Rajapaksa claims occupation of Poonakari

[TamilNet, Saturday, 15 November 2008, 09:07 GMT]
Sri Lankan President and Commander-in-Chief of the SL Armed Forces Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday claimed that his forces have occupied the "full stretch of the A-32 road" (Mannaar- Poonakari) and the Poonakari area Saturday morning. "Now, we can open a land route to the Jaffna Peninsula after many years; I think we can say, it was after the Second Eelam war," Mr. Rajapaksa said in a message to the Sri Lankan media.

The road he mentioned is not actually a land link to Jaffna. In between, there is a couple of kilometers of ferry route in the Jaffna lagoon.

Mahinda Rajapaksa
Mahinda Rajapaksa
"We congratulate the war heroes and express our sincere gratitude to the citizens of Sri Lanka who have given their unstinted support to our struggle," Mr. Rajapaksa said.

"At this moment, I very clearly call Prabhakaran of LTTE to immediately lay down your arms and come to the negotiation table. It is the greatest service that you can do to the people in the Wanni," the message said.

The statement is seen as a veiled threat addressed to the people of Vanni, Tamil political observers note. The SL president's statement in New Delhi to reporters that 'the whole world will look after the Tamils' is also seen not merely a sarcasm, but a serious threatening to mean the Tamils have no place in Sri Lanka on the line of the recent comment by the Sri Lanka Army Commander Sarath Fonseka that Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhalese.

There was no mention of casualties in his message.


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