Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sri Lanka: Army warns against LTTE "dirty tricks" - worsening humanitarian conditions in the north

Source: Government of Sri Lanka
Republished for information and discussion only. This report does not necessarily reflect the views of Mike Hitchen Consulting

With the final phase of the menace of terrorism, now reaching its doom, owing to the string of humiliating LTTE defeats in the hands of heroic Wanni troops, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka Friday (16) morning undertook one more trip to meet his ground commanders and assess security developments in Wanni.

Lieutenant General Fonseka, fully conscious of possible consequences that might crop up with the onset of civilian exodus from all corners of the Kilinochchi, Mullaittivu, Jaffna and Vavuniya districts seeking protection, instructed his ground commanders to take maximum measures against infiltrating attempts of Tiger terrorists into cleared areas and special centers for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as disguised civilians. Lieutenant General Fonseka further noted Tiger terrorists, as some of them practised in the east soon after its fall into Army hands, might apply the same tricks with the vicious intention of crippling normalcy in the south. Elaborate preparations and arrangements, now in place to receive thousands of fleeing terrorists in the next couple of days, were also taken up by the visiting Army Chief when he met his ground commanders at the Wanni Security Forces Headquarters this morning (16).

Major General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander Security Forces – Wanni (SFHQ-W), upon receipt of his Chief briefed him on the status quo at ground level as the humanitarian operation in the Wanni is entering its critical stage. Ground commanders attending the meeting offered the visiting Army Commander with comprehensive accounts in respective areas as regards their operations.

Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, highly impressed with the series of military gains in the north told the gathering that those achievements have already received plaudits for the entire organization from every corner of the world and the contemporary military history of Sri Lanka will certainly add a new leaf when the historical saga is re-written in Sri Lanka some day. He also highlighted the vital importance of the Jaffna – Colombo link-up in the aftermath of the re-opening of the A-9 Highway, thanks to the valour of untiring soldiers.

Stressing the need for sustained surveillance, vigil and precautionary measures, as the humanitarian operation enters its decisive phase, the visiting Army Chief paid his tribute to all ground commanders for their unfailing commitment, dedication and invaluable sacrifices and instructed them to maintain the momentum.

Missionary International News Service reports on the worsening humanitariansituation -

The Sri Lankan army's advance in the north continues even as it has amplified the extent of the already critical humanitarian situation. Having taken, on January 2nd, the separatist Tamil capital, Kilinochchi, the army is now laying siege to the port city of Mullaittivu, the last inhabited center of note still under LTTE (Tamil Tigers), having taken control of a landing strip. However, the people's living conditions are of serious concern, as they try to flee the fighting; sources close to the Tigers said that several people have been killed or wounded by the army's artillery fire or by indiscriminate bombardments in heavily inhabited areas. In the area around Millaittivu, suggest several NGO's, some 350,000 people are living in terrible conditions; every day, the fighting leaves some 30 civilians wounded or injured. In the past few weeks
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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