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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2768

LTTE on the Run with Heavy Casualties: Government Warns People: Rumours Mongers trying to Instill Fear

Colombo, 20 January, (Asiantribune.com): In a very candid assessment of the security situation, Director General of the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS), Lakshman Hulugalle at a media briefing asked Sri Lankans to reject rumors, which are being circulated by a few with the intention of creating a state of fear amongst the public at a time the Security Forces are successfully engaged in eliminating the menace of LTTE terrorism. Lakshman Hulugalle at a media briefing asked Sri Lankans to reject rumorsLakshman Hulugalle at a media briefing asked Sri Lankans to reject rumors

He also stated that a Security Plan has been implemented to provide security for the people. He appealed to the people to inform the police, the Security Forces, Grama Niladharis, or the Provincial Council regarding any rumor mongers as the Government will initiate strong action against those responsible for spreading rumors.

In the meantime, Brig. Udhaya Nanayakkara announced that LTTE is on the run in the north with heavy casualties and a severe shortage of military hardware. Thirty six terrorists were reported killed in confrontations in the Vavuniya, Jaffna, Welioya and Mannar areas in the last 24 hours. Troops have advanced four km from the Mannar battle front and 20 km ahead of Omanthai, Vavuniya.

Government spokesman Brig Udhaya Nanayakkara requested the media to caution the people not to believe rumors spread by those trying cause fear in the country. He said that would only help the terrorists by diverting the attention of the Security Forces engaged in humanitarian operations in the North. He added that there are also adequate troops for operations to continue unlike the LTTE which is depleted of "fighters" and military hardware. This is due to heavy losses on land due to successful operations. At sea the LTTE has lost over a dozen "floating ware houses" destroyed by the Navy and by the successful air strikes on their training camps, ammunition dumps, boatyards and meeting places.

A Security Plan has been implemented with the Security Forces and the police. He also stated that a Security Plan has been implemented to provide security for the people. He appealed to the people to inform the police, the Security Forces, Grama Niladharis, or the Provincial Council regarding any rumor mongers as the Government will initiate strong action against those responsible for spreading rumors.

The Government has launched a scheme to provide guns to farmers who need them and would enlist village Youth to join the Civil Defense Force to support the law enforcement officers in providing security to the villages against terrorists. Already over 8000 Security personnel are employed to support the security plan to villages such as in the Wellawaya and Buttala areas.

DIG Ilangakoon briefed the media regarding the incident in the Thanamalwila Police area on the 17th. The Police on receiving information of two missing farmers had searched the area with a group of villagers, but had not observed any suspicious movements or people in the area. In the night the Police with some members of the Civil Defense Force who had gone out had seen a group of about 15 in the Kalawelgala area around 9.30 p.m. They had not stopped when asked to do so but fired back instead and fled. Ten (10) have been reported killed and three (03) are in hospital. The DIG said the timely intervention by the Police had prevented what could have been a more serious situation.

DIG Illangakoon also said that Security in Colombo has been increased in the past week directed by the Joint Operations Headquarters and DIG Coordinating Police, Nimal Mediwake. As people inform the police regarding suspicious vehicles, it is sometimes required to trace the owners to search the vehicle. He appealed to vehicle owners to display contact telephone numbers on the windscreen when parking. This would facilitate searching the Security Forces and the Police to trace the owner and avoid the vehicles being forced open.

- Asian Tribune -

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