The president of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakshe officially announced that the government troops have captured LTTE rebel's de facto headquarters Kilinochchi after suffering heavy loss in the battle.
The government has so far been able to be on top the situation but heavy battles are likely still to lie ahead as reports are coming up that rebels have shifted to further North-East. It is interesting to see that both the opponents in this civil war have been using Internet to enforce their news and views quite emphatically.
Sri Lankan Army News has broken the news with photographs in Nowpublic:
Sri Lankan Brave Soldiers a moment ago captured Kilinochchi Town totally after hours long fighting with LTTE on January 2nd 2009. […] Few Artillery shots hit by fleeing Ltte tigers from Mulathivu direction. [..] Troops captured Kilinochchi railway station and Hospital today noon.
DefenceNet reports that Sri Lankans are celebrating this victory:
Jubilant crowds from various parts of Sri Lanka could be observed lighting firecrackers and waving national flags in celebration of security force’s latest victory.
Celebrations all around Colombo and other cities. One can say today is the real dawn of the new year for Sri Lanka.
Graphics courtesy Namal. See more pictures of the war in War Photos site by Namal.
However TamilNet.tv has indicated that this is not a defeat:
The great Thalaivar in his infinite wisdom has decided to order the LTTE to Tactically withdraw® from Tamil Eelam’s capital and do the Tamil Eelam marathon to Mullaitivu. Killinochchi has in effect being tactically relocated to Tharmapuram.
Chitrangi posts some disturbing pictures showing the civilian victims of the Sri Lankan Air Force Bombings on the LTTE rebel holdouts.
Rantings in Colombo… wrote a poem reacting to the news:
Congrats for Kilinochchi
I type with the sound of fireworks in the background.
The sound of hope from many a Sri Lankan.
Mahinda on TV, words I want to believe.
But controlling the media makes me wonder,
Is this really a two sided story?
Or a strategy planned, just before elections?
Who knows. Probably only him.
Violence still continued elsewhere in the country. A Voice in Colombo reports that LTTE has striked again in Colombo:
A suicide blast occurred opposite the Sri Lanka Air force office near Trans Asia Hotel in Colombo a while ago.
At least two Air Force personnel were killed and around 30 people including nine airmen were hurt.
B Raman from India asks “is the mission accomplished“?
The end of the LTTE's campaign will come not when it loses an important piece of territory, but when it loses the support of the Tamil people in the areas still controlled by it and in the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora.
Thumbnail courtesy Open Democracy
The pro-LTTE news site you have in mind is tamilnet.com, not tamilnet.tv. The latter is clearly pro-government, and is very thinly veiled parody at best, capitalizing on the censorship of the tamilnet.com domain in Sri Lanka to mislead and confuse people.