Friday, January 02, 2009

Sri Lanka: LTTE HQ falls, troops take control of railway station, LTTE commander killed

Although the blog is on a short hiatus, I did say I would reopen it if there were any major developments on any of the major issues this blog has covered.

Sri Lankan government troops have now taken control of Kilinochchi, and latest briefings report that Sri Lanka Army 57 Division troops have taken control over the Kilinochchi railway station a short while ago (Jan 2).

According to the battlefields reports troops of 571 Brigade lead by Lieutenant Colonel Harendra Ranasinghe have beaten off the terrorists from the area in an intense battle.

It is also reported that Electronic Warfare (EW) sources confirmed that an LTTE's support group commander, known as Ilamperiyan, who commanded the Paranthan battle was killed in fierce fighting on 31 December. He was later given the self-styled 'Lt. Colonel' rank, EW sources further confirmed citing LTTE communication channels.

The government says the district of Kilinochchi has much importance in crushing the LTTE's military capability in its present campaign to end terrorism from the island.

President Mahinda Rajapakse on Thursday declared that 2009 would be "the year of heroic victory" over the rebels.

The latest fighting came as a government ultimatum - designed to allow 300,000 civilians in areas under their control to leave and seek shelter in government-held areas - expired on Wednesday.

Rajapakse announced last week that he would re-impose a formal ban on the Tamil Tigers if civilians were not allowed to leave by December 31.

However, any ban would be largely symbolic given the scale of the current military offensive against the LTTE.

An original ban was lifted in September 2002 ahead of an Oslo-backed peace process, which collapsed when Rajapakse pulled out of the truce last January.

The Tigers have been waging a long campaign for independence for Sri Lanka's minority Tamil community. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the violence since 1972, making it Asia's longest running ethnic conflict.
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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This blog will be on holiday from Dec 15 2008 -Jan 12 2009!