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03rd Lead

Sri Lanka Navy sank the 10th LTTE ship, which was the largest ever arms smuggling vessel that belonged to the LTTE, about 1700 km south of Dondra point, the southern tip of Sri Lanka, yesterday, Sunday 07th October 2007, around 0930 hrs.

Initially, the Navy had received credible information about the LTTE arms shipment bound towards Sri Lanka consisting military hardware which included Electronic Warfare (EW) Equipment, communication equipment, high-powered Outboard Motors (OBMs), water scooters, jet skies, swimmer delivery vehicles, radars, Geographical Positioning Systems (GPSs) and other war-like materials. Accordingly, a naval task was formed to intercept and destroy the enemy ship. It consisted of two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV's), SLNS Sayura and SLNS Sagara, one Fast Missile Vessel (FMV), SLNS Suranimala and two logistics vessels A 520 and A 521.

The naval vessels deployed for this special mission, initially detected the LTTE ship by radar. They tracked the enemy vessel for nearly one and half days to detect it visually early morning around 0530 hrs. The naval vessels, following the international maritime laws, challenged the ship to identify. The LTTE vessel, then, had given bogus details which were confirmed false through the Registry of the International Maritime Vessels. Thereafter, the Navy ordered the LTTE ship to stop. After repeated warnings to stop, which were ignored by the LTTE cadres numbering 12 - 15 on board in bold defiance, the naval vessels fired a few warning shots across the bows of the said vessel to prevent the further movement of the suspicious ship.

 

However, the LTTE cadres on board the LTTE ship then had started firing towards the naval vessels leaving no alternative for the Navy other than opening fire in self defence which resulted in catching fire, going ablaze and sinking of the LTTE ship. Several boxes which were used to store 152 mm artillery rounds were found floating in the sea confirming the fact that sunk LTTE ship was carrying 152 mm artillery rounds on board.

 

It is now confirmed that the destroyed LTTE ship bore the name "Matsushima" and was 70 meters in length with the capacity of 3000 tons. It is believed to be the largest ever arms smuggling ship that belonged to LTTE and probably the last according to available intelligence.

This loss to the LTTE would completely cripple the LTTE's supply of illegally smuggled weaponry and explosives along international waters. The meticulous coordination maintained by the Navy High Command, the team effort displayed by the naval personnel on the naval task forces and the expertise of its improved naval intelligence network have enabled the Sri Lanka Navy to destroy eight (08) LTTE arms shipments during a short span of just 13 month's time.

LTTE SHIPS DESTROYED SINCE 2006:

 
 
1.  Destroyed off  Kalmunai on 17th September 2006
 
2.  “Kyoi” destroyed south of Dondra on 28th February 2007
 
3.  “Seiyoo” destroyed south east of Arugambay on 18th March 2007
 
4.  Destroyed south east of Arugambay on 18th March 2007
 
5.  “Manyoshi” destroyed south east of Dondra on 10th September 2007
 
6.  “Seishin” destroyed south east of Dondra on 10th September 2007
 
7.  “Koshia” destroyed south east of Dondra on 11th September 2007
 
8.  “Matsushima” destroyed south of Dondra on 07th October 2007


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