Sri Lanka Navy completely destroyed three large LTTE ships carrying arms and ammunitions in the high seas; about 1200 kilometers (600 nautical miles) south east off Sri Lanka's southern most tip, Dondra, thus, foiling their latest attempt in smuggling lethal weapons in to un-cleared areas. The destruction deals a severe blow to the LTTE’s international arms shipments network and drastically reduces its fire power.
For over one and half years, Sri Lanka Navy has been aware of the modus
operandi of the LTTE tigers after having scrupulously analyzed the
intelligence gathered on the LTTE's clandestine activities across
international waters violating the international maritime laws.
Accordingly, a naval task force was formed consisting of four SLNS
ships, namely SLNS Sayura, SLNS Suranimala, SLNS Samudura and SLNS
Shakthi supported by two logistics vessels, A 520 and A 521. The task
force, which was on high alert to intercept and destroy the enemy
vessels, successfully completed its destruction mission within 24
hours, depriving the LTTE three of their remaining four merchant
The SLN vessels initially sailed 200 nautical miles in the exclusive economic zone south east of Sri Lanka to detect the LTTE ships. They moved further 200 nautical miles in the high seas to sight the vessels which were sailing without a flag displaying neither a name nor a port of registration. SLN vessels, in accordance with the International Maritime laws, issued warnings to all the LTTE ships prior to engagement. The warnings had been issued over the international maritime frequency, Channel 16, first in English and then in Tamil to ensure nothing unwarranted ensued in the confrontation. Further more, the naval personnel on SLN vessels had been alerted to rescue anyone jumping over board to surrender. Disregarding the warning signals of the Navy, LTTE cadres on board the ships had fired at SLN vessels compelling them to retaliate, which resulted in the complete destruction and sinking of the three LTTE ships. No SLN vessels or personnel received damages or casualties in the destruction operation which lasted around 24 hours in the high seas.
LTTE Ship, 'Manyoshi' destroyed on 10th
September at 7.00 a.m.
|SLNS vessels had initially detected two ships on the 10th. The LTTE ship, “Manyoshi” was
the first ship to be destroyed. It was sunk on the 10th around 7.00
a.m. The second LTTE ship to be destroyed was “Seishin”. It was sunk on the
same day around 5.00 p.m. Seventy-two explosions had been observed on board
“Seishin” alone, before it finally went down. The last LTTE ship, “Koshia”, was
destroyed after a hot pursuit, which lasted well over four hours, on the 11th
around 3.30 a.m.
|LTTE Ship, 'Seishin' destroyed on 10th
September at 5.00 p.m.
LTTE ships were sailing towards the seas south-west of Sri Lanka with
the intention of making a mid sea trans-shipments of their priced cargo in to
smaller vessels that were awaiting their arrival. ‘Sri Krishna’, one such small
vessel, hijacked by the LTTE from Indian fishermen, was used in carrying out
similar transactions in mid-sea, when it was tracked down and destroyed last
May at the same location by the Maldivian defense forces. The
ill-fated LTTE ships were “floating arms warehouses” that were loaded with
approximately 4000 tonnes of military cargo. They consisted of three light
aircraft in knock-down condition, speed boats, a bullet proof vehicle for the
LTTE tiger supremo, Vellupillai Prabakaran and a large quantity of 152 mm,130 mm
and 122 mm artillery shells and 120 mm mortar rounds in addition to other arms
and ammunitions on board.
|LTTE Ship, 'Koshia' destroyed on 11th
September at 3.30 a.m.
LTTE had ten rogue merchant vessels in their possession which were between
45 to 75 meters in length and had the capability of carrying 1000 to 1500 tons
of cargo on board. The vessels were deployed on clandestine arms smuggling
missions across international waters. Sri Lanka Navy has been able to destroy
nine such vessels so far, thus down sizing the LTTE’s arms smuggling
capabilities by 90%. Two such vessels were destroyed in 2003 off Mullaitivu.
One was sunk in the seas off Kalmunai in September 2006. LTTE lost another off
Dondra in February 2007. Two vessels met with the same fate in the seas off
Arugambay in March 2007.
destruction of the three LTTE ships is a one of the biggest achievements in the
Sri Lanka Navy’s history. The loss is regarded by defense analysts as a major
blow to the LTTE which is facing a severe shortage of arms and ammunitions at
present as a result of their international arms procurement and smuggling activities
are being systematically destroyed by the Sri Lanka Navy in their successful naval
operations against the terror outfit.
Destroying of Three LTTE Ships