COLOMBO, Aug 20: As India continues to call for a political solution to Sri Lanka’s 25-year-old ethnic conflict, reports indicate that Pakistan has decided to bolster what Sri Lanka military says its final push to defeat Tamil Tiger rebels and end their war for a separate state in the country’s north-east.
Pakistan has pledged to send a large quantity of ammunition to help the Sri Lankan government finish off the rebels in the final phase of Elam War IV, the Sunday Leader, a Colombo-based newspaper, said in a news report.
The paper said that Pakistan had promised one shipload of the wherewithal every 10 days in coming months, adding that it was Pakistan’s assurance of solid support which prompted Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse to publicly state that Kilinochchi, the headquarters of the LTTE, would be liberated by the end of December.
Gotabhaya Rajapakse, brother of President Mahinda Rajapakse, declared last week that the rebel-controlled Wanni would be captured by the military by the end of this year.
“It’s possible by the end of this year,” the defence secretary was quoted as saying by the Times newspaper of London last week.
“You have to search for them and completely eradicate them. Only then can peace come.” Rajapakse’s comments come in the wake of Army Chief Lt-Gen Sarath Fonseka’s declaration that his forces had wiped out the conventional military capability of the LTTE and that the Tiger rebels were no longer able to resist security forces using conventional tactics and were resorting to hit-and-run attacks.
The reported assistance from Pakistan comes as government troops began forging ahead this month with heavy fire power coupled with continuous air raids on the last two remaining rebel bastions of Killinochchi and Mullativu.