War with LTTE rapidly nearing its end: RajapaksaMay 7th, 2009 - 6:36 pm ICT by IANS
Colombo, May 7 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa Thursday announced that his fight-to-finish military campaign against the Tamil Tigers was fast nearing its end.
“The war with the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is rapidly nearing its conclusion and it is my hope that this will create the space for democracy to flourish in the north again,” Rajapaksa said in an address to the Colombo-based diplomatic community.
“At long last we are on the threshold of defeating terrorism and face a new era of lasting peace and security for all Sri Lankans,” he said, adding that the people of Sri Lanka had suffered too long due to terrorist acts.
According to government statistics, nearly 200,000 people have fled the war zone and come to the government-controlled areas since the beginning of this year. They have been temporarily housed at refugee camps and welfare centres in the northern Vavuniya town.
The defence ministry said earlier this week that the troops have cornered the LTTE into a small strip of land and were now “surging in three frontal ground manoeuvres to rescue civilians held hostage by the LTTE at gunpoint”.
The Tamil Tigers led by Velupillai Prabhakaran have been fighting to carve out a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka over the past quarter century.
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