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Encyclopedia > Operation Poomalai

Operation Poomalai or Eagle Mission 4 was the codename assigned to a mercy mission undertaken by the Indian Air Force to airdrop humanitarian relief supplies over the town of Jaffna and Jaffna Peninsula on 4 June 1987. Jaffna was at time the under blockade by the government troops as a part of Colombo's offensive against the Tamil separatist movement. Concerned over violations of interests of the Tamils- who had broader support among the Tamil population of south India as well as the govt., India had attempted to negotiate a political settlement but the Indian offers had been rebuffed by Colombo. As civillian casualties grew and a situation of humanitarian crisis developed, India attempted to deliver aid to the northern area of Sri Lanka as a symbolic act of support to the rebels. The first of these efforts, a small naval flotilla, was thwarted by the Sri Lankan Navy. Two days later, in a show of force, India mounted the airdrop over Jaffna. The Indian Air Force (भारतीय वायु सेना : Bharatiya Vayu Sena) is the air-arm of the Armed Forces of India and has the prime responsibility of conducting air-based warfare and securing Indian airspace. ... Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil, Jaffna Jaffna (யாழ்ப்பாணம் in Tamil meaning யாழ்=harp, பாணம்=town of harper, යාපනය in Sinhala) the capital city of the Northern Province, Sri Lanka. ... June 4 is the 155th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (156th in leap years), with 210 days remaining. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Map of Colombo with its administrative districts Coordinates: District Colombo Division, Colombo District Mayor Uvaiz Mohammad Imitiyaz (Independent Group) Area    - City 248 mi²/ 642 km²  - Land / km²  - Water / km² Population    - City (2001) 377,396 (Colombo metropolitan area 2001 census)  - Density 3,305/km²  - Metro 2,234,289 (Colombo District) Time... The Sri Lankan civil war is an ongoing conflict on the island-nation of Sri Lanka. ...

Contents


Background

Main article: Sri Lankan Civil War
See also: IPKF and LTTE

The ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka can be traced to the independence of the island in 1948 when it achieved independence from Britain. At the time, a Sinhala majority government was instituted which passed legislation that were deemed discriminatory against the substantial Tamil minority population. In the 1970s, two major Tamil parties united to form the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) that started agitation for a seperate state of Tamil Elam within the system in a federal structure in the north and eastern Sri Lanka[1] that would grant the Tamils greater autonomy. Outside the TULF, however, factions advocating more radical and militant courses of action soon emerged, and the ethnic divisions started flaring into a violent civil war.[1] The Sri Lankan civil war is an ongoing conflict on the island-nation of Sri Lanka. ... Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), was the Indian military unit peforming a peacekeeping operation that was formed to oversee the peace accord signed between India and Sri Lanka in 1987. ... LTTE is an acronym or initialism for: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Known for their guerilla warfare forcibly killing every other independent groups aiming for seperate state. ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... Tamil may refer to: Tamil language, one of the Dravidian languages primarily spoken in the South ASIA Tamil script, primarily used to write the Tamil language Tamil people The phrase Tamil country is used sometimes to refer to the regions with a significant population of Tamil-speaking people. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1970 calendar). ...


The first round of violence flared in 1983 when the killing of 13 soldiers of the Sri Lankan army sparked anti-Tamil riots in which nearly four hundred Tamils were killed. The riots only aided in the deterioration of the already worsening ehtnic strife, the militant factions, notably the LTTE, at this time recruited in large numbers and continued bulding on popular Tamil dissent and stepped up the guerrilla activities. By May 1985, the guerrillas were strong enough to launch an attack on Anuradhapura, attacking the Bodhi Tree shrine–a sacred site for Buddhist Sinhalese–followed by a rampage through the town. At least 150 civilians died in the hour-long attack. 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... LTTE is an acronym or initialism for: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Known for their guerilla warfare forcibly killing every other independent groups aiming for seperate state. ... Distinguish from the type of ape called a gorilla. ... Look up May in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The government stepped up its campaign against the insurgency, and the Sri Lankan army in 1987 laid siege on the town of Jaffna, an LTTE stronghold, as a part of its campaign against the Tamil bases.[2] This resulted in large-scale civillian casualties and created a condition of humanitarian crisis.[3] India, which had a substantial Tamil population in South India, had been aiding the Tamil factions and particularly the LTTE [4] and called on the Sri Lankan government to halt the offensive in an attempt to negotiate a political settlement. However, the Indian efforts were futile. Failing to negotiate an end to the crisis with Sri Lanka, India announced on 2 June 1987 that it wound send a convoy of unarmed ships to northern Sri Lanka to provide humanitarian assistance[5]but this was intercepted by the Srilankan Navy and turned back.[6] Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil, Jaffna Jaffna (யாழ்ப்பாணம் in Tamil meaning யாழ்=harp, பாணம்=town of harper, යාපනය in Sinhala) the capital city of the Northern Province, Sri Lanka. ... A humanitarian crisis or (in the language of history) a humanitarian disaster is a health or otherwise natural disaster which mortally threatens a very large number of people. ... South India is a linguistic-cultural region of India that comprises the four Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Pondicherry, whose inhabitants are collectively referred to as South Indians. ... June 2 is the 153rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (154th in leap years), with 212 days remaining. ...


Following the failure of the naval mission, the decision was made–both as a show of force to the Sri Lankan government, of symbolic support to the Tamil rebel as well as an act what was termed to preserve the credibillity of Rajiv Gandhi–by the Indian Government to carry out an airdrop of the humanitarian supplies, designated Operation Poomalai (Tamil: Garland) or Eagle Mission 4[3] Show of force is a military term for an operation intended to warn or intimidate an opponent and to showcase ones own capability or will to act if provoked. ... Rajiv Ratna Gandhi (Hindi: , pronunciation: / / ) (August 20, 1944 – May 21, 1991), the eldest son of Indira and Feroze Gandhi, was the 6th Prime Minister of India (and the 3rd from their family) from his mothers death on 31 October 1984 until his resignation on December 2, 1989 following a... ...


Operation Poomalai

An-32s of the Indian Air Force taxiing for take off from Bangalore during Operation Poomalai.
Enlarge
An-32s of the Indian Air Force taxiing for take off from Bangalore during Operation Poomalai.

Mounted on the evening of 4 June 1987, the operation involved five An-32s of the Paratroop Training School in Agra, escorted by five Mirage 2000s of the No.7 Squadron. [2][7] The Indian Air Force (भारतीय वायु सेना : Bharatiya Vayu Sena) is the air-arm of the Armed Forces of India and has the prime responsibility of conducting air-based warfare and securing Indian airspace. ... Bangalore (Kannada: ; in Kannada and // in English) is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. ... June 4 is the 155th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (156th in leap years), with 210 days remaining. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... SasquatchTC 06:40, July 22, 2005 (UTC) Categories: Possible copyright violations ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A Mirage 2000 of the Indian Air Force The Mirage 2000 is a French-built multi-role fighter manufactured by Dassault Aviation. ... The crest of the IAF. No. ...


On the morning of 3 June, 7 squadron was directed to send a five-ship detatchment to Bangalore Airport, where they were redirected to Yelahanka airbase north of the city. At the same time, under the supervision of the (then) Vice-Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal S Raghavendran, five An-32s were loaded with the relief supplies and these took off for Bangalore at 0800 hours. These were to fly out, led by Gp Capt BK Sunder- CO of Paratroop Training School, after light and carry out the supply drop under the cover of the Mirages which were led by Wg Cdr Ajit Bhavnani- CO No.7 Squadron.[7] A group of thirty five journalist-national and international- were also included in the flight. The Mirages were armed with two Matra Magic II AAMs as a measure against any opposition by the Sri Lankan Air Force, and also carried three drop tanks. June 3 is the 154th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (155th in leap years), with 211 days remaining. ... http://www. ... An air marshals sleeve/shoulder insignia Air Marshal is the second most senior rank active in the Royal Air Force today, after the inactivation of Marshal of the Royal Air Force as a substantive rank in peacetime during defence cuts of the 1990s. ... The Magic II missile was introduced by Matra of France in the late 1970s as an improved version of the original R550 Magic I short-range air-to-air missile. ... A US Navy VF-103 Jolly Rogers F-14 Tomcat fighter launchers an AIM-54 Phoenix long-range air-to-air missile. ... The Sri Lanka Air Force is the Airborne Wing of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, and its key role is to provide tacical support to naval and land divisions. ... A drop tank is a external fuel tank carried by aircraft for long-range flights. ...


The Sri Lankan Ambassador to New Delhi was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs at 1500 Hours, where the message was conveyed by Minister of External Affairs Natwar Singh that Indian Air Force would be flying a mission at 1600 Hours to drop supplies over Jaffna. The ambassador was told that the aircraft were expected to complete their mission unhindered and any opposition by the Sri Lankan Air Force 'would be met by force' by the escorting Mirage 2000s.[7] An ambassador, rarely embassador, is a diplomatic official accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization, to serve as the official representative of his or her own country. ... The Humayuns Tomb, situated in New Delhi, has an architectural design similar to the Taj Mahal. ... Natwar Singh (born May 16, 1931) is an Indian politician and the external affairs minister of India in the Manmohan Singh cabinet since May 23, 2004. ...


The first of the flights left Bangalore at 15:55 hours and flew towards the Coramandel coast, where they were met with four Mirage escorts. One Mirage stayed back acting as radio relay, along with two additional An-32s over Tamil Nadu, which acted as radio relay to Bangalore. Tamil Nadu (தமிழ் நாடு, Land of the Tamils) is a state at the southern tip of India. ...

 Relief supplies drifting towards Jaffna.
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Relief supplies drifting towards Jaffna.

The flight leader attempted radio contact with Colombo ATC over the civillian air traffic radio channel at 16:47 hours, but was unable to establish contact. The mission approached Jaffna peninsula at about 16:50 hours and sighted Jaffna Town itself at 17:00 hours. The aircrafts descended from 12000 feet to about 1500 feet and carried out the drop at the drop zone about 7km from the town of Jaffna. The aircrafts then turned in a western direction, flying over Palay airbase before turning north, heading for the Indian coast. Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil, Jaffna Jaffna (யாழ்ப்பாணம் in Tamil meaning யாழ்=harp, பாணம்=town of harper, යාපනය in Sinhala) the capital city of the Northern Province, Sri Lanka. ... Map of Colombo with its administrative districts Coordinates: District Colombo Division, Colombo District Mayor Uvaiz Mohammad Imitiyaz (Independent Group) Area    - City 248 mi²/ 642 km²  - Land / km²  - Water / km² Population    - City (2001) 377,396 (Colombo metropolitan area 2001 census)  - Density 3,305/km²  - Metro 2,234,289 (Colombo District) Time... Air Traffic Control Towers (ATCTs) at Schiphol Airport Air Traffic Control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and in the air. ...


The mission arrived back over Bangalore at 18:13 hours, where they were greeted with much jubilation.


Aftermath

In the wake of Operation Poomalai, Sri Lanka accused India of violating its sovereignty.[8][2]However, India defended its actions as a mercy mission in aid of what were termed as the deteriorating conditions of the civillian population, refusing at the time to rule out further missions.[2] Within India, the actions were endorsed by the entire country[citation needed]. In India, it was seen at the time as an act of support against the beleaguered and besieged Tamil population of the north - an opinion that was destined to undergo a drastic reversal after the assasination of Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE in 1991. At that time, Colombo deemed it as a blatant show of support for the Tamil Tigers. Faced with the possibility of an active Indian intervention, the President, J. R. Jayewardene, offered to hold talks with the Rajiv Gandhi government on future moves.[2] The siege of Jaffna was soon lifted, followed by a round of negotiations that led to the signing of the Indo-Sri-Lankan accord on July 29, 1987 [9] brought a temporary truce that would see the Sri Lankan troops withdraw from the north and the Tamil rebels disarm [10], and saw the induction of the IPKF as a peace keeping force in Sri Lanka. Rajiv Ratna Gandhi (Hindi: , pronunciation: / / ) (August 20, 1944 – May 21, 1991), the eldest son of Indira and Feroze Gandhi, was the 6th Prime Minister of India (and the 3rd from their family) from his mothers death on 31 October 1984 until his resignation on December 2, 1989 following a... Rajiv Ratna Gandhi (Hindi: , pronunciation: / / ) (August 20, 1944 – May 21, 1991), the eldest son of Indira and Feroze Gandhi, was the 6th Prime Minister of India (and the 3rd from their family) from his mothers death on 31 October 1984 until his resignation on December 2, 1989 following a... Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), was the Indian military unit peforming a peacekeeping operation that was formed to oversee the peace accord signed between India and Sri Lanka in 1987. ...


See Also

The Sri Lankan civil war is an ongoing conflict on the island-nation of Sri Lanka. ... Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), was the Indian military unit peforming a peacekeeping operation that was formed to oversee the peace accord signed between India and Sri Lanka in 1987. ... The Indian Air Force (भारतीय वायु सेना : Bharatiya Vayu Sena) is the air-arm of the Armed Forces of India and has the prime responsibility of conducting air-based warfare and securing Indian airspace. ... LTTE is an acronym or initialism for: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Known for their guerilla warfare forcibly killing every other independent groups aiming for seperate state. ... The crest of the IAF. No. ...

References

  1. ^ a b Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), World Tamil Association (WTA), World Tamil Movement (WTM), Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils (FACT), Ellalan Force. GlobalSecurity.org
  2. ^ a b c d e India Airlifts Aid to Tamil Rebels", The New York Times. 5 June 1987
  3. ^ a b "Operation Poomalai - India Intervenes" Bharat-rakshak.com
  4. ^ Research and Analysis Wing. Fas.org
  5. ^ "Indians To Send convoy to Sri Lanka", The New York Times. 2 June 1987
  6. ^ "Indian Flotilla is turned back by Sri Lankan Naval Vessels", The New York Times. 4 June 1987
  7. ^ a b c "Indian Air Force in Sri Lanka.Operation Poomalai - The Jaffna Food drop." Bharat-rakshak.com
  8. ^ "IAF drops relief supplies over Jaffna". The Hindu, 5 June 1987.
  9. ^ Background Note: Sri Lanka. U.S Dept. of State
  10. ^ New Delhi & the Tamil Struggle. The Indo Sri Lanka Agreement. Satyendra N. Tamil Nation

 
 

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