Four Four Bravo

illustration by Joshua McMaster

-July 23rd, 1983-

By July 1983 tensions between the Tamil militant groups and the Sinhalese government were high. Several violent protests and shootings were occurring throughout the Jaffna Peninsula carried out by several different organized Tamil groups.

On July 23rd, 1983 the Sri Lankan Army was set to ambush a Tamil leader known for terrorist activities. Army patrol Four Four Bravo, consisting of 15 Sinhalese soldiers, was sent to do a routine patrol of the area. That night, 25 militants from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ambushed the patrol, killing 13 Sinhalese soldiers. This attack became a pivotal moment of the ethnic conflict, giving rise to the LTTE and igniting the flame for the Sinhalese people.