Last terrorist stronghold in Sri Lanka from Google Earth

Images below show Palamattalam/Puthumathalan area north of Mullativu which is among the last areas held by the LTTE terrorists. The Sri Lankan military launched an attack in this area enabling civilians held by the LTTE to escape. The result is a loss of hostages for the terrorists to use as human shields – something that the Life in Taprobane blog outlines the human shield factor with pictures from within what was called the “No Fire Zone“. Defence wire blog has some background info on the offensive in its usual tone. Pro terrorist websites would describe the situation differently. 

The images below were of course taken some by satellites in time in 2006-2008.  Chandru456 has a photo of what looks like the civilians who escaped the LTTE. No idea about their currentness

You can check this area yourself via google maps in satellite view mode.

All this will pass into history sooner than you think. The hardest part about war is ensuring that the peace that comes afterwords lasts longer. Politics of Sri Lanka’s tribal ethnicities, religions, languages and histories is a complex soup – ripe for manipulation by oportunistic demogogues. And there’ll be plenty of them in the future. Like flies.

The only comforting thought I can offer (besides buy your own Vodka) is that war and peace are both transient things. Hope we can make peace last longer.


Puthumathalan Google Earth Image

10 thoughts on “Last terrorist stronghold in Sri Lanka from Google Earth

  1. “All this will pass into history sooner than you think.” So true. Just like the second JVP uprising. I still feel the tyre+body burning stench at the tip of my nose, and boy, haven’t we forgotten! I never thought Susantha Punchinilame who drove 6″ nails into uni students’ skull would find himself seated alongside his victims clan in Kotte..! Democracy, they say…

    Anyhow, I hope we learn the value of human life at least this time around – tsunami failed to make a mark.

    BTW, thanks for the mention. 😉


  2. I hope people will see the difference between Tamil people and the terrorists and act accordingly. Opportunistic demagogues are everywhere, it will be sometime before those are gone. There will be wars and no peace until we learn that all the people are the same. The day I can see Cerno in the face and see myself, there will be peace. (Lord Buddha said that about 2500 years ago and we are still trying to decipher and understand what he said) But then again it is very hard see myself in a vegetarian face 🙂


  3. Serendib_isle: Than YOU for posting the pictures – quite happy to mention link to them 🙂 Personally I’m not optimistic that the political players will ever demonstrate much value for human life through their actions. Then again I’m not saying that the class is half empty 😉

    Kalusudda:😯 I wish I had your optimism. I think opportunistic demagogues are part of any political ecosystems. Sort of like destructive parasites. Only a collective sense of empathy (a gut feeling that we are all human) can ward them off. been reading about Sri Lankan history during the Portuguese period and Sri Lanka’s insane internal bickering is all too familiar. Don’t think we have learnt anything in the 500 years. Yet I don’t want to be a pessimist 🙂


  4. Strange as it may be in the modern world, we at last have success story in the war against terror.
    The sovereignty of Sri Lanka is complete and rebuilding can begin.
    Sri Lanka are you ready?
    Go to Sri Lanka, every one!


  5. Prejudice is a natural instinct. It takes conscious effort to overcome it. All the internal rationalization and all the wisdom we have cultivated starts to fall apart when we encounter those who we perceive to be unlike us. It’s mostly unconscious. We respond in different ways. We maybe overly friendly, patronizing, indifferent, even hostile. But almost never natural and accepting. Until we find that deep and binding common element that unites us.

    Most of us (if not our parents) were born in this tiny, unique and exceptional island. Our ancestors may not have always been best buddies, but they got along just fine. Good enough to carve out and preserve a rich multi-cultural shared heritage for thousands of years.

    Is it unreasonable to expect to share a common but yet inclusive national identity again?


  6. Of course there is much hope. There is a sizable Muslim community (8.1%) living in harmony in this island. Tamils have been the scapegoats of Tamil Nadu politics; and they somehow fell prey to the unfortunate events that unfolded in front of our very own eyes. Deep down, I’m delighted to see fellow Sri Lankans when I’m away from the island; I just wish there would be a time when the same feeling prevails within all of us, within the island.
    Let bygones be bygones, and let us hope, and work for, the best.


  7. Go to Sri Lanka: It rare to see a balanced yet hopeful comment. All times are interesting – and as with everything in history muddled.

    Ying_Yang: Not too sure about Prejudice being a natural instinct though I have nothing academic to offer other than a gut instinct. But I whole heartedly agree with you about an accepting inclusive national identity. Its not unreasonable at all and I think it would be easier if it was based around the realisation that we are all human 🙂

    Serendib_isle: 😀 Thank you for that hopeful comment. A majority of me clings on to that idea. I guess it will take some multi generational toil. The other part waits impatiently for another Vodka to be poured but that’s a dwindling minority. 😉


  8. Cernomate, I believe this provides a great opportunity for all lankans to stepup & set an example to all conflict zones by assisting these poor tamil civilians been held hostage by ltte Tamil Tigers.This is our moment to prove to the International community,albeit, ltte & diaspora propaganda, to show Sri lankan charity to others ! We never started this problem & ltte is in complete control & blame for this situation ! VP alone can bring an end to this ! Which he never will (he’s a cowered like all terrorist )

    Now, there seems to be an end in sight to this sad conflict …so, here it is folks….let your light shine ! “if a man has no charity ….he’s nothing “


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