Ki'linochchi, Mullaiththeevu, not far away, says Rajapaksa
[TamilNet, Sunday, 27 July 2008, 09:40 GMT]
It is "not too far away," to "liberate the people of Ki'linochchi and Mullaiththeevu" and make them live under a "democratic set up" now being "enjoyed by the people of the eastern province," declared Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing a provincial election campaign meeting in Anuradhapura on Saturday. The statement comes after Sri Lanka Army officials in Colombo told media that their forces were making "rapid progress" in Vanni claiming that the SLA recovered 37 dead bodies of LTTE fighters together with arms as the Sri Lankan forces were engaged in consolidating an offensive line south of Mallaavi.
"Like capturing the LTTE territory, the UPFA would also capture the power of the NCPC and Sabragamuwa Provincial Council," he said.
The Sri Lanka Army is determined to free the peoples of the two districts under the LTTE control, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa further said.
According to the SLA claim, 33 LTTE dead bodies were recovered in Vavunikku'lam, located south of Mallaavi with arms including a mortar, 23 T-56 assault rifles and one Rocket Propelled Gun (RPG). Further 4 bodies were recovered at Kalvizhaan, northwest of Vavuniykku'lam, according to the SLA.
Meanwhile, LTTE officials in Vanni said 26 Sri Lankan Special Forces commandos were killed Friday and that the Tigers had recovered one body of the SLA soldier. One RPG, one PK-LMG, two T-56 assault rifles were also seized by the Tigers at Kalvizhaan on Friday when heavy fighting ensued between the advancing SLA and the LTTE defensive units. More than 45 SLA soldiers sustained heavy wounds, according to the Tigers.
The SLA was engaged in offensive attacks on Saturday, the first day of the unilateral ceasefire announced by the Tigers in connection with the SAARC conference being held in Colombo.