The Army’s recapture of Pooneryn yesterday prompted President Mahinda Rajapaksa to urge the Tiger guerrillas to lay down arms and negotiate peace.
Addressing the nation on television, the President called on the LTTE to surrender. “I very clearly call on Prabhakaran of the LTTE to immediately lay down arms and come to the negotiation table. It is the greatest service that you can do to the people of the Wanni,” he said.
President Rajapaksa congratulated the soldiers for liberating the full stretch of the A-32 (Mannar- Pooneryn) Road and the Pooneryn area. “Now, we can open a land route to the Jaffna Peninsula after many years; I think we can say that it was after the Second Eelam war,” he said.
The recapture of Pooneryn will lead to the establishment of a land-based supply route to Jaffna.
Jubilant and determined troops celebrating the capture of strategic Pooneryn area yesterday. Pic by Army media