SLA attempts another offensive in Jaffna suburb
[TamilNet, Sunday, 10 September 2000, 08:10 GMT]
Heavy fighting erupted from this morning in the southeastern suburbs of Jaffna town when the SLA began another operation towards the positions of the Liberation Tigers in Colombuthurai amidst criticism that the massive offensive code named Rivi Kirana (Sun ray) launched Sunday 3 September to take this suburb had led to unjustifiable loss of manpower for the army and had failed to achieve any of its objectives. The Sri Lanka army's Chief of Defence Staff, General Rohan Daluwatte, has offered to resign over the Rivi Kirana fiasco.
About 25 soldiers were killed in the operation's spearhead and scores wounded in a counter attack by the Liberation Tigers, sources said.
The Rivi Kirana operation to secure this coastal suburb of the northern town was ordered by the People's Alliance government to score a victory over the Tigers in Jaffna in time for the elections critics charge.
The well informed military affairs columnist of the Daily Mirror, Ratnapala Gamage, dubbed the offensive "Operation Elections".
According to Gamage, 950-1000 soldiers were wounded in less than eight hours of fighting when the SLA abandoned Operation Rivi Kirana around 2 p.m. on 3 September.
The SLA has so far acknowledged that 129 troops and 10 officers were killed during the eight hours of fighting. However, military sources said that 208 soldiers and officers died in the offensive. 306 soldiers were very seriously wounded. At least 11 seriously wounded soldiers died due to lack of air transport sources said.
04.09.00 Costly SLA operation back to square one
03.09.00 Heavy casualties in Jaffna offensive