Login    Forum    Search    FAQ

Board index » General Topics » Sri Lanka Latest News




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Troops Capture Thoppigala, the Last LTTE base in the East
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:01 pm 
Troops Capture Thoppigala, the Last LTTE base in the East

The fall of LTTE eastern base, Thoppigala, gives the government control over the entire eastern province for the first time in nearly 14 years.

Image

@ IHT/AP/ Agencies /MCNS
Wednesday, July 11, 2007


COLOMBO: Government forces captured the last LTTE base in Sri Lanka's east on Wednesday, the army said, dealing a major blow to the tigers two-decade fight for an independent homeland.

The fall of their eastern base, Thoppigala, gives the government control over the entire eastern province for the first time in nearly 14 years. The Tigers still control parts of northern Sri Lanka, where they maintain a de facto state.

Troops seized the Thoppigala base Wednesday and were chasing fleeing insurgents, army commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka told The Associated Press.

Image

The military hailed the capture of Thoppigala as a major victory, and senior military officials on the ground said Monday they hoped to capture or kill the remaining rebels by the end of July, bringing all of eastern Sri Lanka under government control for the first time since 1994.

Rasiah Ilanthirayan, the rebels' military spokesman, acknowledged that government forces may have captured the Thoppigala base, but said resistance in the east would not cease.

"We have changed our tactics and it is not surprising if they have entered the region. But whether they will be able to stay there peacefully is another question," Ilanthirayan said by telephone from the northern rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi.

He did not elaborate on the changed tactics.

Government and rebel forces have battled intensely for control of the Thoppigala base, hidden in a region of caves and crannies that made it ideal for guerrillas. The rebels have been routed from their other eastern bases during heavy fighting over the last year.

A senior military official told journalists visiting Thoppigala this week that fighting is not likely to end with the government's capture of Thoppigala, and that rebel cells hidden among villages could continue attacking soldiers.

Former Air Marshall Harry Goonetilleke called the seizure of Thoppigala an important success for the military, but said holding the region could be costly.

"You can win a battle with 2,000 troops but to hold it you need 10,000 minimum," he said.

The government is planning to recruit about 50,000 more troops, costing more than 7 billion Sri Lankan rupees (US$62 million,€45 million) per year in salaries alone, Goonetilleke said.

Goonetilleke said the government should now negotiate with the rebels rather than begin an all-out operation to capture northern guerrilla strongholds because the international community and neighboring India would not support a strike that would likely cause heavy civilian casualties and exacerbate a refugee crisis.

News of the military's latest victory came hours before peace-broker Norway's Ambassador Hans Brattskar was to meet top rebels in Kilinochchi to discuss the island's withered cease-fire.

Brattskar flew by government plane to Vavuniya, the last government-held town in the north before rebel territory, and would travel overland to the Tigers' headquarters, said Rajiva Wijesinha, a government official.

"I hope he will persuade their political leadership to return to the negotiating table," Wijesinha said.

In January, troops routed the rebels from their eastern coastal strongholds of Vaharai and Kathiraveli villages in the eastern Batticaloa district and in February launched operations to clear small rebel camps around Thoppigala.


Associated Press Writer Ruwan Weerakoon contributed to this report.


Top 
  
 
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 7:42 am
Posts: 22
WELL DONE!!! SALUTE TO OUR ARMED FORCES :


Top 
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] 

Board index » General Topics » Sri Lanka Latest News


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron