No cease-fire with LTTE, says Lanka President

May 7th, 2009 - 7:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Colombo, May 7 (ANI): Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday ruled out any possibility of a cease-fire with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE), adding that such step would be redundant as the latter would use the opportunity to rearm once again.

Addressing the diplomatic community in the Sri Lankan capital, Rajapaksa said that government troops are readying for a final assault on the LTTE, which he said was trapped along with its chief V. Prabhakaran.

According to a statement issued by his office, he said that there is a delay in launching the final assault as the LTTE is using Tamil civilians as human shields, and the government is determined not to hurt them as far as possible.

Sri Lankan forces are reportedly just 800 meters from the area where an estimated 10,000-15,000 Tamil civilians are trapped along with the top LTTE leadership.

Government troops pushed into the rebel-held village of Karayamulliavaikkal, advancing over areas heavily mined by the rebels and fighting off attacks from their suicide bombers.

A military spokesman said the troops had breached through the last earthen fortification bringing them as close as 800 meters of the area in Mullaitivu, where the LTTE leadership is holed up in the midst of Tamil civilians.

The LTTE rebels are deploying suicide bombers in the large numbers to slow down the Sri Lankan troop advance.

Though, estimates are not available, military sources say that between 500 to 1,000 hardcore black rebels have formed a last wall of defence around Prabhakaran and others.

Troops also found a huge cache of arms including assault rifles and radio communication sets. (ANI)

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