Tamil people mourn LTTE commander
[TamilNet, Monday, 15 September 1997, 12:00 GMT]
The Tamil people mourned the death of a senior LTTE officer in areas not controlled by the Sri Lankan army. Lt. Col. Pavarasan was killed on September 10th at Puliyankulum, where heavy fighting has been raging for the past few weeks. Two Sri Lankan divisions deployed to capture a road between Vavuniya and the Jaffna peninsula have been stalled at Puliyankulum amid stiff Tiger resistance.
Lt. Col. Pavarasan was commanding the Tamil Tiger units at Puliyankulum. Spirited defense by his troops has stalled the Sri Lankan army's operation Jaya Sikiru at this small town for over two months. In the past 3 weeks, Lt. Col. Pavarasan's troops have destroyed at least 5 Sri Lankan tanks and badly damaged 6 others.
Hundreds of Sri Lankan soldiers have died trying to take Puliyankulum. On the night of the 10th, LTTE units in Lt. Col. Pavarasan launched a vicious counterattack on Sri Lankan column near Puthur. At least 40 SLA troops were killed. The Press Trust Of India learned that over 250 injured SLA soldiers had been admitted to various hospitals in the 48 hours after the attack.
The LTTE said that the Sri Lankan forces were trying to break through Tiger lines northeast of Puliyankulum yesterday. Two months ago, two Sri Lankan columns had pushed towards Puliyankulum from Omanthai to the south and from Nedunkerni to the northeast, but had been halted outside the town by its defenders.