COLOMBO, Dec 31, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s top military commanders have vowed to escalate attacks against Tamil rebels in the New Year to achieve a “turning point” in the decades-old separatist war, a state-run daily said Monday.
Army chief Sarath Fonseka expressed the hope that government forces would be able to dislodge the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) from a bunker line guarding their de facto mini state in the north of the island.
“We can bring the war against the LTTE to a turning point once we are able to destroy the LTTE capabilities to operate in bunkers and forward defence lines,” Fonseka was quoted as saying in the Daily News.
` The paper quoted both navy chief Wasantha Karannagoda and air force commander Roshan Gunatilleke as saying they were “confident” of defeating the Tigers in the New Year.
The LTTE has been leading a drawn out campaign for an independent homeland for the island’s ethnic Tamil minority since 1972. More than 60,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Karannagoda said the guerrillas were starved of supplies after the navy sank their fleet of gunrunning ships earlier this year, but the rebels continued to get supplies from neighbouring India.
“The arms and