|National flag in Kilinochchi after 10 years
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|Author:||Guest [ Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:57 pm ]|
|Post subject:||National flag in Kilinochchi after 10 years|
National flag in Kilinochchi after 10 years
57 Divison links up with Task Force I at Kilinochchi
Tigers trapped in an area smaller than Thoppigala
“This is a victory for our entire Nation and the country. It is a decisive victory over savage terrorism that was playing around with the blood, muscle and the sinews of humans. It is a victory over venomous separatism that sought to divide people on grounds of race and religion,” the President
Saturday, 3 January 2009
The national flag fluttered in the air of Kilinochchi yesterday, the de-facto capital of the LTTE, after the Security Forces liberated this highly prestigious town which was under the Tiger grip for the last 10 years after entering the town yesterday morning.
Major General Jagath Dias, General Officer Commanding of the 57 Division of the Sri Lanka Army, who led the troops to liberate this town, hoisted the national flag in the heart of Kilinochchi around 6 p.m, hours after President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an address to the Nation, saluted the valiant Security Forces for liberating this town.
Soldiers cheered as the national flag fluttered in the air along with their regimental flags which were hoisted in the centre of the city, celebrating their victory, as armoured vehicles drove through the streets of Kilinochchi town where many buildings were destroyed by fleeing Tiger cadres.
With this huge victory achieved by the 57 Division commanded by Major General Jagath Dias with the assistance of Task Force I under the command of Brigadier Shavendra Silva who reached the town from the Paranthan direction, troops took control over the strategically important A-9 road from Omanthai to South of Elephant Pass.
Sounds of canon fire were also heard closer to Kilinochchi last evening as troops continued to fight with the LTTE to further push them to the East of Kilinochchi.
“This is a victory of the country and the entire Nation. The troops achieved this victory with the correct leadership given by the President, Defence Secretary and the Army Commander,” Major General Jagath Dias told the media after hoisting the national flag.
The flags of the Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Air Force and the 57 Division were also hoisted along with the national flag symbolizing the main contributors to this historic victory.
“We faced numerous challenges in our journey to reach this victory but our valiant soldiers overcame all of them to make this victory a reality,” Major General Jagath Dias added.
“It is because of the sacrifices and the dedication of our troops we could make this victory a reality,” he added.
“It is after 10 years we have recaptured this town and we are now in a position to advance towards Jaffna in the North and Mullaitivu in the East with the liberation of Kilinochchi,” General Dias added.
The one time Tiger stronghold which was the centre of attraction of the international community is now a shattered town as many buildings have been blasted by the LTTE as they fled from the town when they were surprisingly taken by the Security Forces.
Addressing the Nation over television after the capture of Kilinochchi by gallant Security Forces yesterday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged the Nation to extend and continue their sense of commitment, patience and tolerance, until the terrorists who are now confined and entrapped to the jungles of Mullaitivu, are finally defeated and wiped out from our motherland.
The people began celebrating the recapture of Kilinochchi by hoisting national flags and lighting crackers just minutes after President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s address to the nation telecast live over the national television.
Close on the heels of Thursday’s liberation of Paranthan, the army yesterday regained Kilinochchi, the LTTE’s administrative capital as Sri Lanka’s war against terror reached a decisive stage.
The 57 Division, strongest of the fighting formations deployed on the Vanni front, fought its way into Kilinochchi, as LTTE units retreated towards east of the A9 road. Backed by armour and artillery support, the infantry had breached LTTE defences in close quarter combat, Army Chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka told.
He said the Vanni battles had been conducted under a rain of mortars and artillery. "Don’t forget some 12,000 officers and men received injuries due to intense mortar and artillery fire," he said, adding that the LTTE had a steady supply of arms, ammunition and equipment. Had they lost access to supplies, the army would have advanced with relative ease, he said, emphasising the tremendous sacrifices made by the army. He paid a glowing tribute to the SLAF for backing the fighting formations on the eastern and northern fronts.
Had anyone believed that recent LTTE counter attacks on the 57 and TF I would reverse the offensive, the army had proved its capability and commitment to the sacred duty, Fonseka, one of the foremost Sri Lankan military strategists said.
Briefing President Mahinda Rajapasa and the Cabinet at the Presidential Secretariat, the Army Commander said the LTTE was now trapped in an area smaller than the Thoppigala.
The focus on the combined security forces campaign, spearheaded by the army, will now shift to Mullaitivu on the north-eastern coast where the 59 Division is within a couple of kilometres away from the town. The army will also increase pressure on LTTE units deployed in the neck of the Jaffna peninsula to face the elite 53 and 55 Divisions.
The Army Chief raised 57 Division in 2007 to spearhead the assault on Kilinochchi. He said that liberation of Kilinochchi would cause rapid collapse of LTTE defences east of A9. According to him, the fighting force assigned to liberate the area east of A9 and south of the Mankulam-Mullaitivu road was the strongest deployed for any particular offensive in the Eelam war.
Vavuniya based officers said that the army was engaged in clearing operations in the town area as the 59 Division directed operations against Mullaitivu on the north-eastern coast.
The Task Force I (TF I) after capturing Paranthan had swiftly advanced to Karadipokku junction situated between Paranthan and Kilinochchi, thereby increasing pressure on LTTE units holed up in Jaffna.
The army said that ‘93 Base’, the main command and administrative centre of LTTE female cadres had been captured and an LTTE support group commander identified as Ilamperiyan, who commanded their units at Paranthan, had been killed during last Wednesday’s action.
Fighting formations deployed on the Vanni front have scored a series of battle-field victories since their first territorial gains in April 2008. They are:
Task Force I
* Adampan on May 9
* Mullikkandal, Minnaniranchan and Marattikannaddi situated north of Adampan on June 24.
* Mannar ‘Rice Bowl’, an area extending over 120 Square kilometres on June 29 thereby bringing Alankulama, Andankulama, Alakaddiveli, Parappakandal, Parappukadatan, Papamoddai, Odupallam, Neduvarampu, Kannaputtukulama and Vannakulama under government control.
* On June 30 TF I links up with 57 Division southwest of Periyamadu creating the largest ever battlefront on the western flank in the entire Eelam war.
* Strategically located Sea Tiger base at Vidathalthivu on the northwestern coast on July 16
* Illuppaikkadavai on July 20.
* Vellankulam on August 2.
* Mulankavil and Pallavarayankaddu on August 12.
* Maniyankulama on October 16.
* Vannerikkulam on October 20.
* Nochchimodai on October 28
* Jeyapuram on October 29.
* Nachchikuda on October 29
* Kiranchi on November 10
* Devil’s Point and Vallaipadu on November 13
* Pooneryn regained on November 15
*Paranthan regained on January 1, 2009
* Madhu church complex on April 24
* Palampiddi on May 16
* Mundumurippu on May 23
* Periyamadhu on June 15
* Naddankandal on July 11
* Kalvilan on August 13
* Thunukkai and Uilankulam on August 22
* Mallavi on September 2
* 29 October troops dominate Akkarayankulam tank bund
* Overrun Akkarayankulam built-up in Kilinochchi on November 5
* Kokavil on December 1
* Terumurikandy junction regained on Dec 10
* Iranamadu junction liberated on January 01, 2009
* Kilinochchi on January 2
* Mankulam on November 17
* Olumadu on November 25
* Munagam base, the main logistic link between LTTE strongholds in Wanni and LTTE cadres in the east, across the Mullaittivu jungle on May 30.
* Michael base on July 4.
* Sugandan base on July 27.
* Jeevan base on August 16
* On August 21 troops advance along West of the Nayaru lagoon
* On October 23 troops dominate Gajabapura
* On November 11 troops dominate part of Kumulamunai village
* On November 29 troops reach Otiyamalai
* Alampil on December 4
*Mulliyawalai on Dec 26
* Navvi on July 11
* Puliyankulam on December 4
* Kanakarayankulam on December 5
|Author:||Guest [ Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:07 pm ]|
|Post subject:||A blow to global terror|
A blow to global terror
Last November Prabhakaran bragged in an interview with an Indian magazine that capturing Kilinochchi would be a daydream for President Mahinda Rajapaksa. But, yesterday the President's daydream came true! Prabhakaran had to abandon that township which he used to proudly call 'the capital of Eelam' and run for dear life.
The fall of Kilinochchi has sent the LTTE's spin doctors masquerading as journalists and defence experts running in search of fig leaves to cover their nudity. One of them recently concocted a cock-and-bull theory that the LTTE had so far used only new recruits to battle the advancing army and the best cadres would be deployed later. Can anything be more absurd than this? Are we to gather that Prabhakaran was so naïve as to vow to defend Kilinochchi against the army on several fronts with the help of a bunch of greenhorns alone? Why weren't those 'brave Tigers' used to fight tooth and nail to defend their 'capital' at least after their boss had undertaken to prevent its fall at any cost.
The LTTE's decision to give up Kilinochchi and suffer the worst ever defeat is tantamount to a tacit admission that it cannot go on fighting. This, all Tiger backers must come to terms with.
Nothing could have dealt a worse blow to the LTTE's morale than the loss of Kilinochchi. It has no way of defending Mullaitivu which the army is poised to take anytime. The LTTE is likely to collapse before long under unbearable military pressure brought to bear on it on several fronts. When that happens, the irate civilians Prabhakaran is keeping in his shrinking 'empire' at gunpoint will attempt to break free thus making him face a double whammy.
Whatever the armchair military experts, 'fifth columnists' and ambassadorial pundits may say, the LTTE has dug its own grave and is about to lie in it. Prabhakaran is paying the price for his hubris, savagery and military miscalculations. Today, the man who contemptuously spurned President Chandrika Kumaratunga's offer of the entire North sans elections for ten years in the early 1990s and the Oslo Declaration which envisaged federalism has had to hide in an area which the army says is smaller than the Thoppigala jungles. He should have known better than to plunge the country back into war by capturing the Mavil Aru sluice gates in 2006!
The army and its indefatigable Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka deserve plaudits for having fought so valiantly and captured the so-called heartland of the LTTE. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa have effectively silenced their critics who sought to pooh-pooh the country's war on terror. However, the government must not lose sight of the need to take steps to obviate through political means the factors that gave rise to terrorism.
The LTTE yesterday caused one of its brainwashed cadres to blow himself up near the Air Force Headquarters presumably in a bid to upstage the capture of Kilinochchi. No amount of blasts is going to help the LTTE avert disaster. This country has learnt to live with terrorism and is known for its extraordinary resilience. The only way Prabhakaran can prevent his cadres and himself from perishing is to surrender.
The capture of Kilinochchi is not a blow to the LTTE alone. It has sent a strong message to others of its ilk all over the world that the civilised world is capable of eliminating the scourge of terrorism.
|Author:||Guest [ Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:39 pm ]|
|Post subject:||The fall of rebel headquarters: what does it hold?|
The fall of rebel headquarters: what does it hold for Sri Lanka?
By Mahendra / Jan 03, 2009
COLOMBO, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's government troops have achieved the impossible. They steamrolled the mighty military machine of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels to capture the town of Kilinochchi, 328 km north of the capital Colombo.
The town has served as the LTTE's de facto administrative capital for over a decade. Although largely symbolic, the fall of Kilinochchi, or its inability defend it, has caused a substantial dent in the LTTE's image as a capable ruthless terrorist group.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse echoed the enormity of the task achieved by his Army Commander Lt General Sarath Fonseka and the troops. "There were some who tried to present Kilinochchi as the capital of a separate state. We have seen in the recent past how this was believed not only by the international media but also by those engaged in diplomacy. No more is this capital of its dream separate state the property of the LTTE," he said.
Kilinochchi, located on the A9 highway linking the northern Jaffna peninsula with the south of the island, was the only main town the rebels controlled with the fall of Jaffna, the cultural capital of the Tamil minority to the government troops in December1995. The Tigers, much to the surprise of the military, led a massive assault on the Kilinochchi army garrison in September 1998and was in control of the town since then.
What does the fall of Kilinochchi mean? The retired Brigadier VS Boteju said the fall of Kilinochchi has weakened the group militarily. "They will not be able to call this a tactical withdrawal. There is no room for them to make a comeback. Only the sea is now left for them to withdraw," he said.
Iqbal Athas, a well-known defense analyst, said the defeat had shattered the very foundation of the LTTE. "For over 10 years they ran a de facto state from there with a court system, a police setup and their own banking system. All that will stop now", Athas said. With the Norwegian-backed peace process and running Kilinochchias its peace secretariat headquarters, the Tigers themselves had given importance to Kilinochchi as a vital location of their campaign. From a military point of view, Athas said the fall of Kilinochchi would be of much significance."The Army would now be able to use the A9 highway without any hindrance. The troops in Jaffna would no longer be solely relying on supplies through ships. The transport on ships was a costly affair so it will now become a lot cheaper for the military," he said.
Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna, the former LTTE eastern commander and was once the number two in the organization, said the troops had dealt a bloody blow to the Tiger outfit. "Their administrative structure is completely gone with it" said Karuna, whose breaking ranks with the LTTE in March 2003 marked the first public sign of the LTTE's disintegration.
Karuna's defection from the LTTE to form his own political group was seen as a powerful reason for the government troops defeating the LTTE in the east. Karuna is now a strong ally of the Sri Lankan President and a parliamentarian in the ruling coalition of Rajapakse.
Dharmalingam Siddharthan, the leader of a rival organization People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), said despite the fall, the civil war in the island is far from over."They will retain their capability to strike but will not be able to hit back at the Army to regain lost territory", Siddharthan, whose father was among those assassinated by the Tiger outfit in the long drawn-out military campaign, said.
The Army chief Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka has vowed to keep hammering at the rebels, preventing them from going underground in Mullaithivu. He said the rebels will be crushed further so as to completely eradicate them. Kilinochchi has fallen but the war will go on.
K Srikantha, a parliamentarian of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said the fall would lead to a protracted campaign of guerrilla warfare by the Tiger rebels. His colleague Chandrakanthan Chandraneru stressed the need for a political solution to see a meaningful end to the problem. "The fall of Kilinochchi was much expected. Continuing with the war without offering a political package to the Tamils would be of no use. Towns may fall but the problem will remain," Chandraneru said. He said the troops clearing the eastern province in mid 2007 was a good example.
The retired General Cyril Ranatunga, a former defense ministry secretary during the height of the LTTE campaign in the 1990s, said the government would need credible and strong intelligence sources to see an end to the problem. "A political solution is a must and the government must take action to protect all citizens", Ranatunga asserted. "The government made the mistake of not offering a political solution when Jaffna fell in 1995. Least they could do now is not to repeat the same mistake", an analyst who did not want to be named also said.
The rebels, who sought to create a separate Tamil homeland covering almost two thirds of the island's 65,000 sq km, has now been limited to a small jungle patch in Mullaithivu to the east of Kilinochchi or the north-eastern coast.
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