Tigers take Pallai, SLA confirms loss
Frederica Jansz in Colombo, 5.30 p.m. SLT Monday May 1.
The LTTE Sunday April 30, in a press release issued from its London office
said the combat formations of the rebels had overran the massive military
base at Pallai. The area lies about 15 kilometeres north of Elephant Pass.
The Tiger statement says
"The well-fortified and strategically crucial garrison town fell to the
LTTE fighters Sunday evening around 6p.m. (SLT) after 12 hours of ferocious
fighting. The special commando units of the LTTE backed by heavy artillery
and mortar bombardment launched a multi-pronged attack on the central
military base at Pallai in the early hours of the morning. After intense
fighting that lasted several hours, the Tamil Tiger commandos stormed into
the military base inflicting heavy casualties on the Sri Lankan troops. The
LTTE fighting units have also destroyed several mini-camps and the heavily
guarded artillery base."
The LTTE further claims that it will today hand over the bodies of 50
soldiers to the ICRC. The rebels say they have now advanced further north
bringing a large track of territory in Themarachchi under their control
"facilitating their advance towards Jaffna."
Brigadier Sarath Fernando confirmed the LTTE have taken over Pallai,
denying however that the Tigers overran a huge garrison at Pallai. He
admitted that troops were pushed back to new defence lines now being
constructed further north in the aftermath of Elephant Pass . The Brigadier
refused to name the area in which the defence lines are being constructed.
Brigadier Fernando said that the rebels took "delayed positions at Pallai
while construction of new defence lines further north is taking place." He
said the delayed postions are "not well prepared" which resulted in the
Brigadier Fernando maintained that One Officer and 13 soldiers were killed
yesterday as a result of the fighting while another 200 men suffered minor
injuries. The Brigadier said he was unaware that the Tigers were to hand
over the bodies of 50 soldiers (that are recognizable) killed in action at
Pallai to the ICRC. "I am not aware of this, I will need to check" he
The ICRC could not be contacted for clarification as today, May Day is an