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 Post subject: Dharmapuram and Ramanadanpuram captured
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:27 pm 
Dharmapuram and Ramanadanpuram captured
Task Force II in Muthiyankadu jungle find 19 LTTE bodies
53 Division to station in Mankulam area

Troops of the 55 Division advanced some 40 kilometres from Nagar Kovil defence line in the eastern edge of the Jaffna peninsula towards the South to capture Chundikulam. They passed Mamunai, Thalai Adi, Vatthirayan, and Vettilaikerni Sea Tiger bases along the Eastern coast of the Jaffna peninsula to reach Chundikulam in the southern edge of the peninsula.

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Saturday, 17 January 2009

Sri Lanka Army 57 Division declared Ramanadanpuram liberated from LTTE this afternoon. According to battlefield sources, the soldiers of the 571 and 572 brigades entered Ramanadapuram last night after several days of fighting and have started mop up operations. Ramanadapuram is the second largest defensive area other than Kilinochchi town in the district. The town is located about 6-10 km east of the A-9 road (Jaffna- Kandy) from Iranamadu.

Troops of the 58 division regained Dharmapuram on Thursday afternoon; one of the biggest townships in the Paranthan-Mullaitivu road and 15km east of the A-09 road. Troops confronting stiff LTTE resistance, inflicted heavy damages to the Tiger cadres. In a subsequent search operation, troops recovered six bodies of the LTTE.

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Soldiers of Army Task Force 2 advancing north from the A-34 road (Mankaulam- Mullaittivu) in the thick Muthiyankadu jungle, since this morning (Jan 17) have found 19 bodies of slain LTTE cadres along with 6 T-56 riffles, 2 light machine guns (LMG), 1 RPG launcher, 8 claymore mines and 4 grenades form the north of Muthiyankadu tank area. According to the battlefield sources, soldiers have been fighting fierce battles with the terrorists struggling to defend their last hideout. The infantrymen of 6 Vijayaba Infantry Regiment (6 VIR) led by Major Prabhath Kodithuwakku and 8 Gajaba Ragiment (8 GR) led by Major Chandana Wickramasinghe are spearheading the battle.

The Liberation Tigers Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is fast losing the areas they once occupied are withdrawing further interior towards Mullaitivu area. The Sri Lanka Army has been able to restrict the Tigers to a 30 X 20 kilometre land stretch in the north eastern area of the country.

On Wednesday the army captured the well-known LTTE runway in Iranamadu, which is considered the largest air strip belonging to the Tamil Tigers. The army also succeeded in capturing the last LTTE area - Chundikulam- in the Jaffna Peninsula. Military said the LTTE’s sixth airstrip captured by troops was 300 metres in length and 15 metres in width. “The main airstrip was located southeast of the Iranamadu Tank. It is also an extension of the existing road parallel to the Iranamadu Tank bund,” military added.

Infantrymen of 9 Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (SLSR) led by Lieutenant Colonel Janaka Ariyaratne were the first to enter the airstrip. The airstrip is built with a tarmac about a kilomtre long and 20m wide. The area was heavily guarded by the LTTE with a barbed wire fence built at a distance of 300m, around the air strip. The two armour plated hangars and several other huts were also found.

The first LTTE airstrip was captured in Panikkankulam on September 2008, followed by the LTTE airstrip in Pooneryn-Paranthan road on November 2008, Ampakamam airstrip on December 2008, Mullaitivu airstrip on January 10, and Iranamadu airstrip on January 14.

Also on Wednesday, the army completed the capture of the entire Jaffna peninsula when troops of the 55 Division over ran Chundikulam, north of Chalai sea Tiger base. The strip centred Chundikulam, a tiny township between Vettaleikerni and Chalai has been used by LTTE for their sea Tiger operations. Following this capture troops were able to locate a fleet of 125 boats belonging to the Sea Tigers from Chundikulam area.

Troops of the 55 Division advanced some 40 kilometres from Nagar Kovil defence line in the eastern edge of the Jaffna peninsula towards the South to capture Chundikulam. They passed Mamunai, Thalai Adi, Vatthirayan, and Vettilaikerni Sea Tiger bases along the Eastern coast of the Jaffna peninsula to reach Chundikulam in the southern edge of the peninsula.

The troops also found two large lorries, five tractors, one earth moving back hoe vehicle, four hundred anti personnel mines, forty anti tank mines ,booby traps and one 100 KV power generator. A senior LTTE Sea Tiger leader identified as "Lieutenant Colonel Thiru" was killed along with several others in this attack.

The 551 Brigade under the command of Lt. Colonel Wasantha Abrew led the battle towards Chudikulam with 1 Gemunu Watch and 1 Sri Lanka Light Infantry Battalions reaching Chundikulam by Wednesday afternoon.
The 4 Gemunu Watch and 8 Vijayaba Infantry Regiment attached to the 552 Brigade under the command of Lt. Colonel Udalupola and the 7 and 6 Vijayaba Infantry Regiment battalions attached to the 553 Brigade under the command of Lt. Colonel Mahinda Weerasuriya assisted the 551 Brigade to achieve this task.

In the mean time, Sri Lankan troops have launched a search to nab the Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabakaran, the state radio said on Saturday. The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation said that the LTTE leader was believed to be inside a 35 meter deep bunker in the district of Mullaithivu and the troops are after him. The Army has entered Mullaithivu district, the last bastion of the rebels since the capture of the entire northern Jaffna peninsula and the rebel outfit's former administrative capital of Kilinochchi early this month.

Task Force III under the command of Brigadier Satyapriya Liyanage and Task Force IV under the command of Colonel Nishantha Wanniarachchi is heading towards Visuamadu and Puthukuduiruppu from Olumadu and Oddusudan. 59 Division troops under the command of Brigadier Nandana Udawatta is also advancing towards a more sensitive area in Puthukuduiruppu operating some four kilometres south east of Puthukuduiruppu.

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As the area under LTTE control is shrinking day by day the SLAF is in a position to monitor all LTTE activities in that region by deploying their UAVs in the air, round the clock leaving no room for them to make sudden moves against the Security Forces.

With the completion of the mission in Elephant Pass, Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka has decided to station the 53 Division under the command of Brigadier Kamal Gunaratne to Mankulam area as a reserve force to deployed to the battle front at any emergency.

A Sri Lanka state transport bus ferried a group of passengers, for first time in last 20 years, from the captured defacto LTTE capital of Kilinochchi. A Bus of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) yesterday carried a group of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Kilinochchi to Vavuniya via the sensitive A9 highway route, Transport Minister, Dullas Alahapperuma said adding the trip was first such journey by a state vehicle in 20 years.


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