Tigers out of bounds in Jaffna - Maj Gen Mark
Civilians extremely cooperative with security forces:
Major General L.B.R. Mark, the Commander of the 51 division in the
North which covers the heartland of Jaffna said that the LTTE could not
step into the region as the civilians were extremely cooperative with
the security forces in preventing any form of infiltration by the
Gen. Mark was commenting on the current situation in Jaffna in an
interview with the Sunday Observer in the backdrop of the operations
currently being carried out by the security forces from all corners in
encircling the LTTE in the Wanni.
“There was a time that the Tigers were jumping out of Jaffna to the
Wanni and again from Wanni to Jaffna. But now these pranks will not work
as the security forces are well aware of the strategies of the outfit
and moreover the people of Jaffna are fed up with the LTTE and are very
supportive of the security forces in crushing all forms of LTTE
infiltration into the peninsula,” Gen Mark said.
He said that soon after the closure of the A-9 highway the LTTE made
desperate attempts to infiltrate in a big way into the Jaffna region.
However, the untiring and effective measures adopted by the security
forces with the assistance of the Jaffna civilians had crushed the
LTTE’s attempts. Now the outfit being a ‘lame duck’ in the Wanni could
not even think of returning to the Jaffna mainland.
He also said that the citizens’ committees comprising senior citizens
in Jaffna were having a good rapport with the security forces and
helping them in every way to maintain law and order.
“With the assistance of the civilians we were not only able to curb
the infiltrations but were also successful in carrying out numerous
raids and recovered a large haul of arms and ammunition. “The recent
cultural festival and trade fair organised by the security forces in
Jaffna was a grand success and the event highlighted the confidence the
people of Jaffna have in the security forces.
The civilians in Jaffna are now much happier and say that they are
more safe in Jaffna than in Colombo. People who travel to Colombo from
Jaffna return to the region as early as possible saying that they are
more comfortable in Jaffna than in Colombo.
The majority of leading educational institutions including the
University of Jaffna and Government establishments come under the
purview of the command of the 51 division.
Therefore, unlike in previous years the schools and the university
function without any disturbances such as picketing and strikes which
were manipulated by the LTTE.
Agricultural and trading activities are taking place smoothly and I
would say that elections could also be conducted in the peninsula in
time to come,” Gen Mark said.
He said that army chief Lt.General Sarath Fonseka was constantly in
touch with the Jaffna command and gives instructions.
So if I were to put it in a ‘nutshell’ the LTTE which is getting a
severe beating in the Wanni cannot dream of getting back into the Jaffna
mainland as it is no more the Jaffna they knew of,” Gen Mark said.