He lobbied a grenade against an LTTE’s explosive laden which was attempting to ram the Elephant Pass Army Camp on July 14, 1991 and perished preventing the enemy’s entry into the camp.
In recognition of this act of supreme gallantry Corporal Kularatne was awarded the supreme decoration a soldier can earn, the Parama Weera Vibhushana (PWV) Medal.
In 1990s Elephant Pass was an important target and strategically valuable for control of the Jaffna peninsula and on that fateful night over 5,000 LTTE cadres surrounded the 600 strong Army garrison at Elephant Pass. Corporal Kularatne and his regiment were tasked with surveillance for possible LTTE infiltrators.
At dusk, the Tigers tried a new tactic, sending an armoured fighting vehicle, a converted Caterpillar bulldozer, to break the defence line. Heavy weapons mounted on the bulldozer hammered the defenders and LTTE cadres moved up alone in its path. Flattening a bunker, the bulldozer broke through the border.
He was running through the heavy crossfire between the next line of defences and the attacking Tigers. Hit several times, Kularatne kept going until he reached the rear of the armoured bulldozer and scaled its ladder. Hauling himself onto the armoured bulldozer, Kularatne used his grenades to kill the four-man crew, falling to the ground with the explosions.
Late Lance Corporal Kularatne was found on the road by his comrades, dead of the gunshot and shrapnel injuries he had received.
Corporal Kularatne was born in 1966 as the second son of a family of four brothers and a sister. He obtained his primary education from Ranasinghe Premadasa Madhya Maha Vidyalaya, Hasalaka. He joined the Army in 1987 as a rifleman of 6 Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment.
The memorial to Hasalaka War Hero was later set up at Elephant Pass with the remains of the very bulldozer he destroyed, after the war was over. (KH/SI)
Courtesy: SL army