Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Operation Thrividha Balaya

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Date  13 September 1990
Location  Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Result  Sri Lankan Military succeeds in breaking the siege at Jaffna Fort
Similar  Sri Lankan Civil War, First Battle of Elephant Pass, Jaffna University Helidrop, Eastern Theater of Eelam W, Battle of Point Pedro

Operation Thrividha Balaya was a combined military operation, the first of it's kind, launched by the Sri Lankan Military in Jaffna. The Operation was carried out to break the siege of the Sri Lanka Army garrison of the old Dutch Jaffna Fort in Jaffna.



Plans were laid out by Maj. Gen Denzil Kobbekaduwa to rescue the troops 6 SLSR & Police led by Lt.Jayantha Fernando of (He had earlier volunteered to lead the troops of the besieged fort) of the besieged Jaffna Fort and to liberate the town of Jaffna with the combined strength of the Army, Navy & the Air Force. Troops of 1GR led by Lt. Col Gotabaya Rajapaksa and 1 SLSR led by Lt.Col Sarath Fonseka were tasked with breaking the siege at Jaffna Fort and regaining the town of Jaffna under government control. Captain A.H.M Razeek, Commander Nothern Naval area planned the landings of the troops. Northern Zonal SLAF Commander, Wg.Cdr. Sunil Cabral was incharge of the air operations.


The operation to transport troops across the lagoon commenced in the early hours of 13 September with use of Sri Lanka Navy Fibre Glass Dinghies (FGD) under heavy LTTE fire. The Navy FGD contingent was led by Lt. Rohan Amarasinghe. The first wave of troops consisted of the Alpha Company of 1GR led by Captain Udaya Perera and Delta company of 1SLSR led by Captain Boniface Perera.

Sri Lanka Navy, under heavy fire transported more than 800 troops across the lagoon. The troops successfully managed to break the siege at the Jaffna Fort, however was unable to move forward to liberate Jaffna due to heavy LTTE resistance.

Food and supplies were brought to the Fort for the operation by the troops of the 1 Special Forces led by Captain Fazly Laphir in a mission doubted "Suicide Express".


The operation was called off by the Army Headquarters after about 2 weeks of it's commencement.

Lt.Jayantha Fernando was personally recommended for Weerodara Vibhushanaya by Lt.Gen Denzil Kobekaduwa, but was only awarded Rana Wickrama Padakkama which he did not accept as it was not awarded to the other 2 soldiers who had volunteered with him to support the troops inside the fort.

Lt.Rohan Amarasinghe who led the Navy FGD contingent was denied a gallantry medal by the Command Operations Officer stating "They were merely doing their duty" although he recommended other junior officers for medals.

Many other gallant soldiers who were involved in the operation were awarded Gallantry Medals by the Sri Lankan Govt. on the recommendations of the field commanders


Operation Thrividha Balaya Wikipedia