IPKF Memorial in Colombo Sri Lanka (කොළඹ ඉන්දියානු සාම සාධක හමුදා ස්මාරකය)

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The Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was a military contingent sent by the Indian government to Sri Lanka as part of efforts to intervene in the Sri Lankan Civil War. The civil war, which lasted from 1983 to 2009, was fought between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Terrorist group, a separatist militant organization fighting for an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka.

The IPKF’s involvement in Sri Lanka was primarily aimed at enforcing the terms of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, which was signed between the governments of India and Sri Lanka in July 1987. Under the accord, the Sri Lankan government agreed to devolve some powers to the provinces and grant autonomy to the Tamil-majority areas in the north and east of the country. In return, the LTTE was expected to lay down its arms and participate in the political process.

The IPKF was deployed to Sri Lanka in July 1987 with the primary objectives of disarming the LTTE, facilitating the withdrawal of Sri Lankan military forces from the north and east, and maintaining peace and stability in the region.

However, the IPKF’s mission in Sri Lanka was a disaster, with some comparing it to the US involvement in Vietnam. The LTTE refused to disarm and instead engaged in violent clashes with the IPKF. The IPKF faced fierce resistance from the LTTE and suffered significant casualties during its operations in Sri Lanka.

The IPKF’s presence in Sri Lanka was also met with opposition from some segments of the Sri Lankan population, particularly Sinhalese nationalist groups, who viewed the Indian intervention as interference in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs.

Ultimately, the IPKF’s mission in Sri Lanka ended in failure, and the Indian government withdrew its forces from the country in March 1990. The civil war in Sri Lanka continued for nearly two more decades until the Sri Lankan military defeated the LTTE in May 2009, effectively ending the conflict.

The magnificent IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force) Memorial constructed by the Sri Lanka Navy located in Jana Kala Kendraya premises near the parliament complex, commemorates the soldiers of the Indian Peace Keeping Force who lost their lives during Operation Pawan, which was part of the efforts to intervene in the Sri Lankan Civil War. The monument was built in 2008, one year before it decisively defeated the LTTE. Lt General Kalkat was invited for the inaugural by the Lankan government, which promised to send a chartered aircraft to fly him and the families of the war dead for the ceremony, but the Indian defence ministry prohibited him from travelling effectively sabotaging the unviling. Thus this monument is still left without an official unveiling date.

The memorial pays tribute to the 1155 Indian soldiers who served in the IPKF and made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. It serves as a place of remembrance and reflection for their families, fellow soldiers, and visitors.

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Map of Elephant Pass War Memorial

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

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Travelling Directions to Elephant Pass War Memorial

Route 01 from Colombo to Elephant Pass War Memorial
Through : Kurunegala – Dambulla – Anuradhapura – Vavunia
Distance :355 km
Travel time : 7-8 hours
Driving directions : see on Google map

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