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
Belligerents
Coat of arms of Sri Lanka.svg Military of Sri Lanka Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
Commanders and leaders
Major General (later General) Rohan Daluwatte,
Brigadier (later Major General) Janaka Perera
Strength
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]

Jaffna City in Sri Lanka

Jaffna is the capital city of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. It is the administrative headquarters of the Jaffna District located on a peninsula of the same name. With a population of 88,138 in 2012, Jaffna is Sri Lanka's 12th most populous city. Jaffna is approximately six miles from Kandarodai which served as an emporium in the Jaffna peninsula from classical antiquity. Jaffna's suburb Nallur served as the capital of the four-century-long medieval Jaffna Kingdom.

Contents

Battle

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.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Militant organization in Sri Lanka

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was a Tamil militant organization that was based in northeastern Sri Lanka. Founded in May 1976 by Velupillai Prabhakaran, it waged a secessionist nationalist insurgency to create an independent state of Tamil Eelam in the north and east of Sri Lanka for Tamil people. This campaign led to the Sri Lankan Civil War, which ran from 1983 until 2009, when the LTTE was eventually defeated during the presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Operation Poomalai, also known as Eagle Mission 4, was the codename assigned to a mission undertaken by the Indian Air Force to air-drop supplies over the besieged town of Jaffna in Sri Lanka on 4 June 1987 in support of Tamil Tigers during the Sri Lankan Civil War.

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.

Chandrika Kumaratunga 20th century President of Sri Lanka

Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga is a Sri Lankan politician who served as the fifth President of Sri Lanka, from 12 November 1994 to 19 November 2005. The country's only female president to date, she is the daughter of two former prime ministers and was the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) until the end of 2005. In 2015 she was appointed as the chairperson of office for national unity and reconciliation.

Eelam War III is the name given to the third phase of armed conflict between Sri Lankan military and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. After the period of 100 days cease-fire the hostilities broke out on 19 April 1995. The LTTE - Sea Tigers planted explosives in two gun boats known as SLNS 'Sooraya' and 'Ranasuru', and blew them up. Also, a new weapon "Stinger", a shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missile was used in this conflict by the LTTE. This was used to take down two Sri Lankan Air Force AVRO aircraft flying over the Jaffna peninsula. Eelam War III also marked the rising success of the LTTE, as they managed to capture key districts such as Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu, and took over the Elephant Pass base. By the end of Eelam War III, the LTTE had control of nearly 30% of the entire island.

Jaffna Airport

Jaffna Airport, also known as Palaly Airport and SLAF Palaly, is an air force base and domestic airport in the town of Palaly in Jaffna District, Northern Province, Sri Lanka. Located approximately 16 km (9.9 mi) north of the city of Jaffna, the airport was originally built by the Royal Air Force during World War II and later served as the country's second international airport before being taken over by the Sri Lanka Air Force.

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]

Aftermath

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]

Mullaitivu Town in Sri Lanka

Mullaitivu is the main town of Mullaitivu District, situated on the north-eastern coast of Northern Province, Sri Lanka. A largely fishing settlement, the town in the early twentieth century grew as an anchoring harbour of the small sailing vessels transporting goods between Colombo and Jaffna. The town has a District Secretary's office, many other government institutions and schools located in and around the area.

See also

The Battle of Jaffna was a battle fought in two phases in August and October 2006 for the Jaffna peninsula. It was the fourth battle for the peninsula since the start of the Sri Lankan civil war.

Related Research Articles

Sri Lankan Civil War armed conflict in Sri Lanka (1983–2009) between the government and the separatist organization Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

The Sri Lankan Civil War was an armed conflict fought on the island of Sri Lanka. Beginning on 23 July 1983, there was an intermittent insurgency against the government by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which fought to create an independent Tamil state called Tamil Eelam in the north and the east of the island. After a 26-year military campaign, the Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, bringing the civil war to an end.

Sea Tigers

The Sea Tigers was the naval wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during the Sri Lankan Civil War. It was founded in 1984. The Sea Tigers had a number of small but effective suicide bomber vessels. During its existence it had gained a reputation as a capable adversary for the Sri Lankan Navy. Over the years the Sea Tigers had sunk at least 29 Sri Lankan small inshore patrol boats and one freighter.

Operation Pawan was the code name assigned to the operation by the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to take control of Jaffna from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), better known as the Tamil Tigers, in late 1987 to enforce the disarmament of the LTTE as a part of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord. In brutal fighting lasting about three weeks, the IPKF took control of the Jaffna Peninsula from the LTTE, something that the Sri Lankan Army had tried but failed to do. Supported by Indian Army tanks, helicopter gunships and heavy artillery, the IPKF routed the LTTE at the cost of 214 soldiers.

Eelam War IV is the name given to the fourth phase of armed conflict between the Sri Lankan military and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which is currently proscribed as a terrorist organisation by 32 countries. Renewed hostilities began on the 26 July 2006, when Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets bombed several LTTE camps around Mavil Aru anicut. The government's casus belli was that the LTTE had cut off the water supply to surrounding paddy fields in the area. The fighting resumed after a four-year ceasefire between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and LTTE. Continued fighting led to several territorial gains for the Sri Lankan Army, including the capture of Sampur, Vakarai and other parts of the east. The war took on an added dimension when the LTTE Air Tigers bombed Katunayake airbase on March 26, 2007, the first rebel air attack without external assistance in history.

Operation Liberation or the Vadamarachchi Operation was the military offensive carried out by the Sri Lankan military in May and June 1987 to recapture the territory of Vadamarachchi in the Jaffna peninsula from the LTTE. It was the first conventional warfare engagement on Sri Lankan soil after the end of British colonial rule.

Battle of Mullaitivu (1996)

The Battle of Mullaitivu, also known as the First Battle of Mullaitivu and codenamed Operation Unceasing Waves, was a battle between the militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Sri Lankan military during the Sri Lankan Civil War for control of the military base in Mullaitivu in north-eastern Sri Lanka.

The Second Battle of Elephant Pass, was a battle fought in April 2000 for the control of the Sri Lankan military base in Elephant Pass, Jaffna.

The Battle for the A-9 highway was fought in March and April 2000 for the control of the Sri Lankan A-9 highway.

First Battle of Elephant Pass Battle in July 1991 during the Sri Lankan civil war

The First Battle of Elephant Pass was a battle fought in July 1991 for the control of the Sri Lankan military base of Elephant Pass, which was of strategic importance as it linked the northern mainland known as Wanni with the Jaffna Peninsula. The battle was fought between troops of the Sri Lankan army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, commonly known as LTTE.

The Battle of Pooneryn was a battle fought on 11 November 1993 for the town of Pooneryn. LTTE codenamed this operation as Operation Frog.

The Battle of Kilinochchi was a battle that occurred in September 1998 for the control of the city of Kilinochchi in Sri Lanka. The battle was fought between the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The Northern Theater of Eelam War IV refers to the fighting that took place in the northern province of Sri Lanka between July 2006 and May 18, 2009.

Operation Riviresa, was a combined military operation launched by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces in Jaffna. Starting on the 17 October 1995, the primary objective of the operation was the capture of the city of Jaffna and rest of the Jaffna peninsula from the LTTE. It is believed that Operation Riviresa was the largest and most successful military operation in Sri Lankan Armed Forces during the Third Eelam War.

The 2008–2009 SLA Northern offensive was an armed conflict in the northern Province of Sri Lanka between the military of Sri Lanka and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The battle broke with the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) offensive attempting to break through the LTTE defence lines in the north of the island, aiming to conclude the country's 25-year-old civil war by military victory.

Operation Jayasikurui, was a Sri Lankan military action launched on 13 May 1997; it lasted until it was called off in 1999. The primary objective of this operation was to clear a land route to the government-held Jaffna peninsula through territory held by the LTTE, by linking the government-held towns of Vavuniya and Kilinochchi. At the time it was the largest military operation undertaken by the Sri Lankan military. Initially, the Sri Lankan military experienced success by forcing the LTTE out of Killinochchi, capturing vast areas, however the LTTE managed to launch a brutal counter-attack which reversed all gains made by the government. After failing to achieve their original objective, the Sri Lankan Army called off its operation.

Theepan Sri Lankan Tamil militant

Velayuthapillai Baheerathakumar was a leading member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a separatist Tamil militant organisation in Sri Lanka. He played a leading role in the LTTE's military victories in the Vanni during Eelam War III, including Mullaitivu (1996), Kilinochchi (1998), Oddusuddan (1999) and Elephant Pass (2000). He was killed at the Battle of Ananthapuram in the last days of the Sri Lankan Civil War.

Battle of Kilinochchi 2008–09

The Battle of Kilinochchi was a land battle fought between the Sri Lankan Military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for the control of the town of Kilinochchi in the Northern Theater of Eelam War IV during the Sri Lankan civil war between November 2008 and January 2009. The town of Kilinochchi was the administrative center and de facto capital of the LTTE's proposed state of Tamil Eelam.

References

  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.