Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers ‘Defeated’
16 May 09 | AJE
Sri Lanka’s president has declared that the island’s Tamil Tiger fighters have been “defeated,” after the military said it had captured the area of coastline held by the separatists.
Speaking to a G11 group of developing nations summit in Jordan on Saturday, Mahinda Rajapakse said he would return home as “a leader of a nation that crushed terrorism”.
“I am proud to announce… that my government with the total commitment of our armed forces, has in an unprecedented humanitarian operation, finally defeated the LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] militarily,” he said.
Earlier, the military had said that the group’s remaining fighters were surrounded with no chance of escape.
“After this linking up of two [army] divisions … We have completely denied the LTTE’s Sea Tigers access to the sea,” Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, the defence ministry spokesman, told Al Jazeera.
“The LTTE have no other choice but to surrender or commit suicide.”
“They are slowly giving up,” he said. “They are blowing up whatever arms and ammunition they have.”
Government forces have been hunting for Velupillai Prabhakaran, the LTTE chief, and his deputies for months, but it is unclear if they are still in the coastal strip or have already fled overseas. >>>
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