Some of you have asked us to write about the demise of the late Major Lalith Jayasinghe after a particular newspaper broke the news of his untimely death over the weekend. Here are the details of the demise of this brave warrior.
Major Jayasinghe was attached to 3 Special Forces. An experienced veteran, Jayasinghe and another 7 members of the 3SF LRRP team infiltrated an area 30km north of Oddusudan on the 14th of November. Several days later, they engaged an enemy target and was moving to a safe location when an LTTE team confronted them. The Tiger team was completely annihilated but not without any damages to the Long Rangers.
Major Jayasinghe was seriously wounded in the chest and leg. A team member trained as a medic administered a field dressing on the Major. The wound was too serious for a field dressing to cover. A main artery was cut open by a gunshot wound. Even with this wound, Major Jayasinghe and the team decided to engage another target. Unfortunately for them, the muddy soil was exposing their trail.
By the 24th, another LTTE team had tracked them down. In the second confrontation, the now seriously wounded Major was mortally wounded and succumbed to his injuries. Another soldier was also injured just above his foot. By this time a massive rescue operation was underway.
Fresh Special Forces reinforcements were landed to secure a perimeter. MI-24 and even Kfir jets were used to attack and divert the attention of the pursuers. The rescue mission managed to recover the Major`s mortal remains and the other 7 men on the 26th and bring them to safety.
Major Lalith Jayasinghe was an unsung hero outside of the Army, but a very well respected officer in the Army due to his many achievements and temperament as a humble and committed soldier. Among his many achievements was the assassination of an LTTE `Colonel` considered to be the LTTE`s number 2 on 26th September 2001. The said `Colonel` was the brainchild of both the Sea Tigers and the Air Tigers and was killed at Oddusudan, an area well known to Major Jayasinghe where he himself embraced death in heroic fashion.
Last week, another Special Forces LRRP soldier gave his life following a confrontation with a group of LTTE cadres. He was hit with gunfire which opened a main artery in his foot. The soldier died on the spot and his body was captured by the Tigers.