LTTE was effectively defeated on April 19, 2009 - Fonseka
Mopping up operations were on during my Chinese visit in MayJune 15, 2012, 10:05 pm
by Zacki Jabbar
Those who knew nothing about warfare were talking nonsense. The war against the LTTE was effectively over on April 19, 2009 with the security forces taking control of Iraddaivaaykkaal in the Mullaithivu District. Thereafter, it was a case of mopping up operations which went on till May 19, under the supervision of Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels, the former Army Commander, General Sarath Fonseka said.
He told a news conference in Colombo on Thursday, that his critics who continued to find fault with him for undertaking an official visit to China in the last week of the war, did not know that the LTTE’s military capability had been destroyed beyond redemption and its cadres were on the run pursued by the security forces, before he had left the country.
The final week could be compared to a situation where huge boulders were being released from the top of a hill. There was no resistance worth talking about. The last rites were in the hands of Colonels and Lieutenants, the ex-army chief said. "Obviously, those who are still criticizing me know nothing about military strategies. I wonder if they have ever read a book on the subject."
The Chinese visit had been postponed five times due to his preoccupation with conducting the war, Fonseka said, "I eventually went because all the arrangements had been finalized. While in China, from May 11 to 17, 2009, I communicated with my officers in Colombo thrice a day to ascertain the progress being made. The only thing that worried me at that stage was how the 85,000 civilians who were stuck in the conflict zone could be moved out safely."
The conflict may have dragged on for nearly thirty years, but for me the final thrust was a period of two years and nine months", he said adding that most people spoke about a definite victory only in the last few days when Velupillai Prabhahkaran and about a 100 of his cadres were on the run.
The final battle commenced at about 2.00 p.m. on May 17 in the vicinity of the Nanthikadal lagoon. Thirty LTTE cadres were killed around 10.00 a.m. on the 19th and among them was found Prabhakarans dead body, lying on the banks of the lagoon, Fonseka said.
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Last Updated May 25 2013 | 03:45 pm