulasuriya, Corporal .M.W.Dissanayake, Corporal E.P.N. Dayaratne, Corporal Preethikumara, Lance Corporal H.E.N.D.Fernando, Lance Corporal Gunawardane of the Air Force and Lance Corporal R.J.S. Ratnayake of Gajaba Regiment of the Army paid the supreme sacrifice during the incident.

Mortal remains of fourteen valiant members of the Air Force & Army who laid their precious lives for the defence of Anuradhapura Air Force Base were released to their next of kin Tuesday (23) for final rites and subsequent military funerals.

Consequent upon post-mortems and judicial procedures that took place at Anuradhapura Teaching hospital, senior officers of the Air Force and Army took over the remains to be handed over to their spouses. Most of those funerals are expected to take place tomorrow (24) at respective native places with full military honors.

Wing Commander Amila Mohotti, Squadron Leader Ruwan Wijeratne, Flight Lieutenant A.B.M.Silva, Flying Officer S.R.Siyambalapitiya, Warrant Officer KPS Dayaratne, Corporal M.P.W. Deegalla, Corporal W.M.Warnakulasuriya, Corporal .M.W.Dissanayake, Corporal E.P.N. Dayaratne, Corporal Preethikumara, Lance Corporal H.E.N.D.Fernando, Lance Corporal Gunawardane of the Air Force and Lance Corporal R.J.S. Ratnayake of Gajaba Regiment of the Army paid the supreme sacrifice during the incident. Four of them died in a helicopter crash when it was rushing to help fighting troops at the base.

One more Airman of the Air Force, Sergeant Asvedduma breathed his last late monday (22) night while being treated at Anuradhapura hospital after he was admitted with severe injuries, minutes after the attack. Accordingly, fourteen brave men of the Armed Forces perished as a result of the incident.

A total of twenty two members of the Armed Forces are still receiving treatment in hospitals.

Meanwhile, mutilated dead bodies of all twenty Tiger terrorists who were killed by elite Army troops of the Special Forces during the Air Force Base attack have now been brought to the Anuradhapura hospital for post mortem and other onward arrangements.


Courtesy : Army.lk


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 Post subject: Lanka lost 26 aircraft in LTTE's air attack in Anuradhapura
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:40 pm 
Lanka lost 26 aircraft in LTTE's air attack in Anuradhapura

7 Nov 2007 / Copyright © 2007 Times Internet Limited

COLOMBO: Ten Sri Lankan aircraft were destroyed and 16 others damaged in last month's deadly LTTE attack on the Anuradhapura air base in the island nation's embattled north, according to the police.

In its report submitted to the Magistrate Court on Monday, Anuradhapura Police headquarters informed that the attack on the airbase led to the destruction of 10 aircraft besides damaging 16 others.

Police also said that buildings and other property of the airbase were also damaged, the details of which will be submitted after a full probe.

Anuradhapura Magistrate Wasantha Jinadasa, on the request of police, had ordered the Commanding Officer of Anuradhapura airbase to produce an estimate of damages and a report on the weapons used by the Air Force for retaliation.

The Magistrate also ordered diffusion of 164 hand grenades found from the possession of the suicide Tamil Tiger cadres.



A’pura attack : Top govt. official to be quizzed

Saturday, November 10, 2007
@ DM


The CID is to question a coordinating officer of a government VIP in connection with the recent LTTE attack on the Anuradhapura air base, over his alleged links with a group which sent vehicles to the Wanni, the Daily Mirror learns.

A high ranking police officer said a special CID team which is probing the attack had revealed that a Coordinating Secretary of a government VIP had allegedly given the contract to a suspect with LTTE connections to supply soil for the Anuradhapura Air Force airstrip expansion project.

The official also said the Coordinating Secretary was also alleged to be involved with a group which stole luxury vehicles from Colombo and its suburbs and sold them to customers in the Wanni.

Earlier a top government Parliamentarian recently revealed that a probe was underway to ascertain whether a person who provided soil for the reconstruction of the Anuradhapura Air base runway under the ‘Maga Neguma’ project was linked to the attack.

It is also claimed that a Black Tiger who had identified himself as a Karuna loyalist had been recruited as a driver for a lorry transporting soil for the Anuradhapura air base runway development project.

While three CID teams and two teams from the Air Force are investigating the attack on the air base, the President has appointed a high-level defence team headed by Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda to probe the matter.

The high-profile defence team is expected to hand over its final report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa next week.



Attack on Lankan air base was Prabhakaran's brainchild

"Since the Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was portraying himself as the modern day Duttugamunu, Prabhakaran decided to deal a telling blow to him in the name of Elalan, and thus make a deep impact on the Sinhala psyche," Yogi explained.

@PK Balachandran, Hindustan Times
Colombo, November 09, 2007


Attack on Lankan air base was Prabhakaran's brainchildThe devastating ground not allowed air attack on the Sri Lankan Air Force's base at Anuradhapura in North Central Sri Lanka on October 22, was LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran's brainchild and showed his penchant for meticulous planning, high secrecy, hard training and meticulous execution, a top LTTE official has said.

"The Leader was very keen that the operation should not fail. And towards this end, the planning and training for the attack and its execution were kept a top secret. Very few people even at the top most level knew about it. A lot of work had gone into it from the stage of planning to execution," said S Yogaratnam Yogi, head of the LTTE's
History Division in a panel discussion on Tamil National Television (TNT), a station run by the LTTE, on October 28.

"The Leader went through the customary rituals before the Black Tigers squad set out on its mission, and Lt Col.Ilango assured him that it would not fail," Yogi recalled in the programme which could be seen in the Tamil language website www.pathivu.com.

In the pre-dawn attack, mounted by 21 to 27 Black Tiger suicide cadres and a couple of planes of the fledgling rebel air force, 24 out of the 27 Sri Lankan military aircraft were either destroyed or damaged, causing a loss of $30 to 40 million, according to media reports. The Tigers had cleverly chosen a time when the Sri Lankan defenders were distracted by high voltage events like a motor race and a popular TV musical competition.

Why Anuradhapura?

Participating in the same programme, the LTTE's military spokesman, Rasaiah Ilanthirayan alias Marshall, said that the Anuradhpura air base was chosen out of many other Sri Lankan military installations because of its centrality in Sri Lanka's military structure in the North. The Anuradhapura base was a strategic communications, logistics and command centre, he pointed out. It was a training, medical and repatriation centre, and a springboard for campaigns in the Wanni and the northern parts of the Eastern province. It was from here that the SLAF was observing the goings-on in the LTTE-controlled areas of the Wanni and the deep sea through aerial surveillance by manned and unmanned aircraft, he explained.

Yogi revealed a historical angle to the choice. In ancient times, Anuradhapura had been the prime seat of Sinhala power. But because of periodical attacks by the Tamil-speaking Chola and Pandyan kings from South India, the Sinhala kings had to vacate Anuradhapura and repair to Polonnaruwa further to the south, which then became the centre of
Sinhala power, religion and culture. The LTTE's attack on Anuradhapura was a bid to re-create the past.

Militarily speaking, the attack had showed that an important base could be disabled in 20 minutes and that the LTTE's air force could fly in and out without being challenged, Ilanthirayan said. The attack had also inflicted an enormous financial and material loss which would take time to be made good, he added.

He denied the contention that the air attack was only 'cosmetic' as it had taken place 45 minutes after the land operation had begun and the airbase had been disabled. Ilanthirayan argued that the ground not allowed air action, which had taken place for the first time in the history of the LTTE, was a demonstration that the LTTE was progressing in its bid to move away from being a guerilla outfit to being a conventional armed force in which the land, sea and air forces could work in
coordination.

Ilanthirayan further said that the LTTE's attacks in Tissamaharama in the deep south and Anuradhapura in the North, in quick succession, showed that the organization could strike anywhere in Sri Lanka and that no place was now safe. "These attacks are part of a unified plan and should not be seen in isolation," he said indicating that the LTTE was working to a grand design and not haphazardly.

Why name it Elalan?

There was a historical basis for the attack being code named "Elalan" (or "Elara" ), Yogi said. Elalan was a famous Tamil king of Jaffna who was defeated and killed by the Sinhala king Duttugamunu. The latter had unified Sri Lanka under Sinhala rule by defeating Elalan, besides several Sinhala kings in other parts of the island.

"Since the Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was portraying himself as the modern day Duttugamunu, Prabhakaran decided to deal a telling blow to him in the name of Elalan, and thus make a deep impact on the Sinhala psyche," Yogi explained. Incidentally, both Rajapaksa and Duttugamunu are from the Ruhunu area in South Sri Lanka.

Prabhakaran had been itching to get even with the Sri Lankan state after the latter inflicted defeats on him in the Eastern province over the past year. He wanted to avenge the hardships, displacement and other damages inflicted on the Tamil people during the Sri Lankan military operations there, Yogi said.

Political fallout

The successful attack on Anuradhapura had "sharpened" the Tamils' faith in Prabhakaran, and it was possible that the international community would also review its attitude to the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government, Yogi said.

"Those countries which supply arms to Sri Lanka may begin to wonder if it is useful to do so. The US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's recent remark that all terrorists cannot be put in the same category and that one would have to differentiate between them on the basis of their reasons for existence indicates the possibility of a change in the American attitude. And she had gone to the extent of mentioning the LTTE," Yogi said.

"The attack on Anuradhpura has upset the Sri Lankan government's time schedule. It was thinking that it will defeat us soon and then impose a political solution on the Tamils. The time table for that now lies shattered," Yogi added.

© Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times


Police knew of A’pura attack
TIPSTER HAD TO CALL TWICE - NO FOLLOW UP

@ By Ranga Jayasuriya / LAKBIMAnEWS

Police was tipped off of the presence of the Black Tigers hours before the pre dawn attack on the Anuradhapura Air Force Base, but failed to track down the attackers, LAKBIMAnEWS learnt.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, North Central, Jayantha Jayasinghe had received a telephone call at 8 pm on Sunday night (21) from an alert villager who alerted him of the presence of an unidentified group in the vicinity of Nuwara Wewa.

In the absence of timely reaction by the police, the caller rang him for the second time, thirty minutes later and asked for an urgent dispatch of a police team to the area.

The DIG had dispatched a team of police officers, but they could not find any suspicious elements in the area. Hours later, a 21 member Black Tiger Squad raided the Anuradhapura Air Force Base, destroying a fleet of air craft. Earlier on August 20, a caller has alerted the Police Emergency Number (119) of the presence of a team of men clad in fatigues similar to those worn by Air Force personnel. However, no follow up action had not been taken.

According to some information, the Black Tiger attackers were believed to have taken refuge in an abandoned house in an estate of a senior military official located in close proximity to the airbase. The estate and the abandoned house had not been adequately guarded despite its close proximity to the camp.Meanwhile, glaring lapses of the security of the Air Base have been highlighted by certain military sources. The outer perimeter of the camp, which was a vital base of forward operations of the security forces, had not been protected. No specialized troops had been assigned to secure vital air assets of the camp in contravention of the standard practice adopted since a previous Black Tiger attack on the Katunayake Air Force Base, and the adjacent international air Port. It is also learnt that within the first thirty minutes of the attack, the Tigers had neutralized the air defence system in the camp, by capturing one of the main anti air craft guns there while preventing the parked helicopters from executing emergency take off.


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 Post subject: The enemy within
 Post Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:18 pm 
The enemy within
SLAF and the CID are blaming the attack on Google Earth!

Coordinating Director of the Maga Neguma Project, Kithsiri Abeygunawardena, who also coordinates the work of the Nation Building Ministry, was known to A.N. Thananayagam of ANT Transport fame, who transported many goods to the Wanni and had the LTTE nod for it. Thananayagam introduced Pradeepan, a resident of Batticaloa, who had links with the LTTE, to Abeygunawardena, who admitted accepting Rs 1 million from Pratheepan and issued a letter regarding the sub contract. Abeygunawardena and Thananayagam were in the habit of visiting night clubs and, in the course of time, one Malki from the Athurugiriya Millennium City had befriended the former.

@ The Nation /18 November 2007

In the immediate aftermath of the Anuradhapura air base disaster, it was revealed that the contractors, who undertook the transport of soil, for the extension of the runway, were negligent in their choice of sub contractors, who had a hand in providing vital information to the Tigers.

Both the SLAF and the CID are blaming the attack on Google Earth, as a convenient way to absolve the contractors who passed the project onto sub contractors in a negligent manner, without sufficient screening of the personnel.

The contract was given to the Maga Neguma Project coming under the Ministry of Highways and Road Development. (Under the Rs 1.8 billion Maga Neguma Project, some 170 small projects, involving carpeting and tarring of roads in the rural areas, have been undertaken).

Some 164 workers and 94 vehicles were deployed by the Coordinating Secretary of the Road Development Ministry, for the work on the runway.

Last week, it was speculated that a Coordinating Secretary of the Road Development Ministry might be arrested. Sleuths from the CID and the PSD interrogated the Coordinating Director of the Maga Neguma Project, Kithsiri Abeygunawardena, who also coordinates the work of the Nation Building Ministry, coming under President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It was to him that the project to extend the runway of Anuradhapura air base was given.

Abeygunawardena was known to A.N. Thananayagam of ANT Transport fame, who transported many goods to the Wanni and had the LTTE nod for it.

Thananayagam introduced Pradeepan, a resident of Batticaloa, who had links with the LTTE, to Abeygunawardena, who admitted accepting Rs 1 million from Pratheepan and issued a letter regarding the sub contract.
Abeygunawardena and Thananayagam were in the habit of visiting night clubs and, in the course of time, one Malki from the Athurugiriya Millennium City had befriended the former.

It is also learnt that a suspected LTTE cadre, under the guise of a Karuna loyalist, was working under Abeygunawardena as his driver. His name is Leslie Alexander Shakespeare and he used to drive Abeygunawardena’s double cab bearing No. 253-9297.

The PSD and the Army Intelligence began to suspect him after he refused to allow his cab to be searched during at least three visits to Vavuniya. At a road block where he refused to be checked, he said he was Kithsiri Abeygunawardena.

Investigations have also revealed that three vehicles that should have come under the Road Development Authority (RDA), when the agency changed names, went missing. Two of the vehicles bearing numbers 16-580, a Mazda 323, was despatched to the uncleared areas having sold it for Rs 150,000 and 18-1965, a Nissany Sunny, was also despatched to the LTTE areas. An Izuzu Double Cab, No. 54-8413, which was also missing, would be taken into custody shortly.

Investigators have also found that of a list of 11 people who were employed at the RDA, one Keerthi Bandara, a subordinate of underworld leader Ice Manju, who is believed to have killed Col. Meedin, was part of Abeygunawardena’s security detail. Bandara, who is in remand custody, continues to draw a salary of more than Rs. 20,000.

Abeygunawardena, who also was involved in the Nation Building Ministry, had links with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, minister in charge of the subject.

President Ranasinghe Premadasa was assassinated by Babu, who had befriended the Head of State and cultivated a close relationship with him.
President Rajapaksa, whose public relations are excellent, could also fall prey to the LTTE, which scrutinizes the traits of those they target.


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