Fresh SLA recruit becomes Prisoner of War

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 December 2008, 21:12 GMT]
A Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldier, taken captive by the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) in Ki'laali on 09 December, has revealed that he was attached to Sinha Regiment and sent to the forefront of the offensive immediately after completing his military training at Diyathalawa Army Training Centre on 25 November. The Prisoner of War (PoW), who was allowed to talk to media on Saturday while he was admitted at Ki'linochchi hospital, said he had studied up to 7th standard and joined the SLA considering the economic benefits, but did not expect that he would be sent to the battle front immediately.

SLA PoW: R.A. Nishan Ranasinghe
SLA PoW: R.A. Nishan Ranasinghe at Ki'linochchi hospital

The PoW, R.A. Nishan Ranasinghe, said he joined the SLA on 25th of July, 2008.

He was sent to training on 25 August 2008 with 659 new recruits.

Following his three months training, which completed on 25 November 2008, Mr. Ranasinghe was dispatched to the Sinha Regiment and sent to the forefront at Ki'laali in North.

On the night of 09 December, he was amongst those sent to the offensive and was ordered to move forward at 2:30 a.m. Amid heavy LTTE resistance, they were then ordered to retreat, but he was wounded and lay on the field for nearly 12 hours from 6:30 a.m., without any effort by the SLA to rescue him.

The Tigers found him at 7:00 p.m., gave water and some first aid and sent him to a field hospital for further medical treatment.

The LTTE has said on Tuesday that they repulsed the SLA-initiated offensive push at Ki'laali after 9 hours stiff resistance, claiming that at least 40 SLA soldiers were killed and more than 120 sustained injuries. The Tigers seized two Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) launchers, one AK-LMG, fourteen T-56 assault rifles and a 40 mm Grenade Launcher in the clearing mission that followed.


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