US commends Sri Lanka’s war against LTTE

November 6th, 2008 - 5:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Nov 6 (IANS) A top US military official Wednesday commended the Sri Lankan military for its recent successes against the Tamil Tigers, whom Washington has designated as a terrorist group.”We are hopeful that the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) would be a decreasingly important factor of much less reach than they are and have been in the past,” Admiral Timothy Keating, Commander of US Pacific Joint Command, told foreign correspondents in New York.

As head of the US Pacific Command, with its headquarters in Hawaii, Keating is responsible for the US military operation ranging from Australia and New Zealand to China, Taiwan and Japan to India and Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan Army chief Sarath Fonseka said early this week in Colombo that LTTE’s “80 percent” of the fighting capabilities have been eliminated. He also claimed that the Sri Lankan troops were just seven kilometers away from the Kilaly lagoon, which links northern Jaffna peninsula to the Wanni mainland along the western coast.

“We are very pleased the Sri Lankan Navy has been able to wage an increasingly effective campaign against the LTTE,” Keating said.

“We are assured and gratified by the progress that the Sri Lankan military is making, and I think, the Sri Lankan military would be the first to admit that there is work to be done.”

At the same time, Keating observed that the Sri Lankan military needed more capability and capacity to be successful in its endeavour to defeat the LTTE.

“I am confident the Sri Lankan military has very best intentions in the world (to defeat LTTE). Surely, they would like to have greater capability and capacity, but the progress they are making is commendable,” he said.

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