January 25, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lankan troops on Sunday fought their way into Mullaittivu, the last town held by Tamil Tiger rebels who are holed up in the northeast of the island, a government spokesman said.
“For the last time, I am telling the LTTE to lay down arms and surrender,” he said in an address to the nation after Kilinochchi was captured.
Prabhakaran said in his own annual address in November that the rebels, among the first proponents of suicide bombings and considered one of the world’s most fearless and effective guerrilla groups, would fight on.
“No sane voice is being raised either to abandon war or to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” he said.
Human rights groups have criticised the Tigers for forcing children to fight as soldiers, and the LTTE has been labelled a terrorist group by the United States, the European Union and neighbouring India.
Still, the rebels were able to get the international community to back them in a ceasefire deal that always struggled to take hold and finally collapsed last year, when the government pulled out. The advance was the latest in a series of successes for the government in a massive military assault aimed at ending the lon