22nd July 2021 16:33:20 Hours
The bitterly-remembered Mullaittivu debacle, in which 44 great Officers and 1125 brave soldiers made the supreme sacrifice when ruthless Tiger terrorists with their Sea Tigers overran the Forward Defence Lines and the center base destroying artillery and armouries on 18 July 1996 was brought to memory during a commemorative ceremony that marked its 25th year on Sunday (18) at the memorial in the heart of Mullaittivu town.
The commemorative event, Major General Hemantha Bandara, Colonel of the Regiment, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment and Commander Security Forces - Wanni, Major General Sisira Pilapitiya Commander Security Forces-Mullaittivu and Colonel of the Regiment, Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment saw floral-wreath laying and a salute to the symbolic monument in memory of all fallen brave sons of the soil were attended by a few senior officers, including and Major General Keerthi Bandara, General Officer Commanding, 68 Division.
Troops of 9 Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment were instrumental in erecting this memorial in 2010 after humanitarian operations brought the LTTE terrorism to culmination by 18 May 2009. Many of those War Heroes who sacrficed their lives in the Mullaittivu debacle belonged to 5 Brigade , Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment and Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment.
At around 1:30 am on 18 July 1996 approximately 2,000, LTTE terrorists attacked the military base in Mullaittivu from the north and south whilst the Sea Tigers attacked from the east. After eight hours of heavy fighting, LTTE terrorists entered the center of the base, having overrun the Forward Defence Lines and clusters of mini Army bases. The LTTE then concentrated their attack on the artillery sites and armouries, capturing them and damaging the communication tower at the base. The LTTE's attack was paused just short of the heart of the base as 6 Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment soldiers started fighting tenaciously, hoping that they could hold on until relief forces arrived.
The Mullaittivu debacle leaves an indelible milestone in the annals of the contemporary war history against ruthless LTTE terrorists who waged a bloody war for separation and establishment of an "Eelam" after driving away all Sinhala and Muslim communities, living in the North and East of the country.