29th November 1998
The tale of the Dvora
There is more news now on the late October confrontation between Sea Tigers and a Navy flotilla that was escorting 500 soldiers and an equal number of civilians from Jaffna to Trincomalee.
The Dvora that was lost in the fierce fighting in the
high seas north east of Mullaitivu was a brand new one built by the
Colombo Dockyard. It had left Colombo that week for Trincomalee and travelled towards the maritime boundary of the Eastern Naval Command to escort the cargo vessel "Muditha."
Navy sources say heavy Sea Tiger gun fire forced the engine out of its mount thus immobilising the Dvora and hitting the men on board. Before sinking it, these sources say, Tiger cadres removed the brand new 23 mm gun on board.
Acute manpower requirements
Ministry of Defence has expressed regret it cannot heed to a new request by a retired forces commander for a group of armed security men and a fleet of vehicles. The man had enjoyed this facility for months after his unexpectedly early retirement.
Acute manpower requirements in the operational areas, a MOD official explained, was the reason for regrets.
Fails to jam
Military Intelligence failed to totally jam LTTE's newest clandestine radio station, the Voice of Tigers Sinhala channel.
The new FM radio station made its debut last week from theWanni. Barring sporadic interceptions, the broadcast was quite clear according to Wanni residents.
Intelligence sources said the new radio station was being manned by retired Tamil teachers with a knowledge of Sinhala.
The first broadcast came in the form of a purported message to troops deployed in the ongoing "Operation Jaya Sikurui."
They want to leave
Frantic efforts are being made by the higher ups to dissuade nearly 1,200 SLAF personnel who want to leave after completing 12 years in service.
A total of 986 have so far opted to leave despite the offer of attractive terms.
Another LTTE airfield
If Military Intelligence reported that the LTTE had built its runway adjoining the former military base at Mullaitivu, subsequent aerial footage by UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) of the Sri Lanka Air Force confirmed it.
But now comes another report of the existence of another LTTE airfield. It is said to be located just adjoining the Vattapallai Kannahi Amman Temple in Mulliyaweli.
Reports from residents in the area who have arrived in Colombo say Tiger cadres shut down roads leading to this airfield when the two aircraft in their possession are in use. According to them, the two aircraft are piston fired light engined, two seater ones. Some said several practice runs were being carried out with Tiger cadres attempting air jumps at low altitude.
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