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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 911

Sri Lanka President announces the capture of Elephant Pass and the opening of the A9 Route

Colombo, 09 January, (Asiantribune.com):Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse announced to the Nation the completion of the capture of Elephant Pass region and the freeing of A 9 Road from the terrorist elements.

President said, "I address you today at a time when our heroic forces have achieved another great and historic victory. By this evening our troops have completely freed the Elephant Pass area from the LTTE. Similarly, bringing Point Pedro and Devundara (Dondra Head) together the A-9 route has been completely freed from the clutches of the LTTE."

In his address to the nation he proudly announced that he was able to evict the terrorists from 90 percent of the territories held by the terrorist elements, and said, "We are now engaged in giving a new life to the unitary status of our country. We are enlivening democracy in our land. The defeat of terrorism means giving life to an honorable peace and freedom. We are dedicated to give our children the opportunity to travel freely from Devundara to any part of the country and for all our people, whether Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim Burgher, Malay or of any community to live together and in unity."

Sri Lankan President said, "Our heroic troops are not only engaged in freeing the territory held by the Tigers. They are also engaged in the great humanitarian battle to bring peace, freedom and democracy to the Tamil people of the North. Today they have launched the battle to hand over as your heritage a Sri Lanka that is free of terrorism.

I am aware that today our people wholeheartedly greet the victory of our heroic troops. However, together with that joy, there are efforts to belittle these victories, to turn the attention of the people to other directions. There is a conspiracy with certain international forces to achieve this sinister objective."

Given below the full text of the address to the Nation by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the capture of Elephant Pass and the opening of the A9 Route:

Friends,

Even before the dawn of 2009 I have told you that this would be a year of great victory for our heroic forces.

2009 dawned with our troops taking full control of the Paranthan area. By January 2nd our troops were able to liberate Kilinochchi too from the clutches of terror.

I address you today at a time when our heroic forces have achieved another great and historic victory. By this evening our troops have completely freed the Elephant Pass area from the LTTE. Similarly, bringing Point Pedro and Devundara (Dondra Head) together the A-9 route has been completely freed from the clutches of the LTTE.

Friends,

Elephant Pass was lost to our troops 9 years ago. On that day our motherland lost 359 of its heroic troops. 349 went missing and nearly 2500 troops were injured. From that day we have on several occasions tried to reach Elephant Pass through Muhamalai. In the past 3 years a considerable number of our troops sacrificed their lives in such efforts.

Today, the troops of the 53rd the 55th divisions of the Army have spread their power across Muhamalai to Elephant Pass. It is our duty on this occasion to pay homage to all of our troops who have paid the supreme sacrifice towards this victory.

I need not explain to you that the A-9 route is symbolic of the unity that exists between the North and the South of our country. Four years prior to this, our people who traveled on the A 9 route had to do so under the yoke of an illegal terrorists order. The LTTE obtained several million rupees from the fraudulent taxes they imposed on the people who used the A9 route. Our people had the misfortune at that time live in the face of such humiliation. This part of our history will never be forgotten by us.

Our heroic troops are not only engaged in freeing the territory held by the Tigers. They are engaged in the great humanitarian battle to bring peace, freedom and democracy to the Tamil people of the North. Today they have launched the battle to hand over as your heritage a Sri Lanka that is free of terrorism.

I am aware that today our people wholeheartedly greet the victory of our heroic troops. However, together with that joy, there are efforts to belittle these victories, to turn the attention of the people to other directions. There is a conspiracy with certain international forces to achieve this sinister objective.

You would have already realized that the aim of these conspirators is to level unfounded charges against the Army Commander who works with the greatest dedication to achieve these victories, and by this to destroy the morale of our troops, destabilize the country, tarnish the image of the country internationally, and make room for various international forces to interfere to grab our gains away from us.

We are aware that such conspiracies arise when a country moves ahead without giving in to external pressures. It is for no reason other than to embarrass our country internationally that my friend and Member of Parliament Joseph Pararajasingam was assassinated while in church at Christmas service.

What purpose other than tarnishing of the country’s image internationally could there be in carrying out a bomb attack on the office of the Udayan newspaper published in Jaffna on World Press Freedom Day?

At a time when Thoppigala was being freed from the hold of terrorists an effort was made to distract from the importance of this victory by the abduction of a journalist from an English language newspaper and assaulting him.

After many years our troops freed Vedithaltivu dealing major defeat to the terrorists. The day after that a camp for the Internally Displaced Persons at Vavuniya was set ablaze.

Who is it that stands to gain from all this? Is not the aim of those who plan these incidents the belittling of the victories of our heroic troops? We have a duty to expose to the country the persons behind these conspiratorial operations. One must not mistake these conspiracies as being against me or my government. This is a conspiracy against the entire country by those who have been driven to fear due to the successes of our security forces.

Friends,

We are now engaged in giving new life to the unitary status of our country. We are enlivening democracy in our land. The defeat of terrorism means giving life to an honorable peace and freedom. We are dedicated to give our children the opportunity to travel freely from Devundara to any part of the country and for all our people, whether Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim Burgher, Malay or of any community to live together and in unity.

Let us all join hands to achieve that victory. Let us be ready to take forward the country that our heroic troops are bestowing to us through their victories. This is the responsibility that our motherland asks both from you and me. It is my belief that you will take the lead in achieving this admirable goal.

I wish you every success in future.

- Asia Tribune -

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