January 10, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lankan security forces were ready to deal a “decisive blow” to the remaining Tamil Tiger positions following the capture of the highly strategic Elephant Pass, the defence ministry said on Saturday. After four days of fierce fighting, government forces on Friday established full control over Elephant Pass, also known as EPS, which links the Jaffna peninsula with the rest of the mainland.
“The fall of EPS has deprived the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the most crucial strategic ground, at the ‘Jaffna gateway’, following an eight year occupation,” the ministry said.
“Troops are now poised at launching a decisive blow at the remaining LTTE strong points at Mulliyan, Chempiyanpattu, Chundikulam and Kaddaikadu.”
The ministry had already announced that the rebels were facing near “extinction” after security forces captured their main political headquarters of Kilinochchi last week following an offensive begun in March 2007.
“The end-game of LTTE’s protracted separatist cause is reaching its final stages, as the advancing security forces overran the most fortified LTTE northern garrison at EPS,” the ministry said.
The Tamil Tigers, who have been fighting since 19