Battle of Jaffna (1995)
|Battle of Jaffna (1995)|
|Part of the Sri Lankan civil war|
|Military of Sri Lanka||Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Major General (later General) Rohan Daluwatte,
Brigadier (later Major General) Janaka Perera
|Casualties and losses|
|500 killed (According to Sri Lankan Government claims)||2,000 killed (According to Sri Lankan Government claims)|
The city of Jaffna had been for years a major stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The Tigers viewed the city as the capital of their new independent state. The city was briefly recaptured by the Indian army in 1987 during Operation Poomalai but the city was later captured again by the Tigers. The new president of Sri Lanka, Kumaratunga, initially wanted to resolve all difference with the Tamils by peaceful means but the army pressured her to order an offensive against the LTTE. On October 17, 1995, 10,000 SLA soldiers attacked the city and in a 50-day siege that lasted until December 5, 1995, up to 500 soldiers and 2,000 rebels were killed. In the end the army managed to take the city and the peninsula from the Tigers, thus cripling the LTTE, however most of the LTTE forces managed to retreat into the jungle.
Initially the Army stated that the battle for Jaffna ended the war and the LTTE will never again be able to fight major battles against the government. It was believed that the insurgency was at its end. However this was not the case, which was apparent when the LTTE attacked an army detachment in Batticaloa district December 23, killing 33 troops. Military sources reported that more than 60 rebels were killed. Over the next seven months the LTTE reorganised and regrouped and in July 1996, the rebels launched Operation Unceasing Waves, which was the codename for the attack on the military base at Mullaitivu. More than 1,200 soldiers were killed and the base was destroyed.