The occupying Sri Lankan military wants to change the name of the Elephant Pass (EPS) Railway Station, being constructed with Indian assistance, to the name of a war-dead 25-year-old Sinhala soldier Lance Corporal Gamini Kularatne, who died after tossing two grenades into the first LTTE-made bulldozer tank in 1991 in the first battle of EPS Base. The destroyed railway track, which was being extended from Vavuniyaa to Ki’linochchi last year, has now reached Ezhuthumadduvaa’l.
The Elephant Pass is situated at the strategic linking point between the Vanni mainland and the Jaffna peninsula.
SLA’s Corporal Gamini Kularatne was the first recipient of the highest Parama Weera Vibhushanaya award by the Sri Lanka Army.
The latest move to rename the station with a war-dead Sinhala army soldier comes as part of the ongoing Sinhalicisation and militarization of the occupied Tamil homeland where Tamils are denied of remembering their war-dead Tamil heroes.
An LTTE-made tank, which was under the command of veteran fighter Lt. Col. Sara, was struck with targeted mortar fire from the SL military, according to LTTE records.
The LTTE’s military wing emerged as a conventional fighting force during the first battle of EPS base in 1991, which came after the Indo-Eelam War.
9 years later, the Tigers seized the EPS garrison, which was one of the most fortified military garrisons in South Asia at that time.
The SLA and its US, British friends obviously little expected the LTTE to possess the capability to co-ordinate a manoeuvre warfare strategy on the scale required to seriously threaten a garrison as large as EPS.
The second battle of EPS was a paradigm shift in the conduct of limited wars in the 21st century.
In the 20th century no anti state armed group had ever succeeded in doing so – not even the Viet Cong.
The military balance achieved through the EPS fall brought the parity of status for the Norwegian brokered ceasefire agreement of 2002.