Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Bandits begin breaking barracks

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BATTICALOA : The tigers restricted to an area of few square kilometers subsequent to a chaotic withdrawal at the face of Government's Security Forces' humanitarian operations to rescue the besieged Tamil civilians from the clutches of tigers in the Eastern district of Batticaloa had commenced breaking the barracks to be rehabilitated under the laws of the State defying the orders of the timid and humiliated tiger leadership at Kilinochchi.

ORDERS OF WANNI LEADERSHIP DEFIED

It is now well believed that the tiger leadership at Kilinochchi had asked the isolated tiger cadres at Thoppigala area to fight their own battle to their ability or take any action on their own during the confrontations with the advancing State's Defence Forces. The local tiger leaders in the area had during the last few days resorted either to flee the area or to surrender to the Security Forces, well depicting the level of desperation in the tiger organization.

In the successfully progressing efforts of the Sri Lanka Army's ground troops to wrest the control of the Eastern area and to re-settle the displaced Tamil civilians from the terrorist's grip, the Security Forces gained access to areas which had been under tiger control for almost thirteen years. The Army conducted a tactical withdrawal from these areas thirteen years ago with the intention of liberating the Tamil civilians in the then tiger held Jaffna peninsula in the North of the Island. The operation 'Riviresa' in rescuing Tamil civilians in the Peninsula ended in total success with Valikamam, Vadamarachchi and Thennamarachchi areas cleared of terrorists.

Tiger efforts to harass the civilian livelihood in the Eastern province began with depriving water for the paddy farmers in Trincomalee district in the month of July last year which act forced the Security Forces to launch a humanitarian mission in the East. Eventually the terrorists were cornered to a small area in Thoppigala - Batticaloa after liberating and taking control over five thousand square kilometers and rescuing over 1, 78,000 innocent Tamil civilians by the beginning of this year.

At present Sampur, Muttur, Verugal, Kathiraweli, Palchenai, Vaharai, Panichchankerni, Kirimichchi, Vavunathivu, Kokkadichcolai, Rukam, Karadiyanaru, Narakamulla, Pulipanchikal areas and most of the ground around Thoppigala and Tharavi areas had been already cleared of tigers and the civilians in those areas are to be re-settled on a program especially after the ground is cleared of land mines.

During the recent past the tiger cadres in Batticaloa had been begging support from the Vanni leadership which had been repeatedly turned down and the cadres being duped with false promises.

Since the signing of the Cease Fire Agreement in 2002 till yesterday (20) the total number of tiger cadres surrendered to the Security Forces in the East had been 657 (Six Hundred and Fifty Seven) and the average age of cadres surrendering is around 15 years. A cadre at the age of 12 years had been surrendered to the Polwatte Army camp in Batticaloa on 19th of this month. Security Forces had announced the tigers that are on the average children, to give up the losing battle and surrender so that they live a better day tomorrow. It was also seen that some tiger cadres surrendered were rehabilitated and facilitated to proceed abroad for employment after certain vocational training.

SOME CADRES AFTER SURRENDERED FROM THOPPIGALA

In that backdrop the desperate cadres in the almost besieged Thoppigala area had to make a choice. A choice in the absence of proper instructions by the superior command, at the lack of resources both man power and material to fight and resultantly at the absence of will to fight. The choice made by tigers' ground command at Thoppigala for the cadres was "Fight as long as you can, commit suicide or Surrender, which ever you feel the best" as per the revelations by those cadres who had surrendered.

The state of breaking the barracks by the cadres at Thoppigala tiger camps despite the instructions by the Kilinochchi leadership began early in this year with the Security Forces' pincer towards Thoppigala. Dozens and dozens of young cadres in groups began creeping away from their defences to be handed themselves over to the Defence Forces every month. During the past few weeks alone there were over forty cadres surrendered and many cadres fleeing away from the area in desperation had been confronted and killed by the Army.