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LTTE myth shattered: Rajapaksa

[Hindu, Monday, 6 April 2009 21:51 No Comment]

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Monday “the mythical belief that the LTTE is unconquerable” was shattered.

 

Mr. Rajapaksa’s declaration came a day after the military claimed it had captured the last stretch of LTTE-held land outside the government demarcated 20 sq. km. “No-Fire Zone” (NFZ).

 

Coinciding with the President’s declaration on “defeat” of the Tigers, the military said it had launched the “largest humanitarian intervention by a conventional military force in modern time” to rescue civilians trapped in the NFZ. The forces believe that an estimated 500 leaders and cadre of the LTTE, including Velupillai Prabakaran, have fled into the NFZ and taken shelter among an estimated 50,000 to 1,00,000 stranded citizens.

 

Mr. Rajapaksa said many past leaders were suspicious of the strength of the military in defeating terrorism and believed a war with the Tigers was un-winnable.

 

In its first reaction to military claims on ouster of Tigers from the area outside the NFZ, pro-LTTE TamilNet contradicted the claims saying the main LTTE fighting formations were in a territory outside the NFZ.

The website further charged that the SLA has stepped up attacks on civilians inside the NFZ killing at least 71 civilians and leaving 143 injured.

 

The military separately claimed that 2,127 civilians, including 919 children, had fled from the LTTE and had sought protection with 58 Division troops at Ampalavanpokkanai, Mullaithivu.

[Full Coverage]

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