The LTTE’s political capital is now in the hands of the armed forces. All over the island people are upbeat and jovial, the stocks are up, firecrackers are going off and people are coming out to celebrate on what will be a famous victory.
Here’s Iqbal Athas reporting for CNN on the capture of Kilinochchi. More reactions surely will follow:
After several days of heavy fighting, Sri Lankan troops have recaptured a northern city that until recently served as the seat of the Tamil Tiger rebel movement, military officials said Friday.
The Tigers ran a parallel administration from Kilinochchi with their own police force, courts, prisons and taxes, and they had declared government plans to retake the city a “daydream.” But after Sri Lanka launched a new offensive against the rebels in the fall, the rebels moved their nerve center and logistics bases to Mullaitivu, on the northeastern coast.
There was no immediate response from the Tamil Tigers to Friday’s news.
The recapture of Kilinochchi follows that of the “notorious” Iranamadu junction just south of Kilinochchi on Thursday, and the capture of the town Paranthan, four kilometers (2.5 miles) away, on Wednesday, according to the military.
The gains are the most significant for government forces since mid-November, when they secured control of the country’s [east] coast.
The Tamil Tigers have fought for independence for Sri Lanka’s ethnic Tamil minority since 1983. The conflict that has left more than 65,000 dead. The group has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.
The media are not allowed into battle areas