Jaffna Peninsula - the crown of Prabhakaran - made Tamil Ealam is now a 'nogo' place for the LTTE. The military last week informed the Security Council that the peninsula has been effectively cut-off from the LTTE.
The capture of Kilali lagoon completed to the blockade of entry points earlier mounted by troops at Pooneryn and Elephant Pass.
With the LTTE still able to make contact with its carders in the Peninsula, from the sea-front the military held long discussions with the Navy Northern Command. The news is that a comprehensive naval blockade is now in progress to intercept Sea Tiger boats.
An unknown number of heavily armed Tiger cardres now trapped in the peninsula will not be able to re-link with the LTTE and the military predicts the same fate that befell 125 Tiger cardres trapped and killed in Walikamam West.
In the face of life-threatening problems which make it impossible for casualty evacuation and re-enforcement's, these hard-core Tiger carders are expected to run havoc or surrender to troops now consolidating in liberated areas.
The signs of victory in a military-politico battle to cripple the LTTE were at long lost seen in Jaffna when hundreds of thousands of civilians slowly tredded back to their hometowns. If numbers had been a decisive barrometer, finally, the government has around them, 200,000 men, women and children filing past the checkpoints, hoping for a new lease of life which the LTTE promised but failed to deliver.
The Jaffna teaching hospital is suddenly buzzing with activity. Fifty seven doctors and 180 paramedics who fled to Point Pedro at the start of operation Leap Frog, have returned. Missing this time is the international committee of the Red Cross which ran the hospital until the LTTE packed their bags. So did the ICRC.
The officials of the ICRC returned briefly last week on an inspection tour and met with the new Overall Operations Commander
Operation Riviresa II is in its final days with troops confronting the difficult task of consolidating in liberated areas.
Lt. Gen. Rohan Daluwatte, the new Army Commander relinquished his duties in the role of OOC as he prepared to assume a bigger and a decisive role in crushing the LTTE. The new commander however insisted he leaves no unfinished business and instead makes a smooth transition of responsibilities to the new OOC. this attitude saw Lt. Gen. Daluwatte flying back the North to personally lead from the front to see a successful end to the offensive he initiated.
Go to the Fifth Column
Return to the Editorial/Opinion contents page