Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Dotard: an educational insult

Read more

#TECH 24

Medtech: Repairing the human body

Read more

ENCORE!

Jennifer Lawrence on why she's unafraid to speak out

Read more

#THE 51%

Hola "Ellas Hoy" - The 51 Percent welcomes its sister show on FRANCE 24 Spanish

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

A stroll through the Corsican city of Calvi, jewel of the Mediterranean

Read more

REPORTERS

The torment of Christians living in Syria’s Khabur valley

Read more

FOCUS

'Generation Merkel' yearns for continuity and stability

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Amazon rainforest pays heavy price for Brazil's political crisis

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Presidential election re-run pushed back to October 26th

Read more

Asia-pacific

President says Tamil Tigers 'defeated'

Video by Nicholas RUSHWORTH

Latest update : 2009-05-17

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse announced in a speech in Jordan that his government has "finally defeated the LTTE militarily." The Tamil Tigers have been fighting for an independent homeland since the 1970's.


   
AFP - The president of Sri Lanka declared Saturday that the island's separatist Tamil Tiger rebels have been "defeated militarily" after decades of bitter ethnic bloodshed.
   
"I am proud to announce... that my government, with the total commitment of our armed Forces, has in an unprecedented humanitarian operation finally defeated the LTTE militarily," he said in a speech in Jordan.
   
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have been fighting for an independent homeland on the ethnic Sinhalese-majority island since the 1970's.
   
"I will be going back to a country that has been totally freed from the barbaric acts of the LTTE," he said, adding that government troops had rescued some 210,000 civilians who were "being used as human shields by the LTTE."
   
Defence officials reported that sporadic fighting was still in progress in a coastal area in the northeast, but only with pockets of die-hard rebel fighters.
   
The defence ministry said earlier that the remaining Tigers were preparing to commit "mass suicide" after troops captured a stretch of beach and sealed off all possible escape routes.
   
It said their "only way out is to surrender to the security forces or to be crushed in the military advance." It said it also believed the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was still holed up in the area.
   
There was no immediate word from the rebels.

Date created : 2009-05-16

COMMENT(S)