Sri Lankan president hails troops' victory against rebels
Sri Lanka's government troops have been able to crush the world's most ruthless terrorist group, President Mahinda Rajapakse told a military gathering in the eastern town of Trincomalee on Saturday.
"Our troops have shown that they were able to prove wrong the theory that conventional armies could not tame guerrilla groups," Rajapakse was quoted by government officials here as saying about the successful military campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The LTTE have now been limited to an area of about 40 sq km down from over 19,000 sq km the rebels held when Rajapakse's military campaign began in 2006, Xinhua reported.
The Sri Lankan president said the Air Force had done a commendable job in the fight against the LTTE.
"They made sure their accuracy so that they were not asked to explain mistakes," said the president.
The LTTE, which led an three-decade-old rebellion to set up a separate homeland for the minority Tamils, have suffered reversals in their fighting against government troops.
More than 70,000 people have died in the conflict since the mid- 1980s.