17 May, 2021

Blog

Fire At Kosgama Army Camp Causes Havoc, Is CBK To Be Blamed?

In a combined effort, the military and firefighters attempted to frantically douse the fire at the Salawa Army Camp’s armoury in Kosgama, amidst continuing explosions, while people living within a six kilometer radius of the camp were ordered to immediately evacuate their homes.

There was a severe traffic block on the Colombo – Avissawella Road, while a section of the road was closed off as a precautionary measure due to the explosions from the armoury, and fear of debris falling on to the road.blast_armycamp

The military and the firefighters were taking every effort to ensure the fire doesn’t spread further.

The reason for the fire is still not known, and there is still no information on the casualties from the incident.

An eyewitness said that the people around the area were continuing to hear huge explosions and fire balls erupting from the camp, despite it being several hours since the fire started, while the Air Force said that a B200 Aircraft has been deployed for observational purposes.

A highly placed military expert said that former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga should take full responsibility for this incident, as the armoury was established in Kosgama on her orders, when she was the defence minister, despite strong protests against her decision. The establishment of the armoury at Kosgama was deemed as a move against the law as well as against certain standards.

“However, without heeding advice, she went ahead and established the armoury in this residential area and this is the result today. It could have resulted in a much bigger disaster if not for the military and firefighters,” the expert said.

The expert noted that even though it’s been some 18 years since the armoury was established, the residents of the area never pressured the authorities to shift the armoury out of the area. “Other than the military and the politicians, no one else knew the extent of the armoury and how much ammunition it carried, hence people were indifferent to it, as they did not realize the gravity of it until today,” the expert said.

It is believed that the armoury had comprised some 600 container loads of explosives.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 23
    12

    KASmaalam K S Sumanasekera

    Do you see any conspiracy against the armed forces, perhaps LTTE/Diaspora/CIA/MI6/RAW/…./…. infiltration, insurrection and sabotage?

    Did you see CV Wigneswaran and Trinco Sam leading the attack party, Ranil on taw?

    I wonder why the army camp is used as munition depot when it is surrounded by homes where people live. Gota was in charge of all these dangerous storage facilities and we were told he was a smart manager and took care of members of armed forces and the people.

    Or is it an inside job to spread panic, riots and eventually a putsch by the clan and cronies?

    By the way Basil met few high ranking members of armed forces a few weeks ago. Is this unfortunate incident (for the civilian who live close to the camp) connected to Basil/Gota/Wimal/…. /clan chief … ?

    • 28
      6

      Building an armory in a civilian residence area in South Sri Lanka’s Kosgoda and not removing it after war ended, is like having army camps on civilian property in Jaffna and northeast, and Defense Ministry refusing to return their land to civilians.

      Sri Lanka military and its infrastructure and personnel should be comprehensively reviewed, rolled back, and down sized for peace time.

      Security sector in Sri Lanka must be reformed, Re-EDUCATED and revamped and made lean, ethical and strong to work for peace and reconciliation.

    • 24
      6

      RE: Fire At Kosgama Army Camp Causes Havoc, Is CBK To Be Blamed?

      “However, without heeding advice, she went ahead and established the armoury in this residential area and this is the result today. It could have resulted in a much bigger disaster if not for the military and firefighters,” the expert said.

      “It is believed that the armoury had comprised some 600 container loads of explosives.”

      Why Blame CBK?

      Why not blame those who are maintaining and taking care of the Armoury.

      Looks like that there are many incompetents.

      True, it should have to be located away from residential areas, but still needs to be maintained properly.

    • 15
      1

      Native Vedda

      THis was an accident waiting to happen. I know several people living in the extensive National Housing Scheme across the High Level Road facing the camp and often on my travels upcountry, I would stop for tea or meals at some of the homes. When the camp was built the people were ‘uneasy’ living next to what might be, they thought, a target for the Tigers, but nobody complained because they said it would be ‘unpatriotic’. It was/is a most unsatisfactory location given the many family homes surrounding the place, but the war ended 7 years ago, and fate has a way of putting things right. I am sure that there will wholesale rejoicing when they announce that the camp will never be rebuilt.

      Let us hope there were no fatalities; let us give thanks for one less military camp in our blessed land.

      • 5
        0

        Spring Koha

        Thanks for your comment

        As a man who loves to travel should not miss this clip:

        WOULD YOU DARE TO QUESTION WHO YOU REALLY ARE?
        Our DNA reveals so much about where we come from. Most of us are far more diverse and have much more in common with people from other countries than we would ever have thought. We have started The DNA Journey because we want people to understand that there are more things uniting us, than dividing us.

        http://www.momondo.ca/letsopenourworld/

        Please watch.

        • 3
          8

          Native Vedda

          Thanks for the link.

          However, they did not go far enough, to show that they all are Africans.

          The Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamils will be shown to be South Indians, and Africans.

          • 5
            2

            You don’t have to go far to show that monkeys are descendants of Veddahs, Native or otherwise.

    • 1
      0

      good offense is the best defense

  • 15
    2

    This is not the time to foist blame on Former Presidents.
    Besides,this highly placed Military expert appears to have an agenda.

    • 16
      2

      If a former President had made such a grievous error, with the aquiecense of military high ups, why was it not rectified in the last 11 years or more?

      To engage in a blame game did they wait for a mishap? An agenda is a plausible hypothesis.

      • 0
        8

        Barathan

        “If a former President had made such a grievous error, with the aquiecense of military high ups, why was it not rectified in the last 11 years or more?”

        The core problem is incompetency. The incompetency of the politicians and administrators seems to have spilled over to the army.

        So, incompetent low IQ personnel not sufficiently trained or non-trainable may be manning the site and maintaining the site.

        In any case such accidents are bound to happen. To reduce such possibilities, need well-trained intelligent personnel.

        Did they have them? Most likely not.

        Don’t blame CBK. However, the site should have been far away from residential areas.

  • 8
    4

    Veda,
    Are You still in stone age and blaming LTTE and CVW and Trino Sam in first hand ?

    Who is responsible for the hotel fire in Hambantota ? Why you didn’t mention any names there

    • 5
      1

      Pasel

      “Are You still in stone age and blaming LTTE and CVW and Trino Sam in first hand ?”

      Are various groups of LTTE supporting diaspora going to claim responsibility for this unfortunate incident?

      You know why.

  • 2
    1

    Wonder whether it Is a planed attempt from outside or inside to portrait a military imperfection.

  • 19
    3

    The Rajapakse clan is desperate!
    The first accused according to them is CBK.
    Gota was defence chief since 2015; If the location was not safe why the bloody hell did he not relocate the Ammunition dump?

    • 7
      0

      Plato.

      Since 2009 the armed forces had no use of the old stock they bought prior and just after the end of war.

      If it doesn’t get rid of the old stock how could the merchants of death make money, top officials and politicians get their share of commission and all expenses paid free trips to meet/negotiate with suppliers.

      Once in a while planned accidents could happen.

      Now Wimal, Vasu, Gota, …. have a purpose, blame the government, find LTTE inside the fire and explosion, demand more security and replacement of Defense secretary, …..

    • 17
      7

      Looks like an inside job by Gota’s men to discredit the government and CBK.

      • 1
        3

        Like the sabotage of the transformers that led to a country wide blackout??? You are such an idiot!

        • 2
          0

          What’s so “idiotic” about it?

          Nothing is impossible when it comes to the Rajapakses’ craving for the power that they never thought they would lose!

          The truth is sometimes ‘inconvenient’, as you well know!!

  • 11
    9

    these incidents prove again the inability of yahapalana and people should defeat the government at coming no confidence motion on the 8th against [Edited out]

  • 5
    2

    “A highly placed military expert said that former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga should take full responsibility for this incident…The establishment of the armoury at Kosgama was deemed as a move against the law as well as against certain standards. ………However, without heeding advice, she went ahead and established the armoury in this residential area.”

    For one day, one camp this much of dancing. North had eight months of unlimited cracking and their houses burning. The the Tamils took it all on their backs. Still an unlimited amount of Chemical and thermobaric bombs are stored there, illegally, improperly and with ill will.

    I do not know if it is only one million coconuts cracking sound of the Joint Comedians or the Indian Chemical Bombs are blasting of, it appears to be over doing of evacuating 6-10 kilo meters of residents. Whether it was accident or sabotage, there some political game also being played. This is a very crucial time. Many limits are narrow down.

  • 5
    3

    This is clearly a sabotage attempt by interested parties by infiltrating this camp. The objective would be to send a message to the govt and the forces to remove military camps from civilian areas in the north where if a similar incident happens there the situation would be catastrophic in terms of casualties and the peace in the country.

  • 7
    2

    There was a fire in an Indian ammo depot a week ago, so is CBK responsible for that too?
    There were nearly 60 people dead there and to this point 1 death and 1 injured. Even though the cost of the ammunitionis vast, lives and evacuations have happened properly.
    This was an accident most probably, so let’s not point fingers just yet!!!
    Prayers for speedy recovery and safe going back!!!

  • 7
    2

    I am not defending CBK but MR & Gota, the all powerful people at a time gone-by were in complete control for 10 years. They claim to have reformed and reorganised the military a lot at the time. If the army person who revealed this had half-a-brain he would say that MR & Gota did jack! about the mistake CBK made. Thats the only point here!

  • 9
    3

    This is a blame game planned and executed by the Rajapssa clan to tarnish CBK.
    The camp had been in place for the last 18 long years.
    How dare this Army spokesman blaminging someone no longer the defence secretary to take the blame??

    GR was the Defence secretary before and after the end of the war.
    Was he not responsible for the safe storage of the Arms.??

    Cock and Bull stories to tell the PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN WHO WOULD BELIEVE ALL THE LIES AND FABRICATIONS!!!
    Are the Srilankans foolish to believe this fabrication.??

    • 2
      0

      With what speed ‘full responsibility’ was placed on CBK! Who really made this man an ‘expert’ and placed him high in military echelons?

      Even before the vibrations of the explosion could subside,the expert had drawn the line of guilt. What does it show? Responsibility fixation was scripted well ahead of the happening.

  • 5
    2

    “A highly placed military expert said that former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga should take full responsibility for this incident, as the armoury was established in Kosgama on her orders, when she was the defence minister, despite strong protests against her decision.”

    Surely, the war ended 7 years ago and the error could have been rectified long ago.
    Also, was it a personal decision by CBK? Was there no consultation with the army top brass?

    • 4
      0

      “”Also, was it a personal decision by CBK? Was there no consultation with the army top brass? “”

      It’s the natural thing in life for one person to take the decision.
      in this case the overall commander wattie amma video woman daughter of `weeping widow` the `viper` concept of power.

  • 10
    0

    May be a coup d’état is on! Govt leaders soon will repent on delayed actions on culprits of former regime!!

  • 9
    4

    What did Gota do until 2015?
    Is this the work of the MARa clan??

    • 12
      1

      Samuel Perara

      “What did Gota do until 2015?”

      He was too busy operating a large fleet of White Vans which provided passengers the last free ride to eternity.

      He was the only active national executioner.

    • 0
      0

      preventing explosions perhaps ?…

  • 4
    1

    Chandrika was last president in 2005(?). In the interim, we had the hela puthraya and his warrior brother, who apparently knew more about war than sun tzu. Yet in the 11 year interim, the armory was never moved either.

    I don’t know if I should laugh at this or feel troubled that there are voting adults in this country that think this “chandrika is totally to blame” statement logical in any way.

    • 4
      0

      Kp

      You should start crying for those people who live/lived too close to the ammunition dump and start laughing at those smart ass patriots.

      Let us hear from KASmaalam how the Vellala conspiracy was hatched and its precision execution was carried out by Sambandan (age 83).

  • 5
    0

    Is this a man made catastrophe – ARSON – to cover up shortage of arms and explosives at the arms depot?
    Arms and explosives fetch high prices in the ‘criminal’ black market – else, how to explain the many armed robberies over the years?
    Prices in international arms markets are higher.
    Were there illegal ‘sales’ to these?

    Arms Depots are planned and contents carefully distributed to prevent destruction/ignition by fire – usually fire extinguishers are made available to kill fires early.
    Therefore such a conflagration is suspicious.

  • 2
    0

    Who’s trying to go on an arms & ammunition buying spree to whack a good commission??

  • 3
    1

    Boo Hoo! Why blame CBK after 18 years. Lot of water has flown below the bridge. Plenty of time for 5 star leaders such as Gota to do the needful? It is 7 years since end of fighting. Why maintain such a huge inventory.
    What is the status of Katunayake, Ratmalana etc?

  • 6
    1

    That `highly placed military officer` seems to be a bloody idiot or a crucked rascal who has a different ajenda. Why blame CBK? How was the explotion due to her?Did she come and set fire to it? If the location was unsuitable those bloody pundits could have got it moved on to some other place during their `hero` Gota`s period.This irresponsible officer and others of his calibre should be blamed for failing to protect it!

  • 0
    1

    No point in speculative blame-game.
    All is not lost. IMF has granted big loans. The loan can be utilized to shift the armoury to a different location and the ammunition imported – without tender because of urgency sighting terrorism resurgence. After all this terrorism thingy worked in the past and has to work this time too.
    Hope the air-force will squeeze in the fighter jets too.

    • 0
      0

      Goverment has warned people not even touch the debris. It looks like much more were hidden there to use on Tamils if the Genocide without witness did not go ahead as quick as they wanted.

      Residents has to be secretly treated for the Chemical gas exposed from there and has to be hushed. The promises going to come out for free houses for damaged ones. When Mittal descended to Lankawe, he has put his hand in the gold pot. IMF loan may not be enough. The New King’s urgent visit to China would do the trick.

  • 3
    0

    “A highly placed military expert said…” – really????

    So why didn’t this “military expert” (wonder if it was the ex-Defence Secy?) move the camp to somewhere more suitable???

  • 0
    0

    Come on guys, this is a terrible and dangerous event. But a similar event just happened in India on May 31st. I have pasted the newsclipping on that below. Now were both accidents out of careless activities or sabotage? That is a different question. CBK left office in 2005. MR-GR and SF were in total and absolute control of all events and actions and decisions pertaining to the Military. From weapons procurement to strategy to deployment General Fonseka had aabsolute control and approval of everything from MR-GR for the military side of the war. Fonseka is the sole party responsible for winning the war according to h im too. I am not blaming him or others but you interview a guy blaming CBK? Is that part of a plot too?If it is CBK then it follows LOGICALLY you need to ask SF, and GR. SF says he won the war solely on his brilliance and his selections. GR says otherwise. They were dictators from 2005 to 2010 in case of SF and 2015 in the case of GR

    Here is the news item on India. May 31-2016

    A huge fire swept through one of India’s biggest ammunition depots on Tuesday, triggering an explosion and killing at least 16 people trying to douse the flames, government officials said.

    Firefighters battled through the night to bring flames that soared into the sky under control at the depot in Pulgaon, 600 km (373 miles) from the city of Mumbai.

    The dead included three soldiers and 13 civilian fire fighters, the defence ministry said in a statement, while 17 people were injured.

    The fire, which started after midnight in a shed storing ammunition, forced the evacuation of thousands of nearby villagers, regional official Shailesh Nawal said.

    Among the soldiers killed were two officers who had rushed to the site when the fire broke out, and had gathered people along the way to help fight the flames and stop ammunition from igniting, Brigadier Sandeep Bhalla told Indian television.

    “Once they were fighting the fire, the explosion must have taken place and they all died,” he said.

    The cause of the fire was not known, the defence ministry said, adding that the army had ordered an inquiry. It was the latest of several fires at Indian arms depots in recent years.

    The Pulgaon depot, spread over 2,800 hectares (7,000 acres), is a store for various types of ammunition, explosives and missiles, media reported.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that he was pained by the loss of lives and had asked Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to visit the site.

    Some villagers reported damage to their houses after the explosion but they returned home after the fire was brought under control.

  • 3
    0

    Judging from the comments made by the readers of CT, one could see how
    gullible our people are,as various accusations were made involving the past Govt, the Present Govt, former president CBK, Ltte,Tamil diaspora and even army personnel and so on.This is how rumours get carried away
    and violent demonstrations and racial riots start.Explosions from the armories in USA and other western countries too happen and in those
    countries, and people take it as a national calamity unlike, in our country where people have to blame somebody. We should get out of this Asian mentality of putting the blame on somebody and they do not even sight the place to give any help as a citizen. Leave the authorities to decide as to who is to be blamed and take remedial action. recently
    in Canada, 90,000 people were evacuated from a province called Alberta due floods, where their houses were floating in flood waters and all of them were given shelter, clothing and food by the people of other areas within hours of evacuation. This is the difference between the West and the East. Aware of the recent floods in SL and they suffered
    immensely without much help and people are doubting whether the aids
    reached the correct people.
    People should pray for the safety of the people living in the vicinity
    of the area of destruction and try and help them ,instead of gossiping

  • 2
    3

    These are the symbol of aggression. So good that it all exploded and got self destructed which should have not been there in the first place. It is an act of God, so we should feel happy about it. Only one person died and he too seems a person employed by the aggressors. We really have think of how many lives this explosion saved by its self destruction.

  • 0
    1

    Wellampitiya, Madampitiya, Army and the Police a have common history in Sri Lanka unlike any other country. Times have changed. God has commenced his reactions.

  • 0
    0

    Let us hope MABUSA will not raise the taxes again.

  • 0
    0

    Finger pointing apart who is going to investigate the incident?
    Have they got the capacity and the know how?
    What was the scene immediately before the first explosion?
    Obviously sabotage has to be considered seriously.
    The whole area should be considered a crime scene and should be treated accordingly.
    At this point Rajapaksha clan should be the main suspects.
    The government should seek expert help and not try to sweep this under the carpet.

    • 4
      0

      normally its an insurance claim that causes fire crackers in a fire safety zone.

      you are not too far when the MoD has become tight fisted.

      relocated or scrapped for later consideration.

      shut up and put up.

  • 2
    1

    The Karma is back to Sinhalese, after 7 years.

    • 1
      1

      There is only individual, not group, Karma.

  • 1
    0

    There have been so many unreported lung cancer and other cancer cases in north east due to breathing , inhalation of poisonous air and contaminated toxic water use caused by the bomb explosions from land air and sea. The reports were intentionally suppressed and the media self blackout it. The epidemiology division of the health department tells nothing about it. It is like what Hitler’s Germany did. Coward dishonest medical profession of Sri Lanka which long for tax free cars and doing private practice during working hours which boast as the cream of the SL intelligentsia and expect respect in common places and functions.
    Will the civil society demand the reports of the health issue among this affected population in short and long term perspective?

  • 1
    1

    I wouldn’t know how a military expert can lay the blame on CBK. It’s many years after she relinquished office. The best the so called have been in office since then. It is actually the army ordnance personnel who should advise what is good or bad. The fault in the army is that no periodic inspections and audits are conducted seriously. Although there are many qualified. There is no bench mark or compliance. However, things happen. Sometime ago, there was a major accident in Pakistan. They never blamed any past politician. That’s all bull.
    For sure there was no proper standing orders and response measures. Politicians don’t teach the army to conduct its affairs. During the time of the British the best storage methods were followed. Welisara and Trincomalee stand out.
    Finally in the military there are no experts but only specialists.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.