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 Post subject: Troops on the move again
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:44 am 
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Troops on the move again
Infantrymen at boundaries of the No Fire Zone

The 58 Division under the command of Brigadier Shavendra Silva has already completed its mission of capturing the land stretch between Puthukudiyiruppu and the No Fire Zone as of April 9, with the 10 Sri Lanka Light Infantry battalion under command of its second in command Major Shantha Bandara capturing the last terrain that leads to the Ampalavanpokkanai area in the No Fire Zone after crossing the Nanthikadal lagoon.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

After the two day pause declared on the eve of the Sinhala Tamil New Year, troops are on the move again. Forces made fresh advances into the small areas still held by Tamil Tigers in Pudukudiyirippu killing nine militants in fierce clashes, the defence ministry said on Saturday. LTTE continued mounting heavy artillery and mortar attacks from the no-fire zone on Friday at the troops advancing towards general area Vellamullivaikkal, it claimed.

58 Division, which has already reached the boundaries of the No Fire Zone from the western edge in Ampalavanpokkanai, continued their limited operations outside the No Fire Zone. The 53 Division, continued their march along the A-35 road capturing the last by-road connecting to the A-35 road from the No Fire Zone. The Air Mobile Brigade under the command of Colonel Thilak Hangilipola commanded the 5 Gemunu Watch and 1 Gemunu Watch battalions to capture massive earth bund created by the LTTE on April 12.

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"At least eight LTTE cadres were killed and nine others reported injured during the initial confrontations," the military said citing intercepted LTTE communication. "The Tigers were also reported arguing with rear assault groups for delaying of reinforcements to stall the advancing Army infantrymen," the defence ministry said.

At Kokkuthuduwai in Mullaittivu, troops last evening recovered a rebel's body, a motor bike and 50 rounds of Multi Purpose Machine Gun (MPMG) ammunitions.

Meanwhile, troops in Puthumathalan and Kariyalwal recovered eight claymore mines, one Rocket Propeller Grenade, two T-56 weapons, 30 hand grenades, one barrel filled with TNT high explosives. The also took into their possession one mobile phone, three cyanide capsules, six identification dog tags, one passport and one driving license in similar searches on Friday.

The Security Forces have given an assurance that they were not using artillery and mortar against the Tiger cadres directing fire at the Security Forces taking the cover of the Safe Zone.

Except for the 58 Division which has already finished its task of reaching the boundaries of the No Fire Zone, the 53 and 55 Divisions are yet to reach the Northern and Western boundaries of the No Fire Zone. Troops of the 53 Division, which managed to capture huge earth bund not allowed trench line East of Puthukudiyiruppu and in the Northern edge of the Nanthikadal lagoon, suffered considerable number of casualties as they have been given strict instructions not to use heavy weapons to neutralize LTTE artillery and mortars directed from the No Fire Zone.

The 53 Division, under the command of Major General Kamal Gunaratne, continued their march along the A-35 road capturing the last by-road connecting to the A-35 road from the No Fire Zone. The Air Mobile Brigade under the command of Colonel Thilak Hangilipola commanded the 5 Gemunu Watch and 1 Gemunu Watch battalions to capture massive earth bund created by the LTTE on April 12.

The LTTE has created a massive mine field in this terrain to stop the advancement of the troops into the No Fire Zone along the A-35 road as troops have recovered 1,400 AP mines in less than 200 meters stretch on the earth bund facing the advancing troops.

The 58 Division under the command of Brigadier Shavendra Silva has already completed its mission of capturing the land stretch between Puthukudiyiruppu and the No Fire Zone as of April 9, with the 10 Sri Lanka Light Infantry battalion under command of its second in command Major Shantha Bandara capturing the last terrain that leads to the Ampalavanpokkanai area in the No Fire Zone after crossing the Nanthikadal lagoon. The troops attached to the 10 SLLI completed their mission amid bad weather conditions and crossing the mud filled Nanthikadal lagoon. Company Commanders Captain Kumarasiri Liyanage, Captain Kumar Abeynanda and Captain Lasantha Illeperuma commanded their troops to achieve this task in a surprise move and establish their defences closer to the edges of the No Fire Zone with the capture of the Tiger earth bunds.

On April 11, a soldier who climbed a coconut tree to observe the ground with the aid of binoculars spotted two dinghies perched on the sea off Vettilaykerny. The army informed the navy, which in turn launched a search operation. Sailors observed three cadres, lying on two dinghies floating in the sea. As the sailors approached, a guerrilla exploded a grenade killing him and a colleague. Another cadre who was on the other boat surrendered and later confessed to his interrogators that six three- man- teams had been trained to infiltrate government controlled area. The surrendered cadre and the two deceased were members of one group and were told to proceed to Jaffna where they where expected to meet the other five teams. A satellite phone, cell phone, I com set, three army uniforms, food rations sufficient for a month and six grid maps of Jaffna, Chavakachcheri, Maduvil, Kilinochchi, Palampiddi and Iranamadu were recovered from the boat. They were apparently dispatched to carry out sabotage attacks in Jaffna and the Vanni.

LTTE supporters across the globe were engaging in massive demonstrations urging respective Governments to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan Government to stop the military thrust on the last pocket held by the LTTE along with the civilians. Massive demonstrations were held in London, Toronto and Oslo where LTTE networks are active. It was on April 12, the LTTE supporters in Oslo attacked the Sri Lanka Mission there and caused extensive damages to the Embassy building and its property. A gang of more than 20 stormed the Sri Lankan Embassy building and damaged the floor, computers and other equipment inside the Embassy. The Government blamed the Norwegian Government for not providing enough security for the Sri Lankan Mission in Oslo. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, expressed Sri Lankan Government's concern about the damages caused to the Sri Lankan Embassy property and the displeasure at the Norwegian Government's failure to provide enough security for the mission building according to the international conventions on diplomatic missions.

Apart from this the Sri Lankan Government has also reportedly expressed its concern about the facilitation of a telephone conversation by Norway between newly appointed LTTE political Chief Kumaran Pathmanathan and the UN officials. The Sri Lankan Government officially conveyed to the Norwegian Government that Norway can no longer play the role of facilitator under these circumstances ending a nearly decade-long facilitator role in Sri Lanka to solve the North East crisis.






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