President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to be in Trincomalee early this week to welcome Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) returning from what Navy Chief Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda called the SLN`s biggest triumph in the entire Eelam conflict.
The government is believed to be planning a media blitz with the state media expected to be at the Trincomalee SLN base in full strength. The private media too has been invited to cover the event.
The president`s visit would take place under a tight security blanket, informed sources said. Despite losing all its bases in the East, the LTTE is believed to be active in the region, especially in the Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts where sporadic confrontations are continuing.
SLNS Samudura (formerly of the US Coast Guard), SLNS Suranimala (formerly of the Israel Defence Force), SLNS Shakthi(acquired from China) and SLNS Samudra, Sri Lanka`s flagship-the first vessel bought from India had been involved in the latest operation.
A second Indian warship is in service with the SLN.
The SLN deployed two other vessels to re-fuel the four-ship task force which carried out the two-day operation over 600 nautical miles southeast of Sri Lanka early last week.
The SLN is in the process of restoring SLNS Nandimithra which it had acquired in the 90s also from the Israel Defence Force.