Thursday, April 24, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Army captures Madhu Church

The Sri Lanka Army captured the Madhu Church at 1pm today. Sources very close to DefenceWire confirmed that the church and the sanctuary around it of four square kilometers is now in Army hands. Palampiddi, another strategic location north of Madhu is expected to fall within the next few days.

Yesterday's battle needs to be corrected in the following way....

Troops from 55 Division advancing from Nagarkovil captured the LTTE's Forward Defence Line and recovered 17 dead bodies of Tigers. The LTTE was in total disarray in this front. However, in the next front at Muhamalai and Kilali, troops from the 53 Division who attempted to charge the LTTE FDL was beaten back heavily in open terrain by long range artillery and mortar fire. Troops who managed to enter the LTTE trenches were killed in booby traps planted by the Tigers.

Although the 55 Division had captured the Tiger FDL, the 53 Division's bungling made it impossible to link the line and troops withdrew after several hours with the dead bodies of Tigers, some of which was handed over to Jaffna police yesterday to be given to ICRC.

The 53 Division, comprising only regular infantry (533/534) also includes the Mechanized Infantry and Air Mobile Brigades. Some sources have claimed 53 Div comprises of Commandos and Special Forces. This is not true. These two specialized Regiments comes under the Army Commander's Reserve since a few years back.

Who did this?

The defeat at Muhamalai yesterday is the 3rd comprehensive defeat in Jaffna in recent times. Two of the three operations were led by Brigadier Samantha Sooriyabandara. Despite yesterday's loss and another loss many months ago where two Main Battle Tanks were lost due to poor leadership, Brigadier Sooriyabandara is to be appointed Defence Attache to the Sri Lanka Embassy in the United States, highly placed sources told DefenceWire.


LKDOOD said...


thank you for the update

Troops in that area are doing very good job

congrats to the troops

Sun Tzu's disciple said...

I guess the LTTE found this period of SLDF discomfiture as a time for a face-saving withdrawal?

With the church out of the way, both sides may now slug it out more ferociously.
DW, are the damaged/destroyed tanks in Jaffna operation abandoned in LTTE areas or towed back?

RomeoAlphaFoxtrot said...

Hi Dw, great news of the capture of the Madhu Church Area - indeed a welcome Morale Booster !

On the Muhamale front can you let us know if there were any friendly fire (blue on blue) situations where we lost many of the soldiers?

Regarding the MID (Mechanized Infranty Division), there has been a lot of hype around MID, but they are yet to deliver the goods and have been seen failing and falling prey to the Tigers. Can you enlighten us also on this ?

OneSpirit said...

Did a Yahoo search on Sooriyabandara. It seems that after the 2006 attack, he was sent for training and spent a month in Hawaii on a Terrorism course (reward for services rendered or getting him out of the way?).

Now according to DW, he's to be sent to SL Embassy in US. Would any courageous patriot in the Army like to enlighten us citizens (who pay taxes for your salary and the 50+ billion rupees for fiscal year 2008 budget appropriations) on what the story is as where there is smoke, there's almost always a fire.

chamal said...

This is welcome news. Our forces have done well despite the losses yesterday.


"Some sources have claimed 53 Div comprises of Commandos and Special Forces. This is not true. These two specialized Regiments comes under the Army Commander's Reserve since a few years back."

Does this mean that they were in 53rd before but were later removed? Why did they do that?

Moshe Dyan said...

Thanks DW; great news.

Now its upto the statue-thief to bring back what he stole; else he is in for some trouble.

Bishops put pressure on the LTTE to vacate the church area recently and i'm sure this also helped.

good that this sooriyabandara blunderer is sent somewhere; where his military prowess is not required!

But it cannot be the sole decision of his; there can well be many others.

LKDOOD said...

No setback to anti-terror campaign in Sri Lanka


Lanka reacts defensively to TN assembly resolution


LKDOOD said...

Global hunt for Tigers' assets


Anymouse said...

DW are we still holding the land captured by D54 yesterday? or are they back to their initial positions?

sldf said...

DW, overall command of 55 and 53 are under Maj Gen Chandrasiri correct? If that is the case he too have to take the blame for not replacing Brigadier Samantha Sooriyabandara. Yet long to give him the go ahead for another offensive. If 53 have failed three times it clear that their should be a leadership change in 53.

It's easy for us to say all these but the loss of lives in these failed offensives in quite painful.

koombiya said...

Good news about Madhu, but it has no stratigic value, only political. But still, I wish more courage to our brave soldiers.
Even though we may have had a setback in Nagarkovil, I think its clear that its not the fault of the soldiers but in the command.
I think we should not attempt operations that involve large number of soldiers just running towards a FDL. History has proven this to be very costly. but the tactic of small groups with high fire power has always worked.
Courage to our brave soldiers, for without you there will be no us.

Srilankan said...

Chamal & SLDF,
The loss of our bravehearts was a monumental tragedy.However look at it this way..What is our ambition? is to ensure that as many LTTE cadres become maveers??..ASAP with our help (offered freely).So when you think of it what "fell" in this engagement was the kill ratio.I am happy if we killed at least 500 LTTE mf's for the loss of our soldiers which we will know only in future as we cannot monitor LTTE deaths in hospitals.
Theruwan saranai to all our brave soldiers.

Defencewire said...

Of the two MBTs lost last time, one was abandoned. The T89 was brought back and now our sources in Army Eng. say it is repairable.

Only enemy fire.

Its more on the leadership, command and strategy than on the skill of the unit.

This is why that kindness is being repayed in this way. I think we have lit the flame. Let others speak now.

Yes, CR and SF were in 53 earlier. This is not optimal. These units perform better when they are independent. After all, SF was called Independent Brig. at the beginning.

No we are not.

Chandrasiri is a capable, thinking General. He is helpless in this regard.

Remember, in Sri Lanka, politics and military victories go hand in hand. In fact, one reinforces another.

Unknown said...

WOW! What a victory!

Don't you have any shame?


LKDOOD said...

Sri Lanka not worried about possible Indian intervention


LKDOOD said...

Stop feud & work unitedly for rights: MK to Lanka Tamils


Defencewire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mazeB said... have given a list of dead LTTE names in muhamalai

mazeB said...

defencewire has palampidi also been captured by army today?

Peter said...

I like this theory:

LTTE moved forward and got battered.

SLA seizes initiative and captures LTTE's frontline.

SLA consolidates newly captured areas.

Intercepted radio communication reveals 100s of LTTE cadres killed.

The only anomaly is how did LTTE get hold of 28 SLA bodies?

Peter said...

"defencewire has palampidi also been captured by army today?"

Not only Palampiddi, even Kilinochchi has been captured. DefenceLK etc are keeping this under the wraps for a "special occasion".

Peter said...

Thursday night comedy has got me in stitches

LKDOOD said...

mazeB said...

defencewire has palampidi also been captured by army today?


palampidi has NOT been captured

DW posted:
...Palampiddi, another strategic location north of Madhu is expected to fall within the next few days.

mboi said...

hi DW, so has sla retreated from the nagarkovil fdl after Wednesday's debacle?

TropicalStorm said...


LankaENews reports 3 funeral parlours recieving a total of 143 army dead from Muhamalai.

Any comments?

TropicalStorm said...


Looks like there's some shuffling going on in the DC Sl embassy. Amb. Goonetilleke who was doing a fairly decent job is being removed and the replacement is yet unknown.

SL community here is expecting that the replacement will be a professional and not a stooge.

mboi said...

tropicalstorm, lankaenews is run by a unp stooge who has no qualms about publishing punnakku from tamilnut and other ltte propaganda outlets. he posts any news piece that might cause the most sensation. nothing on that site is original material its all copied from other places. never rely on lankaenews

deborak said...

DW, have you got any information why we are falling repeatedly in the nagarkovil, Muhammalai and Kilaly. I hear that we had to retreat in Kilaly too. By the way this is my first time to DW, and would like to SALUTE our brave soldiers who laid their lives on behalf of our motherland.

Sun Tzu's disciple said...

[Dailymirror, April25]:Ending months of fierce fighting, the Army yesterday reached the compound of the sacred Madhu Church without a fight, informed security sources revealed yesterday.

The military, however, dismissed the claim as just a rumour. “Troops haven’t reached the church yet, it is just a rumour,” Military Spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara told Daily Mirror yesterday.
( )

Why is the spokesman denying the capture? The article above itself is worded in puzzling terms.Looks like the LTTE withdrew few days back.

TT said...

im probably asking a dumb question here, but why did the army not bring down artillery rounds back on the first FDL when the ltte were busy taking pictures of the dead and picking up weapons (as reported in Tamilnet?) If they lured the army into an ambush, then why didnt the army retreat and repay the compliment? ..and i know this question has been asked before, but where the heck was the airforce cover? ...just asking

koombiya said...

yes DW I agree with you that Madhu is a very politically important place, and we should make very good use of it.
LTTE was saying that SLA is waging a war against catholics in SL and so on. now we have a chance to prove them wrong. we must take this opportunity to gain full support of the and show them our couse. But I feel the SL gov propaganda is not doing this. The propaganda is mainly focused on the country it self but not internationaly. In country propaganda is important to keep the voter base, but we also need to focus heavily on the IC as well. LTTE is doing this(lies of course)but the answers to their lies must be given to the IC.

I agree with mboi, lankaenews is UNP crap. with the way they hit on JVP and Gov u can easity guess it.

Thanks DW for keeping us uptodate.


Jambudipa said...

LankaEnews is important because we need to hear bad news how unpalatable it is. Use the news, accept the facts as they are and take the required actions to remedy the short comings.

mboi said...

yeah tt, i was always of the opinion that slaf should be doing more attack runs on the fdls using helicopters to keep the ltte from building and maintiaing their formidable defences. get some gunships patrolling the fdls on a regular basis, don't let the rats come out of the holes.

Jambudipa said...

Muhmalai-2 disaster there was no air support because the troops advanced in abnormal weather conditions.

Muhmalai-3 disaster obviously occurred because the crucial lesson was not learnt with Muhmalai-2.

Brigadier Samantha Sooriyabandara has to be at a minimum demoted. My preference is firing squad. Losers cost us lives and a quick end to this Tamil menace.

TropicalStorm said...

LankaeNews is important because it is refreshing to be able to see some sri lankan p*ssy, for us starved SL Americans.

TropicalStorm said...


This is where the question of why we wanted Mig29s when the actual need is for heavily armored ground attack aircraft with loiter capability, becomes very pertinent.

I really don't understand the reasons behind the acquisition given the very obvious needs being somewhere else.

TropicalStorm said...

Muhammalai also clearly shows how blind the forces are to imminent opportunties.

When taking such an obvious bait, there should have been enough maturity to know that an LTTE artillery counter-strike would occur, targetting the areas pulled back out of by the tigers. This strategy of theirs was known at public levels for quite some time.
Also given the fact that the need of the hour is to identify and destroy the big guns, the army high command should have had surveillance aircraft with heat-signature recognition capabilities airborne and waiting to call in air-strikes before committing the troops.
This is such a management fuckup, that the level of immaturity blows the mind.

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