Friday, May 1, 2009

Lankan forces poised for final assault on LTTE

A pre-dawn breakout bid through the high seas by beleaguered Tamil Tigers was foiled by Sri Lankan navy on Friday, who sank their three boats killing 23 sea Tigers as the army appeared poised for a final assault.
The Lankan warships which have blockaded the small coastline off Mullaittivu, still held by the Tigers noticed an attempt by three LTTE boats to take to sea and sank them after challenging them, a naval spokesman said.

This is the second time in less than four days that Sri Lankan navy has thwarted attempts by Tamil Tigers to put their boats to sea. The encounter comes as reports say that the entire LTTE leadership including its supremo V Prabhakaran are holed up in a small stretch of land.

On the land, the army tightened their siege of the last strip of land controlled by the Tigers and appeared poised to launch the final assault.

Military spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara said, "the Tigers have no land escape route left. We have troops in place to move anytime."

In the battle-front, three Divisions of the Sri Lankan force estimated to number around 22-30,000 have surrounded the Tigers, whose fighting cadres are reported to be around 900-1,200.

Indications that the government forces could be ready to go for the kill also came when the government drop leaflets over the LTTE held areas carrying President Mahinda Rajapaksa's appeal to the Tamil civilians to flee across the front lines.

"Your suffering is prolonged by the LTTE who are holding you as a human shield for their own safety," Rajapaksa said adding that "I appeal to everyone of you who come over to the cleared areas."

The President promised to ensure safety to all civilians.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa rejected the calls for a cease-fire. "We fearlessly stood up to a brand of terrorism that the entire world believed was invincible," he said in a May Day address.

The Tamil Tigers also today took their war into the cyberspace by hacking into the official website of the Sri Lankan army.

The hackers believe to be Tiger computer experts replaced the contents with photographs of civilians killed in military action in the north east.

In a further embarrassment for the rebels 58 child soldiers, including a senior female LTTE leader, gave themselves up to the authorities in Kilinochchi.

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