The Puloppalai battle defended the peninsula

29-09-1993 It was a memorable day with a 4 hours battle.

It is a day to the archievement to our history of struggle.

It was an epic day when the well-planned enemy armored vehicles was broken down by the LTTE armored vehicles and LTTE figthers.

.The Sinhalese government has announced that 125 soldiers were dead and 284 were seriously injured in this historic battle that temporarily averted the disaster that was about to hit the Jaffna peninsula.The Sinhalese Army has completely lost two Ri-55 tanks and one ‘Powell’ armored vehicle in this battle.Same time wo more armored vehicles were damaged.

This battle which took place in the open place accurately demonstrated the gradual development of fighting power the LTTE movement was gaining and marked a turning point both militarily and politically.

Colonel Sarath Fonseka, who stood and led this battle with the Sinhalese Army, was injured and said; “Liberation Tigers surrounded us and attacked us severely.”

Balraj, The deputy commander,  who led the LTTE fighters in this battle tells…

“Three things in this epic battle would have given the enemy consternation and fear: One was the massive loss of men and arms suffered by the Sinhalese in such a short time.The two Sinhalese soldiers’ star of hope was the armored vehicle. It was scattered by the LTTE fighters and lost tanks and armored vehicles right in front of their eyes in broad daylight.The three the great bravery and offecnsive tactic played by the LTTE in this cross-country battle which favored the Sinhalese army. This is how Commander Balraj assesses this achievement.

Naming it as ‘Operation Yarldhevi’ – on 28.09.1993 the Sinhalese soldiers of 5000 men started moving towards Kilali from Aanayiravu with great anticipation.

Due to the tactical withdrawal of the LTTE, the Sinhalese forces easily crossed the distance of about 4 km from Aanayiravu along the Neerorikkarai to Puloppalai road.At 8.00 am on the 29th, the soldiers who were stationed at Puloppalai started moving towards Allipalai with the help of armored vehicles.After passing a few hundred meters, the LTTE fighters suddenly sprung up like from the ground </and launched a surprise attack.>

Vanni District Special Commander Theepan, who led this team that launched this surprise attack, says…

“We tried to choose a suitable place at night with a view to launch a surprise attack and destroy the enemy force.Apart from the sandy terrain and small patches here and there, there was no cover or camouflage for gunfights. Time was dawning.So we dug trenches on the banks of the ramparts with our hands and sticks to hide our bodies, so that they could not be seen by the enemy’s planes or by the moving troops.Even after morning we patiently waited for the enemy to approach us.” This is how Commander Theepan told his experience. Other fighters who took part in this battle say…

The soldiers who were advancing from Piloppalai road towards Allipalai, were advancing by setting fire to all the houses there.A LTTE machine gun started this historic battle when the Sinhalese forces arrived very close, 15-20 meters, to a group of LTTE who had dug into the ground and prepared to counter-attack by shelling.In this situation ‘Saladin’ armored vehicle of the Sinhalese Army ran for safety, when it came under machine gun attack of the LTTE fighters, and the tank behind it came to the front end of the battle.

Before the rp-55 tank could launch its attack, the RPG tank of the LTTE hit the tank.Shocked by this, the tank team soon regained its composure and tried to resume the attack.

But from the other end, a LTTE RPG again hit the tank, while the LTTE fighters rose from their positions and started attacking the enemy standing with an armored vehicle force.The Sinhalese army was taken by surprise by the rapid movement of the LTTE forces.Before the Sinhalese army recovered from this shock, the LTTE fighters who entered the enemy army from several fronts along with armored vehicles started hunting the Sinhalese army.”The sight of the tanks running backwards at the battle was a sight to behold”, a LTTE fighter said happily.

In these multi-pronged attacks, there were Vanni District Special Commandant Theepan´s team, Mannar District Special Commandant Jani´s team, and Women’s Brigade Special Commandant Jena’s team from the other end entered the Sinhalese army and destroyed them.

This battle which started around 8.30 pm came to rest around 12.30 pm.Then the Sinhalese forces were driven back up to a distance of one kilometer up to Puloppalai road.

After that the Sinhalese army stood still for two more days and after removing the wounded and dead soldiers and replacing them with fresh ones, the Sinhalese army advanced towards Kilaly.After reaching Kilaly, the Sinhalese lost two vehicles and suffered loss of lives when they got caught in a LTTE minefield.In this situation, on 04.10.1993 the ‘Yarldevi’ military operations were abandoned and the Sinhalese forces went back to the Aanayiravu Base with great disappointment and sadness.

Unwilling to accept the failure of this military operation, the Sinhalese military leadership gave ludicrous explanations and conflicting interpretations.

A senior army officer had said that ‘the purpose of this force movement is to kill as many LTTE as possible than capturing the area’.

An army officer reassured that the soldiers had lost more because of the fighting in the open air.

But the army spokesman Brigadier Nalin Angamana said, “Our main objective is to bring the freedom fighters to the grasslands.Only then will we be able to kill the freedom fighters and capture the places”, he explained.

At the same time, the army chief has given an explanation for their withdrawal.

The aim of the military operation was to close the Kilaaly route.The soldiers have achieved that.The report said that the soldiers had destroyed Kilaaly the landing strip, destroyed the LTTE camps and blocked the sea voyage.

The statement from the military leadership would have satisfied the Sinhalese people who believed that the Kilaaly port area would be similar to the Colombo port.

However, before the Chief of Staff started writing this report, the naval base radars in the Nagadevan sector would have been showing the scenes of the LTTE´s boats sailing in the waters of the Kilaaly Sea.But it is unlikely that the Sinhalese nation knows it!Even if it was known, it would take no more time for the Sinhalese military leadership to respond that a boat is sailing in the Thondamanaru Sea and not in the KIlaaly Sea.

However, the scope of this ‘Yarldevi’ military operation is broad and it is a grand plan.A subversive plan involving thousands of soldiers in several phases to capture a large area of land.About twenty thousand soldiers were waiting at the sites of Aanaiyiravu,  Poonagari, Karainagar and Palali to implement this plan.

“Yarldevi” did not come to go back to Kilaaly.The plan is to go via Savagacherry Jaffna and to Thellipalai.

Similarly last year Lt. General Koppekaduwa reached Manipai via Arali from there to Jaffna.He tried to implement a plan to capture the city.A day before the military operation was to begin, the capture plan was temporarily abandoned when he and his crew were killed in a landmine at Aralithurai.The abduction program was named “Operation Finalcountdown”.

It is true that now the plan of Koppegaduwa was further expanded to include the Kilaaly and Savagacheri areas.

Lieut.The invasion plan, which had been temporarily abandoned with the death of General Koppegaduwa and his crew, now due to the casualties suffered by the troops at Puloppalai Battle, has been postponed once again by the government.

However, this time not delaying as long as before, they make preparations to launch the next invasion from another front.

President Wijetunga of Sri Lanka needs to carry out such a major invasion as soon as possible.</ It is also necessary for the military leadership.>

It cannot be said whether Wijetunga, who gained the support of the Sinhalese people for his hard line that the ethnic problem should be approached through military means, would accept the failure of this military operation. The presidential election is also coming up next year.Also about twenty thousand troops who came to participate in the ‘Yarldevi’ military operation are paralyzed in the camps surrounding the Kudanaadu.

So the forces and the government are determined to launch another invasion of the Kudanaadu very soon.The Sinhalese nation is also giving its full support to this position.

Then and now

Grandpa stands stiffly.


“Do you become an engineer? Do you become a doctor?

Grandpa was well-accustomed to the times when children were asked so.

But what happened a while ago?

The vibrations of the planes that came with the crash – destruction flowed all over the city.

When the roaring sounds end, the family comes out, grandfather’s eyes are in tears, his hands are shaking.

But the three-and-a-half-year-old who was standing there was not shaking or crying.

“How are you going to live, Rasan?” The grandfather thinks.

The little child answered with great determination, “I will become a freedom fighter.”

The grandfather’s thoughts are about his grandson, but the grandson’s thoughts are about his enemy.

This is the situation today.

(From a true situation.)

The Puloppalai battle defended the peninsula



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