Battle of Jaffna (1995)

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Battle of Jaffna (1995)
Part of the Sri Lankan civil war
DateOctober 17 - December 5, 1995
Location Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Result Sri Lankan Army victory
Military of Sri Lanka Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
Commanders and leaders
Major General (later General) Rohan Daluwatte,
Brigadier (later Major General) Janaka Perera
10,000 Unknown
Casualties and losses
500 killed (According to Sri Lankan Government claims) [1] 2,000 killed (According to Sri Lankan Government claims) [1]

The Battle of Jaffna was a battle fought from October to December 1995 for the city of Jaffna. [2]



The city of Jaffna had been for years a major stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The Tigers viewed the city as the capital of their new independent state. The city was briefly recaptured by the Indian army in 1987 during Operation Poomalai but the city was later captured again by the Tigers.

The newly-elected president of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Kumaratunga, ordered this offensive after peace talks with the LTTE broke down after the Tigers attacked and destroyed Sri Lankan Navy gunboats and fired anti-aircraft missiles at Sri Lankan Airforce AVRO aircraft over Jaffna. Control of the peninsula became vital to the control of Palali airbase.

On October 17, 1995, 10,000 SLA soldiers attacked the city and in a 50-day siege that lasted until December 5, 1995, up to 500 soldiers and 2,000 rebels were killed. In the end the army managed to take the city and the peninsula from the Tigers, thus crippling the LTTE, however most of the LTTE forces managed to retreat into the jungle. [3]


Initially the Army stated that the battle for Jaffna ended the war and the LTTE would never again be able to fight major battles against the government. It was believed that the insurgency was at its end. However this was not the case, which was apparent when the LTTE attacked an army detachment in Batticaloa district December 23, killing 33 troops. Military sources reported that more than 60 rebels were killed. Over the next seven months the LTTE reorganised and regrouped and in July 1996, the rebels launched Operation Unceasing Waves, which was the codename for the attack on the military base at Mullaitivu. More than 1,200 soldiers were killed and the base was destroyed. [4]

See also


  1. 1 2 Sri Lanka - DangerFinder Archived November 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. "1995: Jaffna falls to Sri Lankan army". BBC News. December 5, 1995.
  3. "Sri Lankan army hails capture of Jaffna". CNN. December 5, 1995. Archived from the original on March 20, 2005.
  4. "Sri Lankan troops continue push into rebel territory". CNN News. April 21, 1996. Archived from the original on February 22, 2005.