Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lankan forces “best in the world” - MR

President Mahinda Rajapaksa hailed Sri Lankan armed forces as the best in the world and commented that he was “proud” to be their Commander-in-Chief.
The comment was made in response to The Bottom Line defence columnist Ruwan Weerakoon’s inquiry (see Defence Line on Page 9) as to what the President felt regarding the comprehensive victories achieved by the three forces over the last two years, in particular to the decisive juncture that was reached over the weekend with the dismantling of the LTTE’s top leadership.

“As the Commander-in-Chief, I am very proud of our Army, and they are the world’s number one, as have been proved by their deeds. Ninety nine percent of the LTTE, its leaders, cadres and infrastructure have been destroyed. There is no way the LTTE can raise its head again. I ask the remaining LTTE cadres to surrender. We will look after them and rehabilitate them. We will make them good and productive citizen of this country,” said the President.

In line with the policies of the President new measures are being taken to release the civilians trapped in the No Fire Zone. Moreover resettlement of thousands of people in welfare centers is to commence for at the end of this month with the first set of people being sent back to their homes in Mannar, the Resettlement Ministry announced yesterday.

Meanwhile, 1500 metric tonnes of food was sent to the internally displaced people to ensure that the New Year celebrations are enjoyed by everyone. Flour, rice, sugar and dalh were among the dry rations that were sent out by the Essential Services Commission.
Meanwhile Massive stocks of LTTE explosives, arms and ammunition, lethal weapons, sophisticated technical devices and other accessories continue to emerge as troops busy themselves clearing captured areas in the north and east of Puthukkudiyiruppu during the last two days.

Troops recovered one I-com set, one Improvised Explosive Device (IED), one 60 mm mortar IED and five anti personnel mines from Ramanathapuram area after they conducted a search and clear operation following the abortive suicide attempt of the LTTE woman suicide bomber.

At the same time, troops conducted search and clearing operations in Kalmadukulam, Visuamadu and Palamattalam areas and found one LTTE flack jacket, ten belt orders, two back packs, two pouches, five hand grenades, seven LTTE caps, eight LTTE uniforms, two LTTE emblems, eighty one mortar bombs, fifteen 60 mm mortar bombs, three Rocket Propeller Gun (RPG) rounds, seven hundred and twenty-nine T-56 ammunition, fifteen Multi Purpose Machine Gun (MPMG) links, one T-56 weapon, one Light Machine Gun (LMG), twenty T-56 bolt groups, T-56 accessories, one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) top cover, LMG accessories, two MPMG barrels, four G3 A3 magazines, two binoculars, seven grease cans, thirty claymores and forty-four plastic tubes.

Meanwhile, twenty Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), nine cutting chargers, ninety-five RPG rounds, forty 81mm improvised bombs, twenty-five 82mm illumination bombs, one thousand and three hundred 81mm illumination bombs, eighty 81mm high explosive bombs, two hundred and fifty-five mine fuses, one thousand one hundred and ninety 60mm mortar bombs, a 25m length of detonator code, two claymore mines, three anti personnel mines, one hand grenade and 6m iron bar filled with explosives were found from Welioya, Thennimuruppukulam and Puthukkudiyiruppu areas.
Sri Lankan troops Tuesday consolidated their hold on newly captured territory ahead of a planned offensive to free civilians trapped in the island’s war zone, military officials said.

Security forces are preparing to advance into the last patch of land where the Tamil Tiger rebel fighters have been surrounded along with tens of thousands of civilians.
“We are carrying out search operations and have found a large haul of weapons and hiding places,” military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.
He said the military would move to rescue the civilians caught in a government designated “safe zone” of 20 square kilometres (eight square miles).
The Tigers “continue to use civilians as a human shield and attack security forces from the safe zone,” Nanayakkara said. Sporadic clashes were reported from the region yesterday.

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