|LTTE 'giving up' fight
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|Author:||Saman [ Fri May 15, 2009 9:04 pm ]|
|Post subject:||LTTE 'giving up' fight|
LTTE 'giving up' fight - Game Over
Friday, May 15, 2009
Tamil Tigers are "slowly giving up" their fight against advancing troops, the military said Friday as it appeared poised to capture the last tiny strip of tiger territory. The military had complete control of the country's coastline and surround the reeling Tamil Tigers in a final push to destroy the group and end the country's civil war, the military said.
Around 10,000 civilians had managed to flee to government areas in the last 48 hours, and that there was now "hardly anybody left" in the rebel zone on the northeast coast. "They are slowly giving up. They are blowing up whatever arms and ammunition they have," Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said of the remnants of the once-powerful separatist army.
According to the defence sources, soldiers liberated over 1590 inhabitants of the Kariyalamullai Tsunami relief village. Civilians held at hostage in this area by the LTTE have sought refuge with the 58 Division soldiers. The sources add that thousands more civilians are arriving at the rescue points manned by troops.
According to ground military sources, an LTTE double-cab laden with high explosives had exploded prematurely today South of Vellamullivaikal, killing 4 suicide terrorists at around 5p.m. According to reports, the red-coloured LTTE double cab prematurely exploded and went up in flames as it was nearing the troops in the opposite direction. The troops seeing the speeding double cab in advance took prompt action and strategically avoided the intended LTTE bloodbath. The LTTE suicide bombers inside the double cab perished in the huge explosion.
The navy said it had captured the family of a top Tamil Tiger military commander -- Sea Tiger chief Colonel Soosai -- as they tried to escape by boat. The navy stopped a suspicious boat off the northeastern coast and arrested the family of the sea wing leader. Sea Tiger leader Soosai's wife Sathyadevi, son Suresh, daughter Madhi and his close relatives were among 11 people on the boat. It was not immediately clear where they were heading. The family were immediately arrested and brought to Pulmoddai area by the Navy for investigations and questioning. There was no sign of rebel chief Velupillai Prabhakaran. President Mahinda Rajapakse also vowed that "all territory will be freed from Tiger control" by Sunday morning.
There was no immediate word from the tigers, but the pro-Tiger Tamilnet said the narrow beach and lagoon area from where the LTTE have been mounting a last stand was was engulfed in smoke. It said close-quarter combat had been raging since Friday morning.
The massive final push against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who have been fighting for a separate state since the 1970's, came despite last-ditch diplomatic efforts to save the lives of thousands of trapped Tamil civilians. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff, Vijay Nambiar, was rushing to the island in a fresh effort to stop the carnage, but was only expected to reach Colombo late on Saturday.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said its staff were "witnessing an unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe." Former colonial power Britain also said it wanted an investigation into alleged war crimes, while the United States announced it was blocking a two-billion-dollar International Monetary Fund bailout package for Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in light of the ongoing war, the United States had raised questions about Sri Lanka's application for a $1.9 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund that the government desperately needs.
"We think that it is not an appropriate time to consider that until there is a resolution," she said in Washington.
Sri Lanka's ITN channel showed footage of escaping civilians. A fleeing Tamil woman told the channel that "there are people dead everywhere, on the streets and everywhere."
The government maintains that the Tigers are using civilians as human shields and they need to be rescued. Any civilian deaths inside Tiger territory have been blamed on the rebels.
A string of peace missions in recent months have ended in failure, and on Thursday the Sri Lankan government -- determined to keep the upper hand against the LTTE after more than three decades -- repeated it would not cave in to pressure.
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