Rajapkase predicts victory, Army sees challenges ahead

(September 03, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and his borhter, the Defence Secretary, Gothabaya Rajapakse predicted imminent victory even as the Army chief predicted great challenges ahead in its campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Gotabhaya Rajapakse, brother of President Mahinda Rajapakse, speaking to the Times newspaper in London declared: “It’s possible by the end of this year,”

“You have to search for them and completely eradicate them. Only then can peace come.” he added.

Addressing an election rally of his United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) at Ruwanwella in Sabaragamuwa province, President Rajapaksa, who is also the Commander-in-Chief, mirrored his brother’s view and declared:” We liberated the eastern province and will liberate the north too very shortly”

“There is no turning back under any circumstances or influence now, until every inch of land is recaptured and each and every terrorist is killed or captured,' the state-run Daily News quoted the president as saying at the rally.”

Whilst the Rajapakse brothers saw imminent victory, the Sri Lankan Army chief saw big battles in the near future.

Last week, Fonseka, warned his soldiers that the future would be more challenging for them as they move forward to capture LTTE administered territory in Vanni.

“I am very happy with the progress so far made on all Wanni fronts. We are now quite close to Kilinochchi. Though our future targets would be more challenging, I am sure we would be able to face them. Try to maintain the highest degree of morale among soldiers by speaking to all of them” said Fonseka when he addressed troops in Vavuniya on Friday August 22.

“Let us reach our targets with determination in the near future,” Fonseka told the gathering of Divisional and Brigade Commanders, who briefed him on the current developments in respective areas.
- Sri Lanka Guardian