SRI LANKA NAVY DESTROYS THREE TIGER BOATS THAT CAME TO ATTACK COLOMBO PORT; THREE TIGERS JUMPED OFF BOATS LATER ARRESTED
By Walter Jayawardhana
The Sri Lanka Navy destroyed three Tamil Tiger boats which were attempting to attack the Colombo harbor, considered one of the busiest container ports in South Asia.
The Sri Lanka navy said they destroyed the three boats which were trying to attack the Rangala Naval base which is located in the center of the Colombos commercial port.
The boats sank with unknown number of Sea Tigers in the boats except
three who jumped off a boat . The Army sources said those three and
three other suspects were later arrested.
The Ministry of Defense said the attempt of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was successfully foiled.
The LTTE tried to enter the Colombo port in 1996 and fired rocket propelled grenades at foreign ships but they were completely destroyed by the navy gun boats then. Following the attack the government banned fishing near the Colombo port tightening the security with a marked security zone.
Before this attack the LTTE also attacked the Galle naval base with suicide boats and killed one sailor and a civilian.
Navy spokesman Rear Admiral B.A.G.G.Peiris said, a foreign vessel flying under a Panamanian flag, Pelaponesia Pride was damaged by the explosion of the second Tamil Tiger boat . He said, "A container burst open and came off its original position as a result of the shockwaves. Peiris said the vessel was not hit by navy fire. The ship was coming from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and heading for a berth at Colombo port, he said.
Port authorities said due to the gun fire the work of the port was disrupted briefly but it came back to normal . In a visit to the Port, Ports Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the foiled attack proved that the Colombo port was one of the safest ports in the world.
The attack came soon after Police raised security one day before
on Friday suspecting rebel attacks in the South. Intelligence said
the rebels were preparing to attack South in revenge after losing
Vakarai. About 38 people were arrested on suspicion on Friday for
© 1997-2004 www.lankaweb.Com
Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.