23 January, 2021

Operation Hopeful

The military is far from completing its final offensive against LTTE

Operation Hopeful

IT'S a twin therapy that's running out of time. Three months short of the deadline for a sweeping devolution package,the preparatory military mop-up operation in northern Sri Lanka is turning out as messy as ever. Although billed as the 'final offensive' against the Tamil rebels, the body count is high on both sides and the army is still some bloody battles away from clinching a vital strategic victory.

The trophy in this battle is the last 72 km of the main highway linking the northern Jaffna peninsula to the Sinhala-dominated South. If the army's Operation Jayasikuru (Victory Assured) succeeds, the LTTE rebels would be restricted to the thick jungles of Mullaitivu in the northern mainland, cut off from the most populous Tamil areas.

 "Our calculation is that when we complete the operation, there would be no more than 40,000 people in rebel-controlled areas and we'll have got land access to the Jaffna peninsula," says deputy minister of defence General Anirudha Ratwatta. The offensive, the second largest in the...



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