Sunday, February 1, 2009

LTTE ignores 48 hour ultimatum for safe passage

The LTTE has ignored the 48 hour ultimatum by the Sri Lankan government for the safe passage of civilians into the no fire zones declared.

The LTTE ignored the ultimatum with which was declared to ensure safe evacuation of an estimated 1.2 lakhs people forcibly held by the LTTE as human shields. "LTTE terrorists, violating the objective of the safe area moved heavy artillery batteries and mortar guns among the civilians endangering their safety and also attempting to draw civilian casualties in a military retaliation", defence observers state.

According to ainformation, the Tigers are manning a forward defence line in the outer perimeters of the Safe Zone, which is also said to be cluttered with land mines preventing any civilian attempts to reach the liberated areas.

"The people have been constantly intimidated by the LTTE and warned of severe reprisal for attempting to flee from the LTTE zones", a military official at Vavuniya said citing a group of escapees who had arrived at Omanthai on Friday (20). "Faced with an inevitable defeat the terrorist outfit has resorted to the crude tactic of using civilians to prolong the multi-frontal military surge into its remaining jungle hideout, now stretched across a mere area," defence observers further stated.

Despite the LTTE´s contempt on the safe passage of civilians the Sri Lankan government on Saturday (31) announced that it would continue to adhere to the zero civilian casualty (ZCC) policy while engaging in its all out effort to eradicate the terrorists.