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LTTE wanted a huge Tamil Eelam state: Gotabhaya

Source: PTI
Last updated on: March 22, 2009 21:35 IST
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The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam led by its supremo V Prabhakaran had aspired to carve out a big Tamil eelam state extending from near Colombo to the southern part of Sri Lanka, the island nation's top defence official has said.

"The large built up of its naval, air force and ground fighters including the suicide cadres was suggestive of the LTTE ambitions," Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the defence secretary and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's brother, said.

The advancing Sri Lankan security forces have captured several of the LTTE areas and are looking to seize the rest of the Tiger pockets.

"When we look at the LTTE's military equipments and the training ground of the army it is clear they were looking to establish a large Eelam state," he said.

"Maps retrieved from those places confirm this fact as they had hoped to create a elam from Negombo to Yala including certain parts of the (Buddhist city of ) Anuradhapura," he said on Saturday.

While Negombo is 40 km north of Colombo and 7 km from Colombo International Airport, Yala is located in southern Sri Lanka.

"Hence, it is clear what we would have had to encounter if we do not initiate this humanitarian operation," Rajapaksa said while referring to the steps taken to bring out the besieged Tamil refugees from the LTTE-controlled area.

Earlier, Gotabaya along with senior military officials of armed forces and police met with the families of war heroes who had been killed in clashes with the LTTE.

The meeting took place at the army cantonment in Panagoda, Homagama, a town situated 24 km from Colombo in the Western Province.

"The Defence Secretary had cordial discussions with family members of the fallen and disabled war heroes. Also, he has given necessary instructions to the responsible defence officials to solve the problems raised during the discussions," a defence ministry statement said.

Addressing the gathering, Gotabhaya said that it is a paramount duty to look after the families of war heroes who have made utmost sacrifices for defending the motherland liberating the East and the North.

"We are moving forward victoriously due to their selfless sacrifices. The silence of the dead heroes is more eloquent than the cheers. The destruction caused by the 30 years old war is immense. The best way of paying homage to the war heroes is to love the motherland deeper and deeper," he said.

He maintained that Prabhakaran may try to flee through the sea by using a human ring and said the Tigers were preventing civilians from leaving their area now confined to about 30 sq kms.

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