A memorable footprint on the path of liberation – Raghavan.

Lt. Col. Raghavan

A memorable footprint on the path of liberation – Raghavan. 2nd day of November 1999. All the world’s news was talking about operation ‘Oyaatha Alaikal” (Relentless waves). One of the best war commanders of Tamil Eelam, Lieut. Col. Raghavan also took part in this operation. He was the war commander of the LTTE who fought against Sinhala during the great war operations. He was strong fighter who stood in front of all the military operations lead by national leader Prabhakaran. These operations are great historical records for world history. Raghavan fell and became maveeran for the history of ‘Oyatha Alaikal 03’ which ended with a proud success.

When Raghavan worked tirelessly day and night, the freedom fighters of Charles Antony´s special forces broke through the enemy’s walls and captured Puliankulam. When the fighters rested for a while, they said, ‘Raghavan has gone without seeing all the battles and victories.’ ‘The enemy knocked him down at the barrier. But poor enemy; How does he know that Raghavan is still leading us from our hearts? That is what happened. Yes… This commander, improved by our national leader, had the supreme leadership quality of guiding the freedom fighters on the path of victory even in times of doubt.

Raghavan! A wonderful fighter; A powerful commander; A great man loved by all because he loved all; He is the record of a chapter in the history of the long – irreplaceable war of liberation. If we are to write his history, we must write an important historical phase in the nineties during the Eelam War. He was a hero who made history in all the important battlefields of that time.

Raghavan was involved in many minor attacks in the district during 90-91. “Operation Minnal” in Manalaru showed the military powers, brave and the will to freedom of this fighter. In the 1.9 brigade of Vanni district, Raghavan also entered the field as an ordinary fighter for the team of one hundred and fifty fighters leaded by Thalapathy Theeban. ‘Operation Minnal’ is also important among the strong battlefields in the history of struggle. Imagining that the LTTE movement had weakened, Sinhala wanted to end the liberation war by occupying the heartland of Tamileelam. With two thousand Sinhala soldiers. Combining modern weapons. The Sinhalese forces had jumped into battle. Missiles and warplanes quaked the heartland. Raghavan also fought as one of the fighters in the rain of missiles.

It is a challenging battlefield for any fighters. Every day of that battlefield showed every site of Raghavan well. It is no exaggeration to say that the actions of that hero, who worked actively and acted as an example while fighting for days without food and water, gave enthusiasm even to our team leader. In the short days of the battlefield of ‘Operation Minnal’ Raghavan was made the leader of a team of seven fighters by the general Theeban. Raghavan was one of the five fighters who finally returned from the 1.9 battalions.

A few days after “Operation Minnal” Raghavan was in charge of a 15-member team that stormed the 3rd block mini-camp of the Mullaitheevu army camp. Raghavan’s team captured a large quantity of weapons and ten Sinhala soldiers and did its job well.

By 1992, Raghavan had become a well-known captain. His personality was evident in his every action. His many successful attacks discouraged the Sinhalese forces. During this period alone he took part in more than thirteen successful attacks such as Vannankula, Kombavela, Chettikulam. The freedom fighter who saw growth in a short period was made in charge of a team of 45 members. The fighter´s gun shot dead in all the corners of the enemy in Vanni. His leading voice was everywhere to lead the fighters.

Raghavan was bringing out the fighting power of the LTTE movement in the 2nd phase of the Eelam war. He and his team took a major part of the operations like ‘Ithayabhoomi 01’, ‘Yarldevi’ and “Operation Thavalai” and achieved great success.

Raghavan´s personality was revealed in every battle. It must be said that the battles need of this fighter was necessary in all those places. That is why Raghavan’s list of fights went on and on. Raghavan taught a lesson to the Sinhalese forces stationed in the Vanni at every front. In 1995, when the 3rd phase of the war broke out, Raghavan’s work extended to Jaffna. Raghavan also fought on the battlefield if the operation ‘Suriyakathir’, which made the entire force to capture the peninsula. Raghavan was attached to Charles Antony´s Special Force when the LTTE came to Vanni after completing operation ‘Suriyakathir’.

When Raghavan joins the Charles Antony´s Special Forces, all the tasks assigned to him were of importance. The national leader had confidence to Raghavan and handled them over to him. Raghavan accomplished all of them neatly with his hard work.

Raghavan was entrusted with a very important task in ‘Oyatha Alaikal 01’, which gave a slap to the daydreamers of Sinhalese who thought that ‘Tigers have rested’. Working day and night for assured success, Raghavan successfully completed the task which the national leader entrusted to him. Destroying the high-security ramparts of the base’s main camp was of importance. On entering and capturing them rested the certainty of victory. As per the national leader’s belief, Raghavan successfully completed it. And the site fell into LTTE´s hand.

Raghavan roamed around in all the battlefields of Tamileelam fighting. He stood high in the battle with knowledge and experience. He presented them in his field operations and won the personal favor of the national leader. He was entrusted with the duties of a commander. Raghavan was needed at all tight points on the battlefield. On many occasions when our military operations have faced tight spots, Raghavan has broken through them and secured favorable conditions for us. ‘He had the leadership qualities of standing in the field immediately in difficult times,’ said Commander Colonel Theepan. A general who stood in the field remembered Raghavan’s leadership saying, ‘He was a commander who used to keep his fighters in the fight in every stage of war.’

In January 1997, when the LTTE forces stormed the Paranthan bases, Raghavan’s conduct at a key juncture demonstrated his extreme fighting expertise. The Puliyadi main camp was the target of Raghavan’s team at the command post. All activities were planned, and correct training was given. But the conditions on the ground were poor. The field situation was completely different from what was expected. The enemy had advanced. The enemy’s actions showed that he had observed our movements. Fearing that the entire battle would be thrown into disorder, Raghavan stood on the field, took a bold decision with his military knowledge, won his target, and recovered some of the 120 mm cannons and raised the victory flag.

He worked hard of the Sinhalese operation Jayasikkuru. This commander instilled valor with his life in every inch of land. The fruits of his labor are the achievements of the Puliyankulam. When the national leader decided to set up a camp at Puliyankulam to resist the enemy’s massive conventional invasion, Raghavan stood by the commander Theepan and regretted himself deeply for the base structure. He took charge of the attacking troops in the Puliyankulam camp and personally made all preparations to face the enemy. Raghavan’s hard work and sweat played an important role in turning Puliyankulam into the ‘Revolutionary Pool of Tigers’.

Raghavan, who had worked hard at Puliyankulam, did not get any rest. He was the leader of the main attack team in the infiltration attack against the “Jeyasikkuru” forces at Omanthai. Commander Theeban sent Raghavan and his team to Pinnani for rest. But the enemy soon opened the field and started a major move. Raghavan was needed there. The enemy’s movement that day was a challenge to the decision of our movement to set up a camp at Puliyankulam. The enemy was approaching Puliyankulam through Channasipparandhan towards the area where our defenses were not. The difficulty must have immediately halted the enemy’s advance. We should definitely win in that many tests.

Raghavan stood in the eyes of Commander Theeban. ‘I will finish it’ Raghavan’s figure said without saying the words. Raghavan was fielded immediately. Raghavan fielded with a team of only thirty fighters. With his team Raghavan infiltrated through an area where we could set up our defensive positions to sidetrack and penetrate the enemy. The enemy fought very hard. The enemy is not ready to give up at any stage. As Raghavan stood on the field, there was hope in everyone’s mind. As Raghavan also stood with them, enthusiasm was born among the fighters in the field. In the end, this brave fighter finished the tough fight as everyone had hoped, cutting the enemy to pieces. The fighter who worked hard to make Puliyankulam LTTE´s, protected it in the face of the enemy’s move that came as a challenge.

When the enemy was preparing to open a new front through Kilinochchi on the southern end, Raghavan left for the Kilinochchi field along with Colonel Theeban, the deputy commander of the ‘Jayashikurui’. There the Raghavan became the commander of the famous Charles Antony´s Special Forces of Tamileelam. Then the fighter had to work a lot for the security arrangements of the Kilinochchi site. Raghavan was the movement leader of our ‘Rangi’ team assigned to fight in the area in February 1998 when the LTTE stormed the Kilinochchi base and destroyed the southern part of the base. After that, he moved our front lines closer to the enemy and threatened the enemy and stood on guard duty. Every time an enemy arose to challenge his labors, Raghavan taught him a lesson. The lessons he imparted are of such importance that they will never be remembered in the history of the Sri Lankan Army.

On the fourth day of June 1998, the enemy’s leading forces infiltrated through our defense positions on several fronts from west of Kandy Road. The enemy has captured an area that can be referred to the front line. Our teams stationed in the area were also damaged. A very critical field situation. Raghavan stood in the field and led the fighters under his command with the assistant commander sent by Colonel Theeban. They infiltrated the enemy after a long ‘fight to the death’. He breathed a sigh of relief after destroying those who entered the siege. Over 200 soldiers from Sinhala’s leading attack force were scattered and the army was defeated. It was General Raghavan who carried out the successful attack to recover 50 bodies and many weapons of the enemy.

The Sinhalese forces were advancing like a smitten snake in four days. The enemy broke through our guard line and infiltrated. In this tight situation Raghavan also taught a lesson to the Sinhalese forces like last time. The enraged soldiers died. Kilinochchi got important records in Tamil history due to the conduct of our commander in those days. That fighter who had matured in combat was now well known by the enemy. Enemy will pay extreme attention to the area where Raghavan is standing. Tahe Sinhalese commander could no longer pay the price of his life to ‘learn a lesson’ from Raghavan.

In October 1998, Raghavan’s burden doubled. That was the period when the movement was gearing up for ‘Oyaatha Alaikal 02’. Raghavan wandered restlessly. He worked monitoring our security measures at frontline levels and ensuring their security. He worked on everything from motivating the fighters to training and making it effective. The operation got ready after meeting the national leader and getting to know the plans. Raghavan was appointed as the deputy commander of a major division. Raghavan was assigned to stand in the command center of Commander Colonel Theeban as experienced people were deployed along with him in that area. In that operation he was assisting General Theeban, who was responsible for the capture of the forward outposts.

On the first day, the fighting reached a fever pitch. The forts fell successfully in our hands. However, many of them fell back into the hands of the enemy in the ensuing fighting that day. A situation where the fighting conditions have turned in favor of the enemy. The situation must be changed somehow. Every moment of delay adds to the problems. Then Raghavan had to go to the field. Realizing the situation, Raghavan took permission from Commander Theeban and entered the field with a team on a day that was not favorable for us. While the enemy was fighting enthusiastically with great psychological strength, Raghavan entered the field through a corner where our teams faced setbacks. All the enemy’s guns targeted Raghavan’s team to stop the reinforcements. Our commander went inside with his team when the enemy was under fire. Beating the enemy back, he left behind the wounded and valiant warriors, organized the ranks and continued the fight. Raghavan led the combatants and changed the field by destroying all illusions about defeating the enemy. ‘Raghavan is the key to the success of “Oyaatha Alayikal 02” said Commander Colonel Theeban.

After a few months of ‘Oyaatha Alaikal 02’, the national leader appointed Raghavan as the special commander of the Charles Antony Special Forces. Appointed in charge of a prestigious army created by the national leader with high expectations, Raghavan worked harder and harder with the promise to fulfill the national leader’s expectations effectively. Raghavan worked tirelessly to improve the fighting skills of the fighting force by adding new fighters to the force.

‘Oyaatha Alaikal 03’ attack plan explained. The national leader appointed Raghavan as the direct commander of one of the main battle fronts. His brain was constantly thinking to successfully complete the task entrusted to him by the national leader. The storm that swirled incessantly in the field of liberation opened the chapter of ‘Oyaatha Alaikal 03’. Charles Antony´s Special Forces opened the field by a wide margin. The fight was tense. Raghavan, as always, advanced beyond his limits to prevent the warriors from stopping him. Our commander stood in the front line of the battle line. Raghavan fell as a bullet directly pierced his forehead. The general who had recovered so many victories that were about to be lost, quietly succumbed.

Lieut. Colonel Raghavan

Chinnaiya Suvendraraja


Memorial – A. Partheepan

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A memorable footprint on the path of liberation – Raghavan.


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