Monday, February 16, 2009

Sri Lankan navy cordon proves ineffective

Recent reports from the Sri Lankan military indicate that many small fiber glass boats have been slipping through the Navy cordon set up around Mullaitivu. Civilians have been found reaching all the way to Point Pedro in the Jaffna peninsula.

"According to military reports received, 78 Tamil civilians including 20 children have arrived in three groups braving the choppy Mullaittivu seas in fiber glass boats. 25 people including 7 men, 10 women and 8 children had arrived in the coast of Point Pedro, Jaffna at around 8.a.m., while 34 others including 11 men, 15 women and 8 children sought protection with Navy at Pulmoddai at 1.50p.m."

If civilians are able to reach all the way to Jaffna by sea, it is clear the Sri Lankan navy cordon is completely ineffective. There were reports two days ago of the Sri Lankan army firing artillery out to sea from their Point Pedro base, indicating an LTTE vessel had been spotted near the coast.

We should note that the LTTE has the added advantage of radar and sonar equipment that lets them know of all Sri Lankan ship locations, making it simple for them to slip past the so-called "cordon" layed around Mullaitivu. If even civilians with no such equipment are able to break through, then it would not be a problem for the LTTE to do it as well.