Defeated Tigers will not be allowed to regroup: Sri Lanka

May 17, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s army chief vowed Sunday the Tamil Tigers would not be allowed to regroup and pledged that the rebels, once seen as one of the world’s deadliest guerrilla outfits, would soon be forgotten. The government said a massive offensive against the separatist Tigers was all but complete, with the entire island under its control for the first time in years but for a minuscule pocket of jungle on the northeast coast.

“Sri Lanka’s military will ensure that there is no future for the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam),” Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka said in an interview published in the state-run Sunday Observer.

“The LTTE will be forgotten soon,” added the army chief, who led the successful military offensive against the Tamil Tigers.

He said President Mahinda Rajapakse’s firm stand that there would be no peace talks unless the Tigers scrapped their armed campaign was key to the successful crushing of the once-formidable militants.

“The firm decision of the political hierarchy not to go for talks with the LTTE terrorists until they lay down arms had contributed significantly to all these war victories,” he said.

Fonseka, who narrowly escaped a Tiger assassina