COLOMBO, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan President
Mahinda Rajapakse on Saturday announced the end of the battle against the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels as the military officials said
earlier in the day that the army has, after massive fresh offensive, almost
completed the control of the entire areas that the LTTE rebels have occupied for
The government forces have "finally defeated the LTTE
militarily," said the president in a speech in Jordan where he was paying a
Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa
speaks during the second day of the World Economic Forum annual meeting on
the Middle East at the King Hussein Convention Centre at the Dead Sea May
16, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
"I will be going back to a country that has been
totally freed from the barbaric acts of the LTTE. This freedom comes after 30
long years. My government's precise and well coordinated humanitarian operation
has so far succeeded in rescuing over 210,000 civilians who were being used as
human shields by the LTTE," Rajapakse was quoted as saying by the state radio
Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.
Defense officials said earlier Saturday the military
has sealed off the entire northeastern Mullaithivu coast and has circled the
LTTE forces in a small jungle.
The rebels facing ultimate defeat at the hands of the
government troops are bracing for a final mass scale suicide attempt against
government troops, said a statement of the Sri Lankan Defense Ministry.
This photograph released by the Sri
Lankan military on May 15, 2009 shows what the army says is equipment they
captured from Tamil Tiger rebels inside the 'No Fire Zone' where they have
surrounded the rebels for the final battle in a quarter-century conflict.
Defense ministry sources believed that the LTTE
senior leaders are surrounded by several suicide bombers for one last attack
against the troops in the final showdown.
Whereabouts of the rebel leader Velupillai Prabakaran
and other senior leaders have been much speculated.
But the military said Saturday that they are still
trapped in the rebels' last hold of about 2 sq kms in the western sector of
Karayamullivaikkal in the northeastern Mullaithivu district.
Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, the military spokesman,
said that some 20,000 civilians had crossed over to the government control
during the last two and a half days.
This photograph released by the Sri
Lankan military on May 15, 2009 shows what the army says are civilians
fleeing from the area inside the 'No Fire Zone' that is still held by the
Tiger rebels. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
The army's civilian rescue mission on Saturday had
braved a suicide bomb attempt by the rebels.
An explosives laden bus sent to attack the Army's 58
division Saturday morning was destroyed by the Army, Spokesman Nanayakkara said.
He said the rebels who face certain defeat are still
trying to cause damage to the troops
The army's 58 and 59 divisions linked up on the
Mullaithivu beach front early Saturday morning, according to the military.
Analysts said the government troops have thus taken
control of the island's entire north and east coastal lines for the first time
in the three-decade separatist armed war waged by the LTTE rebels.
This was to be the last phase in the final military
victory for the government troops led by the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant
General Sarath Fonseka.
Gen Fonseka's troops began its military campaign in
mid 2006 by liberating the entire eastern province.
Their capture of the north began early January this
year with the fall of the rebel administrative capital of Kilinochchi.
Military said the exodus of the remaining civilians
trapped in the last rebel hold began on Thursday.
Some 9,900 people had crossed over to the government
areas by Friday evening.
The LTTE rebels have been fighting for an independent
homeland since the 1970s. It erupted into full-scale civil war in 1983 and the
campaign cost more than 70,000 lives since the mid 1980s.
Sri Lankan military: LTTE plans last
ditch mass suicide attempt
COLOMBO, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Tamil Tiger rebels facing
ultimate defeat at the hands of the government troops are bracing for a final
mass scale suicide attempt against government troops, said a statement of the
Sri Lankan Defense Ministry on Saturday.
Defense ministry sources believed that the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) senior leaders are surrounded by several suicide
bombers for one last attack against the troops in the final showdown. Full story