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 Post subject: 'Fall of Kilinochchi imminent & inevitable'
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:22 pm 
'Fall of Kilinochchi imminent & inevitable'
"Tiger have tremendous difficulties in the city"

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Sri Lankan military said Thursday that the fall of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) political hub Kilinochchi "is inevitable" with its ground troops making New Year breakthroughs by capturing a couple of strategic junction towns, lying on the outskirts of the well-fortified rebel stronghold.

The defence ministry said the troops advancing from various directions towards Kilinochchi early Thursday captured the strategically important town of Paranthan and Iranaimadu junction after weeks of fierce fighting with the rebels, killing at least 50 guerrillas and wounding 100.

According to ground sources, the Tiger have tremendous difficulties with their defensive positions in the city.

"The fall of Iranaimadu scores consecutive battle defeats to LTTE at the Kilinochchi battlefront, followed by the loss of Paranthan early Thursday morning. The troops are now making further advances eastward of the Iranaimadu junction while consolidating positions in the area," the defence ministry said.

Paranthan is located approximately 4.5 km north of Kilinochchi along the Jaffna-Kandy A-9 main highway and on the southern sector of another LTTE-stronghold of Elephant Pass, while Iranaimadu is located six kilometer south of Kilinochchi town.

The government troops' capture of these two strategic areas not only marks the dominance of security forces in these areas well after a decade, but is widely considered a major setback to the LTTE, which is battling to retain its hold on the Kilinochchi town, lying 350 km north of Colombo.

"LTTE's defeat at its main garrison township at Kilinochchi is inevitable with troops advancing on three fronts continue to cripple the last LTTE fortifications in the area," the defence ministry said.

"The fall of Paranthan, the well-fortified LTTE garrison, has isolated the southern periphery of the Elephant Pass LTTE foothold and has also exposed the LTTE's main fortification at Kilinochchi," it said, adding that the LTTE strongholds Muhamalai northwards "will also be untenable for the LTTE".

Military sources said that the battle for Paranthan and Iranaimadu began in the early hours of Tuesday when the troops backed by armour, artillery and aerial bombardment launched a concerted assault on the garrison town "while the army's forward domination elements took on the well fortified LTTE resistance positions during surprise manoeuvres made behind enemy lines".

Providing air cover to the ground troops, fighter jets and gunship helicopters carried out series of air raids on suspected LTTE positions during the past two weeks.

"LTTE fighting formations, mainly from the Imran-Pandiyan unit led by its Kilinochchi in-charge, had made successive attempts to gain lost ground only to be left with more casualties and damages," a military official said.

"Troops have also cut off the vital access routes towards Paranthan along the A-9 highway from north and south, reportedly killing over 50 terrorists, while injuring twice as many numbers during the intense battles," the sources said.

Despite shrinking territories, the LTTE has been putting up heavy resistance against the advancing troops, slowing down the military progress.

The Defence Ministry earlier said the LTTE had accepted the imminent fall of its main ‘terror bastion township, Kilinochchi’ in an interview with the BBC by saying even though Kilinochchi falls they would keep fighting.
In a statement the ministry said “terrorist spokesman Nadesan has finally accepted the imminent fall of Kilinochchi, but maintained they would put heavy resistance as battles were expected to shift to the eastern Mullaitivu theatre.”

It also said LTTE leader Prabhakaran in mid-November assured to defend its main garrison, while promising to stall the surging military offensives at Kilinochchi. “Nadesan’s cry comes on the verge of losing Kilinochchi and its satellite bases to the security forces who have already breached sections of the LTTE-built earth bund not allowed ditch, stretching from the outskirts of Paranthan towards Iranaimadu,” the ministry said.

Nadesan admitted the Tigers had faced some recent setbacks in the war, but said their options for fighting back included sabotage against Sri Lanka's $32 billion economy. “The destruction of the economy is also an aspect of our defensive war. When the economy of the government is destroyed, its genocidal war against the people will also be weakened,” Nadesan said, without elaborating on what the LTTE may do.

“We will teach a good lesson to the forces in this Kilinochchi battle,” Nadesan said. “We are waiting for the time, place and setting to launch an offensive.” “Our military capabilities are intact and we have no difficulties in acquiring weapons,” he said.

Few weeks ago, when the town was flooded, small units of Sri Lanka Army 57 and 58 divisions entered the Kilinochchi town once deemed impregnable. However the troops were later withdrawn by army suspicious of an ulterior motive of LTTE. Military suspected that the tigers may attempt to fight back with an ulterior plan. "Troops are very clear of their mission; it is not the real state that they are interested in but the elimination of terrorism," the Defence Ministry was quoted as saying in a report. "The floods have made extremely it difficult for the soldiers to detect mines and traps ....So they have to be extra cautious in their march," it said.

The LTTE had constructed an “L” shaped earth bund extending from Paranthan – Pooneryn road to the South of Kilinochchi town. Troops made inroads into the town by breaching the earth bund spreading from western to the southern borders of Kilinochchi, despite heavy LTTE resistance and bad weather conditions. Velupillai Prabhakaran earlier said that his outfit would fight to the last man to defend the Tiger citadel.

Kilinochchi was showcased to the outside world as the fountainhead of Tiger power and invincibility. Capture of Kilinochchi no doubt is a tremendous morale booster to the Forces who now seem poised to go for the kill.

1) KILINOCHCHI CRUMBLES - Troops Enter Tiger citadel
2) Eelam War IV - Northern Theater - Progress Report - Part 5
3) Army make inroads to Tiger territory

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