Rajapaksa renews call for rebels to surrender

February 2nd, 2009 - 12:31 am ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Feb 1 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Sunday renewed his call for Tamil Tiger rebels to surrender, the state radio announced here.The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation said Rajapaksa told a political rally Sunday at the central town of Hanguranketha that all facilities would be made available for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres who want to surrender to the government.

“The whole country has united against terrorism and no one will be able to stop the forward march of the troops,” the radio quoted the president as saying.

Rajapaksa, who is the commander-in-chief of the troops, and his Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka have led a victorious battle against the LTTE since 2006.

The army has captured all the main strongholds of the LTTE in the north and east, including its former administrative capital of Kilinochchi and its military capital of Mullaitivu.

Meanwhile, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said Sunday that the troops were consolidating their positions in Mullaitivu.

Several LTTE positions have been captured in the Chundukulam area in Mullaitivu district and the army has forced the LTTE to flee in a hurry, Nanayakkara said.

The LTTE, which began its separatist campaign in the mid-1980s to set up a separate homeland for minority Tamils, now find it limited to a small jungle patch in the north.

More than 70,000 people have died in the island’s long drawn-out conflict since the 1980s.

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