Rajapaksa predicts total victory against LTTE in few days

February 4th, 2009 - 1:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Feb 4 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, pursuing a fight-to-finish military campaign against the Tamil Tigers, Wednesday predicted a decisive victory against the rebel outfit “within a few days”.”I am confident that in a few days we will decisively defeat the terrorist force that many repeatedly kept saying was invincible,” President Rajapaksa, who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, said in his address to the people during the 61st Independence Day celebrations here at Galle Face Green.

His remarks have come at a time when the troops fighting their way deep into the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) strongholds in the north said last week that 95 percent of the war against the rebels was over.

Tight security arrangements were put in place in and around Colombo ahead of the I-Day celebrations here at the Galle Face Green.

The army, navy and air force, which have virtually ‘cornered’ the LTTE into a 300 square km area in the north-eastern Mullaitivu district, held a military parade showcasing their military might.

President Rajapaksa said although the island nation every year in the past has commemorated the Independence, the country could not celebrate the “true freedom” during the past 30 years, as the people “have lived in the midst of an illegal, armed, terrorist movement”.

“We have now been able, within a short span of two and half years (since he was elected as president), to almost completely defeat the cowardly forces of terror that had wrapped our entire nation in fear through several decades,” he said.

“Our heroic forces have given us the opportunity today to celebrate the anniversary of our Independence in a country freed, after many years, from the dark shadow of terrorism,” Rajapaksa said.

Claiming that it was “no easy task to destroy the threat to the unitary nature and freedom” of the country from the LTTE that was described as the most powerful terrorist organisation in the world, he said the armed forces “have sacrificed their flesh, blood, sinews and life itself to bring this great historic opportunity to our motherland”.

Attributing the unprecedented military victory against the LTTE to the popular public support, Rajapaksa said that the time has now dawned for the Sri Lankans who have left their country due to the war “to return to their land of birth and to the places they lived in”.

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