Escapees from LTTE held areas on the rise
The numbers of the LTTE cadres and civilians fleeing the LTTE
controlled areas are on the increase as the military advances into
terrorist controlled areas in the Wanni. As these operations are going
on, nine to ten people escape to the non-liberated areas seeking
protection from the government military.
Task Force 1 Commander Shavindra de Silva told the 'Sunday Observer'
that the number of terrorists abandoning the outfit has increased and
nine escaped from the LTTE controlled areas, last week.
According to Brig. De Silva, three out of nine people who surrendered
to military were hardcore LTTE members. He said that since there was no
exit point from the LTTE held areas to Mannar, people use very dangerous
routes to reach the government controlled areas.
"Some routes are heavily mined", he said. The Task Force Commander
said that the morale of the LTTE cadres is reduced and the group was
getting weaker and weaker daily due to strong military offensives. He
said that over 10 LTTE terrorists were killed and many others were
wounded than earlier on a daily basis.
"The Army is prepared to assist innocent civilians coming from the
LTTE controlled areas and provide food, water, clothing and other
necessary facilities, he said. Brig. de Silva said that the LTTE had mis-informed
those who were trapped in their areas that the government would
ill-treat them. " But those who are already with us will prove that The
LTTE's propaganda is totally false", he said.
According to Media Centre for National Security (MCNS), 26 civilians
- young and old - have sought refuge in government controlled areas last
February 14 and 15. Ending a fourteen hour journey passing through
difficult jungle routes, four civilians including, three family members
- father (65), mother (58) and their daughter (30)- had fled the
uncleared area coming to the Navy - Police combined checkpoint at
Pallimunai yesterday morning.
The LTTE had tried to kidnap a 30-year-old young volunteer teacher
attached to a government school in Vaddithalativue. Later she escaped
from the LTTE with her parents. Fourteen civilians including four
females from Vallankulam area had also escaped from the LTTE and sought
refuge with the Police and Navy at Pallimunai. Complaining about the
difficulties under the LTTE control, the civilians said that the LTTE
had forced them to leave their native lands. They have also reported
about the harassment suffered under the LTTE.
Meanwhile, Brig. de Silva said that the army had found several
letters written by female LTTE cadres about the harassment and inhumane
treatment they were undergoing. (The letters)