Colombo declines to receive bodies of dead soldiers, captured soldier talks to media
[TamilNet, Saturday, 07 October 2006, 08:07 GMT]
The fighting formation of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) forces, "boxed" an area of 10 square kilometers and defeated Sri Lankan offensive towards Vaharai Friday, LTTE Trincomalee Political Head S. Elilan said Saturday. Accusing Sri Lanka for violating the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) and the Geneva Agreement of disarming the paramilitary cadres, Mr. Elian said 400 Sri Lankan troops, including 80 paramilitary cadres, were involved in the Sri Lankan offensive. K.M.S. Ratnayake, a soldier from Sri Lanka's 6th Battalion of Gemunu Watch, was captured alive by the Tigers. Colombo has refused to accept 9 bodies of SLA soldiers killed in the encounter, Mr. Elilan said.
Sri Lankan Gemunu Watch soldier captured by the Tigers in Panichhcankerni, K.M.S Ratnayake, 31 from Nuwara Eliya (S400714)
The LTTE-captured Sri Lankan soldier (S400714), K.M.S Ratnayake, who was wounded in his stomach and a knee, identified another dead soldier, Atuhalkumara (S41398151), from Nuwara Eliya. Ratnayake, 31, is from Panangamuwa, Rikillagama in Nuwara Eliaya.
Ratnayake said more than 300 Sri Lankan troopers had entered the area with a mission to capture the Vaharai territory. Re-inforcement troops were ready to follow the advancing troops to strengthen the positions after they entered Vaharai, he added.
A group of soldiers landed by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) in Panichchankerni and joined the crack unit that entered the LTTE territory via A-15 road from Kajuwatte SLA camp, according to the captured soldier.
Seven Sri Lankan soldiers were identified by their military registration numbers including three whose names and ranks were also identified.
- Lance Corporal A. Premachandra (S413527) from Attulapura, Rakkuwana, Ratnapura.
- Sergeant R. D. Athulakumara (S41398151) from Kattuwakawa, Kottupittiya, Welimada, Nuwara Eliya.
- Sergeant S.N.D Bandaranaike (S418182) from Hagalwatura, Niwasa, Tholaswewa, Ratnapura
- S413951 (name not available)
- S406842 (name not available)
- S413527 (name not available)
- S413250 (name not available)
Dead bodies of Sri Lankan soldiers and paramilitary cadres
Five paramilitary cadres were identified. Two more Sri Lankan troopers are yet to be identified, LTTE sources said.
Sergeant Bandaranaike succumbed to his wounds while being transferred by LTTE medics for treatment, according to Elilan.
S. Elilan, LTTE Trincomalee Political Head talking to wounded Sri Lankan soldier
Private Ratnayake said paramilitary cadres were armed and also used as guides. More than 80 paramilitary cadres, including underage recruits, were used by the Sri Lankan forces. The paramiitary cadres were wearing military uniforms. They were internally identified with a "green belt" in their hands, he said.
LTTE Trincomalee Political Head Elian said he had informed the SLMM and the ICRC that the Tigers were prepared to hand over the dead bodies of the Sri Lankan soldiers and the paramilitary cadres, but the officials of the ICRC, were not allowed by the Sri Lanka to access the area or to receive the dead bodies, he said.
The ICRC had informed the LTTE that the dead body of one LTTE cadre was to be handed over to the Tigers.
11 LTTE cadres were killed in action, Elilan said.
He denied the SLA claim that 12 dead bodies of Tigers were captured by the Sri Lankan forces.
Two civilians were killed, one in Panichchankerni and another in Vaharai, in Sri Lankan shelling, Mr. Elilan said. Seven civilians were also wounded.
The SLA operation towards Kattumurivu from Sinhapura SLA camp, was intended to divert the attention of Tiger forces, Elilan said.
The move towards Kattumurivu was withdrawn by the SLA, as their main crack forces managed to enter the LTTE area along the A-15 road.
Sri Lanka Navy managed to land re-inforcement troops in Panichchankerni, but the Sea Tigers defeated the SLN move in landing additional re-inforcements, he said.
The Sea Tigers also made a crucial landing of LTTE cadres before launching a decisive operation, defeating the Sri Lankan forces, he added.
The Tiger operation was conducted under the supervision of Special Commander Col. Sornam, Elian further said.
Vehicles used by the military, two 81 mm mortars with more than 100 shells, one 60 mm mortar with shells, 10 Rocket Propelled Grenade Launchers, PK LMGs, AK LMGs, AK-47 rifles, and a quantitiy of ammunitions that included landmine-proof shoes left behind the retreating Sri Lankan forces were displayed by the Tigers in Vaharai.
The decomposed bodies of the soldiers were to be photographed and buried Saturday as Colombo had refused to receive the bodies, Mr. Elilan further said.
Dead bodies of Sri Lankan troopers and paramilitary cadres