21 April, 2021

A Costly Victory

The battle for Jaffna has taken its toll on the army and the rebels

A Costly Victory

VELUPILLAI Prabhakaran, the legendary leader of the LTTE, turned 41 on November 26. But missing were the Heroes' Week celebrations—which coincides with thesupremo's birthday—in the rebel stronghold of Jaffna Peninsula to honour the cadres killed in the 12-year-old war for a separate Tamil state in the north and east of the island country. For, with the Sri Lankan Army relentlessly tightening its grip on Jaffna town, Prabhakaran had little cause to celebrate.

In fact, it's now a question of when, not if, Jaffna will fall. "We entered Jaffna city at 7 am on November 21, when we captured the Nallur area," announced military spokesman Brigadier Sarath Munasinghe. The storming of the town was led by the Sri Lankan Army's elite Special Forces Brigade. The highly skilled commandos and soldiers of the Rapid Deployment Force and the Airborne Force took over from the regular troops forthe last phase of Operation Riviresa (Sunrise). While one group moved eastwards into the city from Nallur, another skirted around the south of the city and cut off the supply and escape routes of the...

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