SLA abandons operation Jeyasikurui
[TamilNet, Friday, 04 December 1998, 16:07 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) said that 'Operation Jayasikuri' (Victory Assured), its biggest military operation against the Liberation Tigers in the fifteen year old ethnic conflict has been called off in a communiqué released this evening.
Operation Jayasikurui was launched in May 1997 with the aim of opening the highway Jaffna through the Vanni region which is dominated by the Liberation Tigers in three months.
But ferocious resistance and six successful counter attacks by the Tigers bogged down three divisions of the SLA (54,53-consisting of special forces, and 56)in the Vanni region for almost 18 months.
The Tigers overran Kilinochchi, a key town base on the northern end of the highway in September, compounding the task of Operation Jayasikurui further.
The offensive which was originally expected to boost the PA regime's prestige among the Sinhala people became a political liability.
The chief author of Operation Jayasikurui, General Anuruddha Ratwatte, deputy minister of defence, was subtly edged out of from the public gaze in matters concerning the conduct of the war and the Sri Lankan President, in her capacity as the commander of the armed forces, personally took over the supervision of the war against the Tigers.
The SLA communiqué said that the operation that was launched on Wednesday to capture Oddusuddaan was a fresh offensive named ''Rivi Bala'' (Sun Power in Sinhala).
The SLA statement says " On 2nd December Operation 'Rivi Bala' was launched with the objective of capturing Oddusuddan and annexing the areas covering Mankulam, Oddusuddan and Nedunkerni. This is a fresh operation conducted by security forces after the completion of Operation Jayasikurui which consisted of three phases.
- Phase 1-capturing of Omanthai
- Phase 2-capturing of Puliyankulam
- Phase 3- capturing of Mankulam
Two divisions participated in the operation and an area of 134 square kilometers has been brought under the security forces control."
The communiqué also stated that an officer and three soldiers were injured due to mortar fire from Tiger positions while troops were consolidating the captured areas and that more than five hundred civilians had come over to the troops.
Military analysts in Colombo said today that the name 'Jayasikirui' had been considered astrologically unlucky by the PA government, but the operation had been launched at an astrologically auspicious time on 13 May 1997.
13.05.98 A long year on the road
13.11.97 Victory less assured