Sri Lankan president promises to end war in 48 hours

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president of Sri Lanka, pledged to end the decades-old war against the Tamil Tiger insurgents within two days. File:Mahinda Rajapakse.jpg

Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president of Sri Lanka
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

"President Mahinda Rajapaksa has vowed that within the next 48 hours, thousands of Tamil civilians will be freed from the clutches of the Tamil Tigers," a spokesman for the government said. He added the president had pledged that "all territory would be freed from the Tamil Tigers' control".

The president's comments come as the Sri Lankan army has forced the Tiger rebels, known formally as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), onto a small strip of coastline about 1.5 kilometers (1 mi) in length Thursday night. About 20,000–25,000 troops have been gathered for the final attack, and have encircled approximately 1,200–1,500 of the rebels.

The Tigers have been accused of holding civilians as human shields and shooting at those trying to flee, an accusation that they have denied. There are few impartial accounts of the fighting as the government has prevented journalists and aid workers from entering the area.

The country's government has rebuffed international worries over thousands of civilians that are located in and around the war zone that have been threatened by powerful artillery bombarding the area.

The United Nations says that a further fifty thousand are estimated to still remain in the no-fire zone. In past months, approximately 200,000 civilians have fled from the war zones, and are currently residing in displacement camps.

Sri Lankan armies are largely supported by both India and USA, in a strategic calculus aiming to erase Tamil tiger resistances, who claim communist background. Tamils 1983's resistances had start following segregation against them.

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