By 4 May 2006 0 Comments

‘Leopards’ trapped in the East?

by Dushy Ranetunge
Karuna in a camp in the East
Karuna in a camp in the East
Some of the LTTE’s best fighting units known as Leopards and some of their top commanders seem to be marooned in the East after an unsuccessful attack near Welikanda attacking three camps consisting of ENDLF and Karuna cadres.
The LTTE has taken a huge risk by moving two of their high value terrorist leaders, Banu and Sornam to the East hoping that their perceived military prowess would change the LTTE’s fortunes in the East. However, such a change in fortune has failed to materialise.

Out of desperation, the LTTE have over extended themselves by moving another one of its high value leaders, Balraj together with some of their best fighting cadres to launch an attack on the three camps near Welikanda last week. The camps were used by cadres loyal to Karuna and the ENDLF.

The attack was given much publicity in the TamilNet as a heroic success, but in reality it was another failure for the LTTE in the East, which is turning out to be Prabakaran’s Vietnam. At the time of the attack, the camp was occupied mainly by ancillary and support cadres. The bulk of the fighting cadres were out on operations.

After the unsuccessful attack near Welikanda, the Vanni LTTE had withdrawn back to their Eastern bases.

The Karuna and ENDLF cadres have now regrouped and are out for revenge, with the Vanni LTTE trying to protect their cadres and leaders. On Tuesday, Karuna cadres hit back by attacking the Vanni LTTE in the East killing 8.

On the 30thof April Tamilnet carried a news item claiming that the LTTE had successfully completed a sea movement of its cadres from Mullaithivu to Trincomalee and back. But the Navy denies such a movement took place. The Sri Lankan Navy commander was in Trincomalee during this period and he states that the seas off Trincomalee were constantly monitored and although the LTTE attempted a sea movement they were unsuccessful. He states that the LTTE’s claim that they carried out a sea movement is misinformation.

This may be to mislead the Karuna cadres who are determined to hunt down the high value Vanni terrorist leaders in the East and perhaps to convince the Sri Lankan government to allow it to carry out a sea movement using sea tiger transport.

Military sources state that the only way that the Vanni LTTE may have extracted their cadres to the Vanni, is by trekking overland over hostile territory to a point North of Trincomalee (Nilaveli) and South of the Weli Oya military complex, from where the sea tigers could have extracted them.

This is the northernmost point of the Trincomalee district and according to the Navy Commander, the LTTE’s claim that it carried out a sea movement from Trincomalee to Mullaitivu may be on this basis, and definitely not from Sampoor. But such a movement is unlikely because of the high risk of detection during long distance involved from Welikanda to the Northernmost point of Trincomalee district.

It is also alleged that the LTTE may have moved some of their cadres from Sampoor, further south.

Furthermore if the LTTE carried out a sea movement as claimed, why is it requesting sea planes and helicopters to transport large numbers of cadres and top ranking leaders from the east to the Vanni for consultations prior to peace talks?

Karuna cadres are not convinced and are increasing the pressure on the Vanni LTTE stepping up attacks.

Tamil sources maintain that high value LTTE leaders are marooned in the East and that Prabakaran will not start a war without securing their return. The LTTE are also concerned that the Karuna cadres may have surface to air missiles to intercept any aerial movement of its top leaders and is insisting on sea transfers by the sea Tigers from Sampoor to the Vanni. Karuna cadres do not have a sea going capability at present to intercept a LTTE sea movement.

The LTTE have been pushing for such a sea transfer even at the cost of violating the ceasefire, because of its fears of the Karuna group.

`TMVP Attack LTTE Targets In Eastern Muthur – Eight Dead
The break away Tamileela Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) launched major attacks on the LTTE targets in Muthoor in the East of Sri Lanka this morning. The TMVP forces carried out the attacks today (2 May 2006) at 10.50 am causing heavy damage and casualities to the LTTE positions. The attacks took place at Kattaparichchaan in the Navaladdy area in Muthoor.

The TMVP sources confirm eight LTTE caders were killed and two critically injured. Two camp positions of the LTTE were completely destroyed. The attack is said to be in retaliation for the LTTE attack on Kanthakaadu camp of the TMVP on 1 May 2006 in violation of the ceasefire agreement. The TMVP sources confirmed that they will intensify their attacks on the LTTE. Todays attack was lead by Maj Mangalan Master of the TMVP.

The TMVP also paid tribute to their dead soldiers in the LTTE attacks. They are said to be Major Vanalan, Maj. Lavamohan, Maj Krishna, 2ns Lieftinent Iruthayan, Lieftinent Reagan. Liueftinent Ragaventhan, 2nd Lieftinent Gerrard, 2nd Lieftinent Karan and 2nd Lieftinent Mendis.

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