LAST UPDATED : 2008-12-25 17:01:03 GMT 


Opposition leader rebutts Sri Lankan government claims

Zacki Jabbar
The Island
Publication Date: 07-12-2008

Sri Lanka's opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday (December 6) that government claims of capturing Tamil Tigers stronghold Killinochchi were false and that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has still about 15,000 cadres left, in the northern district of Wanni.
The government this week said that it had overrun the LTTE stronghold of  Killinochchi in the Wanni and the rebel outfit was left with only around three thousand cadres,due to the heavy beating it had received from the security forces.
Wickremesinghe said that in the absence of the independent media’s access to war torn areas,the government was making high sounding claims.“The truth is that Killinochchi has not been overrun and the LTTE,it is estimated has about 15,000 cadres in Wanni District.”
Wickremesinghe,said  that President Mahinda Rajapaksa and LTTE leader  Velupillai Prabhakaran prosecute the war very differently.Prabhakaran sends planes in the night to bomb Colombo,while his cadres smuggle in arms and ammunition through the sea.In the case of President Rajapkasa,he directs the war according to his mysterious agenda,regardless of the mounting human casualties,including those in the security forces.
The military is pushed from one point to another by  Mahinda,for reasons best known to him and his brother Gothabaya,is being projected as the greatest general in the world with scant regard for names such as Julius Ceasar,Alexander the Great and Napolean Bonaparte, he said.
“The government’s job is to govern, while the security forces should be allowed to  prosecute the war according to strategies, best known to them. But the Rajapaksa’s who constantly interfere in the execution of military operations cover themselves with glory when battles are won, but no sooner the bodies start arriving,the blame is shifted on to the security forces.”
The LTTE has been fighting for a separate state in the North and East of the country since July 1983, when organised mobs from the majority Sinhala community killed a large number of minority Tamils living in the South and also destroyed their homes and economic interests.
The LTTE earlier this year lost control of the east and has now been confined to the Wanni District in the North.The government  claims it is carrying out mopping up operations,but the LTTE has predicted a blood bath in what has been dubbed as the 'Final Battle'.
Over 80,000 people including members of the security forces and the LTTE are said to  have been killed in the 25 year old ethnic conflict. Some estimates have placed the figure much higher.



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