Sri Lankan president renews call for rebels to surrender

Other News Materials 1 February 2009 20:42 (UTC +04:00)

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Sunday renewed his call for Tamil Tiger rebels to surrender, the state radio announced here on Sunday, Xinhua reports.

The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation said Rajapakse told a political rally on Sunday at the central town of Hanguranketha that all facilities would be made available for Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres who want to surrender to government troops.

"The whole country has united against terrorism and no one will be able to stop the forward march of the troops," the radio quoted the president as saying.

Rajapakse, who is the commander-in-chief of the troops, and his Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka have led a victorious battle against the LTTE since 2006.

The Army has captured all the main strongholds of the LTTE in the north and east including its former administrative capital of Kilinochchi and its military capital of Mullaithivu.

Meanwhile, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said on Sunday that the troops were consolidating their positions in Mullaitivu.

Several of the LTTE's positions have been captured at Chundukulam south area in the Mullaitivu district and the Army have forced the LTTE to flee in a hurry, Nanayakkara said.

The LTTE, which began its separatist campaign in the mid-1980s to set up a separate homeland for minority Tamils, now find it limited to a small jungle patch in the north.

More than 70,000 people have died in the island's long drawn- out conflict since the 1980s.