Hold defensive operation during Sinhala, Tamil New year: Rajapaksa

April 12th, 2009 - 3:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, April 12 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa Sunday ordered his troops to adhere to “defensive operations” against the Tamil Tigers during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year April 14, a statement from his office said.
Sinhala and Tamil New Year is a national festival in the island.

A statement from the president’s office said that President Rajapaksa “is deeply conscious of the need to give the civilian population entrapped as hostages by the ruthless actions of the LTTE, the opportunity to celebrate these festivities in a suitable atmosphere and to have uninhibited freedom of movement from the No Fire Zone to the cleared areas”.

“With this objective in view, His Excellency has directed the armed forces of the state to restrict their operations during the New Year to those of a defensive nature,” the statement said.

“In the true spirit of the season, it is timely for the LTTE to acknowledge its military defeat and lay down its weapons and surrender,” Rajapaksa, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, has said in the statement, adding that the LTTE must renounce terrorism and violence permanently.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which has been banned by several countries including India and US, has been fighting to carve out a separate state in the island’s northeast over the past quarter century.

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