Kilinochchi – Mullaitivu Route – Significant landmarks of the Humanitarian Operation of the Sri Lankan Forces

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Kilinochchi - Mulativu Route
Kilinochchi – Mulativu Route

This area was a stronghold of the LTTE for 30 years and was liberated in 2008. Now you can visit some of the most significant remnants of a 30 year old bloody terrorist war which was never seen by the public. Although Kilinochchi is not restricted to any person, Mullaitivu was accessible only to locals.  Movement of foreigners was restricted and could enter this area only on special permission of the army.

Currently, these restrictions have been lifted and free movement is allowed.

Water tank destroyed by the LTTE in Kilinochchi [now destroyed]

Water tank destroyed by the LTTE in Kilinochchi

During the final stages of the operation, the LTTE was forced to flee from their self-claimed administrative capital of Kilinochchi. On the 31st December 2008, the LTTE destroyed the massive water tank which fed the whole city of clean drinking water just before fleeing the city. Being in the dry zone, water was a scarce commodity for all the Tamil civilians in Kilinochchi. This fallen water tank today lies as it fell as a monument to the ruthlessness of the war.

If you are starting your journey from Kilinochchi this would be your first point of interest.

Update 1 : The remains of this water tower were removed in 2020 by the Department of Water Supply to make room for a new building. Therefore this monument no longer exists.

Visuvamadu Prison Complex of the terrorists (not open to the public now)

Visuvamadu Prison Complex of the terrorists on Kilinochchi - Mulativu Route

Travelling further north on A9, and turning towards Mulativu at Paranthan, the first sight to visit will be the prison complex of the LTTE lying close to the Visuvamadu Tank. The prison complex has 60 tiny cells for individuals and 6 group cells. Opened in 2006 by the LTTE intelligence chief Pottu Amman, has been used to lock up civilians and LTTE members who defied the LTTE regime.

Visuvamadu Prison Complex of the terrorists on Kilinochchi - Mulativu Route

There are two columns of prison cells all the walls are filled with graphical and verbal messages from Muslim and Tamil prisoners. All the messages are in Tamil and some of them have been translated by the army and displayed on a notice board.

This prison camp now lies inside a Sri Lankan army camp.

Terrorist Underground Bunker [now destroyed]

Terrorist Underground Bunker on Kilinochchi - Mulativu Route

This is the next place of interest you would find on the way to Mullaitivu. This is a two-storied fully air-conditioned concrete underground bunker used by the leader of the LTTE. The bunker is made out of thick concrete and the outer layer is covered in a brick wall to hide the nature of the building. This has been built in the middle of a Tamil civilian settlement and disguised as a civilian hut. It lies next to the house that the LTTE leader used when he was in this area and next to a huge water well. There is a circular small building which is said to be the place where the LTTE leader met the outsiders.

The bullet proof door to the Terrorist Underground Bunker on Kilinochchi - Mulativu Route

Access to the bunker is through a pathway connecting the bunker and an ordinary house. The main door is bullet bulletproof steel door. Once you enter from this door, you can go two levels down below the surface. This bunker has been air-conditioned and complete with a lecture hall, office room, bedroom, toilet and dining area. The bedroom is fitted with Oxygen cylinders. The generator room has been looked a pheasant hut. This bunker complex has been powered by a generator owned by the Danish Refugee Council in Sri Lanka

Today this bunker lies inside the headquarters of the 4th battalion of Sri Lanka National Guard.

Update 1: This underground bunker has been destroyed and no longer exists.

Underground 5 storied Luxury bunker complex of the LTTE [now destroyed]

This is probably the most important capture of the whole Humanitarian Operation of the army to release the Tamil civilians from the LTTE. The main bunker complex of the LTTE leader lies on the Puthukudiyiruppu – Odusuddan road. Lying inside the thick jungle, this has been the main residence of the LTTE leader. The main bunker is built with impregnable concrete walls and goes 5 levels underground.

This has been a luxurious hideout with air conditioning and with all the amenities of a luxury house. although the furniture has been removed, the functional use of each room was marked on the doors. Several emergency exits have been found which leads to guard bunkers away from the main complex. The complex also includes an underground vehicle park, a personal firing range and a number of amour-plated adjustable bunkers.

A generator is housed in a separate fortified concrete structure. A jogging path surrounding the whole complex has been built for the use of the LTTE leader. A barbed fire fence goes around the entire jogging path. Finally, the whole complex is surrounded by 3 barbed wire fences complete with guard bunkers and a large number of dog kennels.

This bunker was demolished by the Sri Lankan army in 2013.

The LTTE Swimming Pool (not open to the public now)

22 feet deep LTTE swimming pool on the Kilinochchi - Mulativu Route

The next point of interest of the humanitarian operation is the massive swimming pool which was used by the LTTE leadership for pleasure has been probably built exclusively to train deep divers of the sea tiger wing. Although it is 83 feet long one side of the pool is 22 feet deep and there are 2 pathways to the bottom of the pool where a person can observe diving activities at the bottom through glass window at the bottom.

This whole pool has had a steel camouflaged roof which is now removed. Similar to all other places this too now lies inside an army camp.

Monument of Victory and War Museum at Puthukkudiyiruppu

Monument of Victory at Puthukkudiyiruppu on the Kilinochchi - Mulativu Route
Monument of Victory at Puthukkudiyiruppu

Reaching Nanthikadal Lagoon you will find the newly established War Museum adjoining a small body of water. This museum displays the the final days of the liberation operation of the 3 forces and primarily displays the massive collection of high-speed boats,  locally manufactured submersibles, suicide boats and missile launchers captured during the last stages.

Next to this war museum on a small pool of water lies a new memorial built in 2009.  This Monument of Victory lies in the area where the LTTE leader a most of his high officials were killed in the final battle of the LTTE thus ending a 30-year terror of Tamil tigers which saw thousands of Tamils and Other nationals killed under the guise of liberation.

 War Museum at Puthukkudiyiruppu on the Kilinochchi - Mulativu Route

According to an army release “The blue background to the monument depicts the blue ocean and the flowers around it the Sri Lankan nation. Four Lions at the four corners of the memorial immortalize the contribution of the war heroes who came from all four directions to win the final battle. The soldier who carries a weapon symbolizes valour and gallantry. The National flag on it demonstrates the sovereignty, independence and dignity of the nation”

Submarine Yard of the LTTE (not open to the public now)

Submarine Yard of the LTTE - on Kilinochchi - Mulativu Route

By the start of the liberation effort by the Sri Lankan forces, the LTTE had built up a formidable submarine expertise and had been operating this yard for some time. This site was overrun by the Sri Lankan forces during the last stages of the operations and several partially built submarines or submarine-type submersibles. The Navy discovered a complete 3-man submersible 500 metres off the Mullaitivu coast after the end of the operations.

Hijacked Farah 3 Ship [now totally sunk]

On the 29th of December 2006, the LTTE boarded the Jordanian-owned MV Farah III cargo ship which was anchored 17 miles off the Mullaitivu coast. The ship was carrying 14,000 metric tonnes of rice from India to South Africa and had been forced to anchor due to mechanical problems.

The LTTE robbed the entire rice shipment and detached the anchor of the vessel and it ran aground in Vellaullivaikal beaches.

After removing all the generators, radio equipment and navigational equipment from the ship, its body was stripped off to be used as armour plates in vehicles. Today you can walk up to the skeleton of the ship which resembles a half-consumed animal carcass. [ SEE MORE ….. ]

Also See

Map of  Kilinochchi – Mullaitivu Route

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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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Travel Directions to Kilinochchi

Route 01 from Colombo to Kilinochchi Route 02 from Colombo to  Kilinochchi
Though : Kurunegala – Dambulla – Anuradhapura – Vavunia
Distance :345 km
Travel time : 7-8 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Negambo – Chilaw – Puttlam – Eluvankulama – Mannar – Pooneryn – Chavacachcheri
Distance : 347 km
Travel time : 7-8 hours
Driving Directions : see on google maps


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