Friday, January 07, 2005

Special coffin to the Tigers'

Tigers' Organisation is reported to have placed an order for an extraordinary coffin with a foreign country.

The Tigers' Organisation says that this coffin was ordered for the funeral of a Sea Tiger leader who was third in rank and fell prey to the tidal waves.

But intelligence sources have received information that Tiger leader Velupille Prabhakaran was reportedly killed by the tsunami tidal waves and this special coffin was intended for his funeral.

Velupille Prabhakaran has attended the special Sunday Service held at Mullative church on 26th last December and all those present at this special Service are reported to have been killed by the tsunami waves.

Intelligence sources say that outsiders were not allowed entry into the Mullative jungle in fear that this shocking revelation will cross its boundaries. However Intelligence sources say that they are still receiving information in this regard.


Tsunami flushes out bulk of Sea Tiger assets by Shamindra Ferdinando

Sunday’s sea-borne terror had caused considerable damages to security forces, particularly the navy and the sea tigers, security officials said. The navy’s losses had been on the southern coast while the sea tigers’ on the eastern coast.

Security forces and the LTTE suffered sizeable equipment losses, an official said. There had been significant loss of arms, and ammunition too.

They would also have to detect and neutralise mines that had been moved by the raging waters before ‘deploying’ fresh mines as part of their defences.

But Sea Tiger losses would have been unprecedented, the official said, emphasizing the giant tidal waves that decimated the LTTE-held parts of eastern coastline wouldn’t have spared the Sea Tigers. Most of their assets are based on the east coast with Mullaitivu-Chalai being their stronghold.

“Their vessels wouldn’t have a chance against the waves,” the official said. He expressed the belief that at least half of the sea tigers’ operational vessels would have been crippled by the giant tidal waves.

A senior security official said that the LTTE would not acknowledge, particularly their equipment losses. “We are convinced that they would not be able to restore most of the crippled vessels. But we are not gloating over their losses but merely assessing the impact the sea-borne terror had on the sea tigers,” he said.

The raging waters also washed off the Nilaveli navy base and the Muttur detachment. The navy, despite losing their base, managed to save the artillery and also a number of vehicles. But small arms, ammunition and communication equipment had been lost. “We lost two personnel at Nilaveli and Muttur,” a senior official said, revealing the navy rescued over 100 Tamils and Muslims from furious waters.

The navy wouldn’t vacate the affected areas. “We’ll stay put,” an authoritative official said, adding, “Leaving Nilaveli and Muttur wouldn’t be an option. “We are in the process of consolidating our positions. We’ll not ignore that need despite our heavy involvement in relief operations,” he said.

Answering questions, a high ranking official said, “It’s a miracle we didn’t lose any vessels based at Trincomalee. Over 75 percent of the vessels including Fast Attack Craft are Trincomalee based. Sunday’s tsunami would have crippled the majority of our vessels if we didn’t swing into action promptly.”

“We never expected a natural disaster of his magnitude,” he said. But a plan that had been in place to be implemented in the event of a major LTTE assault on the Trincomalee base ensured the rapid launching of vessels.

Otherwise our losses would have been greater than what we lost in a series of confrontations over a period of time, another official said. “It could have reduced us to a ship-less navy,” he said.

The navy bases Kirinda and Galle (Dakshina) too had been washed off. The navy lost two vessels, a Chinese built Sub Chaser (SLNS Parakramabahu) in service since early 1996 and a Landing Craft (L 820) also acquired from China. Both losses had been reported from Dakshina.

Navy headquarters said that a dozen personnel including the officer (Lieut. Commander) in charge of the KKS harbour defence and the Officer-in-Charge (Lieut.) in charge of the Manthai detachment.

Airforce headquarters said that Sunday’s sea-borne terror hindered its operational capability. “In fact we weren’t really affected,” a spokesperson said, adding that the Koggala runaway had been flooded. The SLAF base at China Bay had been affected. “But that was temporary,” he said, adding that all available choppers and fixed wing aircraft were operational.

The STF headquarters said that police commandos were in the process of consolidating their positions at Komari, Akkaraipattu and Arugam Bay. The waters had washed off the Komari base. The bases at Akkaraipattu and Arugam Bay had suffered considerable damages. A senior STF spokesperson said that commandos wouldn’t abandon any of these bases.

The army had lost four officers including a Lieutenant Colonel and fifty five other personnel. Army bases at Kalkudah (Brigade Headquarters), Kayankerni and Mankerni in the Batticaloa district and the bases at Point Pedro, Valvettiturai and Nagarkovil had been washed off. Their frontline defences at Nagarkovil in Vadamaratchchy too had been washed off. “We are in the process of restoring them,” a senior official said, adding that the nearby LTTE fortifications too had been washed off.


LTTE radar flattened by Norman Palihawadane

Four LTTE radar stations were levelled to the ground following the December 26 tidal wave, security sources said.

Around 200 boats belonging to the LTTE’s Sea Tigers had been washed out to the sea, sources said.

Security analysts said that according to the available reports an LTTE armoury in Mulaithivu too was destroyed by the tidal waves.

According to LTTE’s peace Secretariat sources, the total number of deaths upto Saturday was 16,656 while another 18,481 persons had gone missing. They said that 155,912 families were displaced by the tsunami catastrophe.

In the Ampara District alone 11,225 were dead and another 6000 missing, sources said.

The LTTE has set up 300 welfare centers in affected areas under their control, sources added.