Kilinochchi will be regained by year-end - President
COLOMBO: President Mahinda Rajapaksa ruled out a ceasefire with the
Tigers and said troops were on track to capture the Tigers’ political
capital by the end of the year.
President Rajapaksa said Forces were advancing “very satisfactorily”
and should take Kilinochchi by December. “I am happy. The military has
made a lot of gains,” he told members of the Foreign Correspondents’
Association of Sri Lanka late Monday.
“We will hopefully take Kilinochchi by December. The rest [of the
north] as soon as possible. I can’t give an exact time frame,” he said.
The President ruled out a future ceasefire with the Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and vowed to “finish the war as soon as possible”.
“There is no point talking to them. They have not asked for a
ceasefire from us. They must first surrender with their weapons,” he
In August, the Tigers announced a 10-day ceasefire during a meeting
of South Asian leaders in Colombo, which the Government rejected. “I
don’t think the LTTE was serious about it (ceasefire)... they only talk
of one (ceasefire) when the army is pushing to weaken them,” said
President Rajapaksa, who is also defence minister.
The Government has poured a record 1.5 billion dollars into this
year’s war effort. President Rajapaksa has said his Government will
seriously consider any plea from India to hand over LTTE leader
Vellupillai Prabhakaran if he is caught, asserting that his troops were
advancing towards tiger nerve centres.
On the elusive LTTE chief, he said, “You should realise Prabhakaran
was involved in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
and the Sri Lankan Government will consider any request for his
extradition if he is caught”.
“The law of the land will take its own course if and when he is
nabbed,” the President, who is also commander-in-chief of the armed
India and Sri Lanka only have an Extradition Arrangement short of a
treaty and any deportation of wanted people can be undertaken only on
grounds of mutual requests.