Mullaitivu: Remnants of Tiger Terrorism: “Here the terrorist leader was killed”.
In our search for the remnants of Tiger Terrorism in Mullaitivu, we travelled from Colombo via Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Vavuniya and after travelling another 15 miles about 30 km to Puliyankulam, we took a diversion to Nedunkerni and to Mullaitivu. The final destination Mullaitivu is nearly 30 miles (60 km) from Puliyankulam.
Later on our way back to Chunnakam, we travelled from Puthikkudyruppu via Paranthan junction, Elephant Pass, Palai, Kodikamam, Vannathipalam, Puththur, Punnalaikadduwan, Nilavarai and finally to Chunnakam. On our way back to Colombo we travelled by A 9 road Jaffna - Kandy road up to Anuradhapura and again via Puttalam to Colombo.
The Road Development Authority was involved in the construction of the A - 9 Road from Anuradhapura - Vavuniya to Jaffna. I think this was the first time these roads are being re-laid and restored most probably after Sri Lanka received its independence in 1948.
According to a Road Development Authority report, “Northern part of Sri Lanka is one of the worst affected regions emerging from nearly three decades of internal armed conflict. The damage to physical infrastructure has been severe and extensive, and particularly the road network lies in a state of disrepair. The mobility between Northern part and the country’s rest of the regions are poor due to the substantial travel time required as the linking national arterial roads are in inadequate condition, which has hindered the spread of economic activities and development. Therefore the Government of Sri Lanka has obtained a loan from Asian Development Bank to rehabilitate and improve the roads in Northern Province and roads lead to Northern Province.”
I saw roads are raised to avoid flood in the future, broaden, bridges and culverts constructed and laid with two parallel lanes each for up and down traffics.
While travelling I saw Army camps big and small right throughout from Vavuniya up to Chunnakam. I saw sentry points and army watchtowers on the lookout for miscreants and enemies of the state.
In these roads I saw some big and small Buddhist temples and Buddha statutes. But to my surprise I saw four to five newly constructed catholic churches in the A-9 roads from Vavuniya to Mullaitivu.
Thirty years ago there were hardly any Catholic churches in the A -9 Road except the one in Muhamalai.
But today, I saw Catholic churches newly built in the Vanni region which I never expected to see. I saw reports about Buddhist Temples being constructed in the Tamil areas, but purposely the news about the new Catholic churches is hushed up. Why? I think only person who can respond is Bishop of Mannar.
Now we will continue with our journey in search of the Tiger remanants.
From Mulliyawalai we travelled by East Mullivaikkal Road to visit the vessel which was converted by the LTTE as a watch tower and as a platform to launch attacks on the advancing Sri Lanka security forces, during the war on terrorism.
On the way we were shocked to see thousands and thousands of wrecked motor vehicles piled up on both sides of the road for several kilometers.
We were told that those vehicles were set on fire by the LTTE carders on the orders of Prabhakaran when they fled the Mullivaikkal area.
Thousands and thousands of vehicle wrecks – all types of vehicles, Motor busses, trucks, motor lorries, jeeps, land rovers, forklifts, four wheel drives etc., etc., and also vehicles used for military combat.
The site I saw in the road I was travelling caused severe pain of mind- vehicles- many thousands of them, in fact majority of them were forcibly acquired from the Tamil civilians.
Also those vehicles were bought from the hard earned moneys sent by Tamil Diaspora in Europe and North America.
In the end we saw the wreck of MV Farah III floating and it is now drawing big crowd and has become a tourist attraction.
Ship’s superstructure was dismantled and taken for other fabrication activities in their organization
From there, we travelled to see the LTTE’s submarine yard located at the Iraddai Vaikkal junction.
There we saw some unfinished structures and we were told those structures are the main body of a submarine designed by the LTTE engineers. Also I saw a few unfinished boats being displayed.
From there my next stop was near the junction on the way to Valayan Madam Junction. There a board was on display stating “Here the terrorist leader was killed”.
Behind that board there was a tall watchtower for the people to climb up and see the exact spot where the LTTE leader Prabhkaran was said to be shot and killed by the Sri Lankan Army.
An Army soldier was there on the top of the watch tower. He gave binoculars for me to see very clearly the spot where Prabhakaran was said to be killed.
It was Nanthikadal in which I saw the LTTE flag and a cardboard statute of a Sri Lankan soldier pointing his rifle at the flag. The Tiger flag represented LTTE leader Prabhakaran.
To Be Continued
- Asian Tribune –