LTTE’s ‘Jeyanthan Brigade’ units lead Vakarai offensive

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 April 2004, 19:46 GMT]
Special units of the Jeyanthan Brigade, the most feared infantry formation of the Liberation Tigers, led the multi pronged offensive towards Vakarai Friday, according to LTTE sources in the east. Two counter attacks on the forward defence localities which the Tigers have consolidated at Kandalady, 64 kilometres north of Batticaloa, led by ‘Jim Kelly Thaaththa’ and ‘Robert’, deputies of renegade LTTE commander ‘Karuna’ (Mr. Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan), were beaten back Friday evening, according to the sources.

Operations to take the coastal region between the Verugal River and Mankerni are being directed and co-ordinated by Mr. T. Ramesh, who was appointed special commander for the Batticaloa-Amparai District after ‘Karuna’ broke away from the LTTE in early March and by ‘Jeyaaththan’, the special commander of the Jeyanthan Brigade.

Karuna Group units that were caught in an entrapping movement by Special Forces of the Jeyanthan Brigade during the day surrendered eight 120 mm heavy mortars, LTTE sources said.

Commander ‘Prabha’, who was formerly a close associate of the renegade LTTE commander ‘Karuna’, is also directing operations at the forward command and control centre near Paalchenai.

The Jeyanthan Brigade was raised with fighters from the Batticaloa-Amparai administrative district of the LTTE.

It fought the main battles against Op. Jeya Sikurui, the Sri Lanka’s army biggest and most costly offensive ever against the LTTE from1997 to 1999. The Jeyanthan Brigade was the main infantry formation that routed the Sri Lanka army from vast areas of the southern parts of the Vanni region in November-December 1999.

It struck the final blow under which the Sri Lanka army’s largest garrison in the island in Elephant Pass fell in April 2000.

Karuna Group units that are attempting to counter attack are operating from the narrow promontory in the Upparu Lagoon between Kandalady and Panichchankerni – where it is linked to the coast by a causeway on its southern end.

 

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