Operation “Thavalai Paychal” was the LTTE’s offensive against a Sri Lankan military base in November 10th 1993.
When Sinhala forces were in Poonakary, the camp had a massive control on the lives of Tamils. In the early nineties Jaffna was in the hand of Sinhala forces and the two of the strongholds that occupied the peninsula during the barricade of Jaffna. The Elephant Pass was tightened. The base in Poonakary also closed the sea diversion and made it difficult for the people of Jaffna to passage around.
At that time, Kilaaly-Nallur road was the only means of transportation for the people of the Jaffna Peninsula. People have to travel by boat at night from Kilaaly Beach in Jaffna to Nallur in Mannar district or Alangeni Beach. The route runs between two large army camps. Elephant Pass army camp on one side and Poonakary army camp on the other.
Many boats travel at night. In the beginning, many Tamil people were killed at the sea. The corpses of the Tamils were found at the edge of the sea. However people continued travelling by this route. No one has the hope that they will go whole way to the other site when they travel in the boat. That is the only way to the Jaffna peninsula.
Poonakary had the largest Sinhala army base. There was a naval base and a large army camp centered at Naagathevanthurai. The Naagadevanthurai naval base was responsible for all the massacres that took place on the Kilaaly Coast. The LTTE planned to attack this large army base.
The spy operations were stepped up for this attack.
(The Tamileelam film “Urankaatha Kanmanikal” is a revision of the fighters who spied on the Poonakary base.)
In the south Jaffna The LTTE was training to attack the base. That was the time the Sri Lankan government launched the operation “Yarl Thevi” and passed towards Jaffna from Poonakary Base.
The Sinhala government launched Operation Yal Devi. The LTTE hurriedly thwarted the operation with the LTTE cadres who were preparing to attack the Poonakary base.
The day came. On the night of 10th of November, the LTTE attacked the base. The attacks on the base were carried out by sea and land. It was an important battle in the development of the LTTE’s Sea Tigers. The LTTE named the operation “Thavalai Paaychal”.
The Tigers retreated after three days of fighting. They captured a large quantity of weapons. Notably, the LTTE captured the first and last tank from the Army Forces. And destroyed another.
The only tank captured that day is still working. It has achieved many important successes.
The Sea Tigers captured five ‘waterboats’ from the Naagathevan Port. They also played a major role in the struggle.
In the operation “Thavalai Paaychal”:
Including key commanders 469 fighters became maveerar.
At the same time, a Black Tiger attack was launched on the Palaly Air Force Base to intensify the attack on the Poonakary Base. But the attack was not as successful as expected. Thirteen Black Tigers were killed in the attack.
The Sinhala air force dropped bombs on the Jacob Church in Jaffna to make up for the attack of Poonakary Base. The church was completely destroyed and ten civilians were killed in the attack.
After that the Poonakary Base was with the Sri Lankan Army. But the travel of civilians continued without fear by Kilaaly Sea. The travels continued even during the days with the protection of the Sea Tigers. Jaffna peninsula was completely captured by the Sri Lankan Army.
The Mullaitheevu Base was captured back by the LTTE. The Sri Lankan Forces occupied the city of Kilinochchi. The Army did one thing. In late 1996, without making a protest the Army withdrew completely from the Poonakary Base and moved to Jaffna. After that, Poonakary was in the hand of LTTE without a small fight.
Today Poonakary is of importance in politics and war. Withdrawal from Poonakary is a high price paid and is being paid by the Sri Lankan government.
“Thirst of the Tigers is the homeland of Tamil Eelam”