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Sri Lankan Air Force Base Bombed by LTTE

October 24, 2010


Sri Lankan Air Force Base Bombed by LTTE

First Published 27-3-2007


Yesterday the Sri Lankan Air Force Base in Katunayake came under attack from LTTE (Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam) using aircraft. The LTTE otherwise known as the Tamil Tiger’s is a terrorist organization trying to obtain a separate homeland in the North West of Sri Lanka. It is the first time that the organization has used air craft for attach. In 2001 the LTTE made an attack upon the same air force base destroying several military planes then attacked the adjacent International Bandaranaike airport destroying a number of passenger aircraft.


Up to 15 people have been injured in the latest raid that seems to have caught the Sri Lankan Air Force by complete surprise.


What is interesting is that the LTTE have always been on the forefront of innovation when it comes to terrorism. They pioneered suicide bombers, issued every cadre with a vile of cyanide to prevent capture, they have their own navy and currently they are appear to be the first terrorist organization to have its own air force.


Editorial Comment:

I am very familiar with the area of the attack and have visited the Air Force Base in Sri Lanka for a dinner with my wife’s cousin. The Base still has the markings of the British Colonial times in its building. The houses for the offices are red brick buildings with louvers on all the doors. Palm trees hide much of the Base and much the land around is mined. Occasionally a coconut would drop from a tree and detonate a landmine but other than that it was a sleepy quiet existence.


The attack in 2001 was prepared under the gaze of an entire neighborhood. Young men set up a picnic at the end of a road near my parents-in-law old home and started to party. Curious residents were greeted with smiles and singing as the group partied on. You see a lot of young men partying like this in Sri Lanka so no one suspected anything. Later the weapons were delivered by another person.


Some of the cadres gained access to the air force base by impersonating officers and by acting in an arrogant manner avoided being asked for some ID. Another group of cadres crawled through an open drain that led directly to the tarmac of the International Airport. What followed was a devastating attack that left several passenger planes burning on the runway and several air force jets also destroyed.


The current attack from the air does open up a new chapter in the conflict with the introduction of the first terrorist air force. Whether this air force will be successful in the future is anyone’s guess.

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