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LTTE has 15,000 armed fighters left, says Wickremesinghe

December 08, 2008 17:29 IST

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Sri Lanka's [Images] former premier Ranil Wickremesinghe has rubbished the government's claim that the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam rebels are on the verge of being brought down to its knees saying there are still 15,000 armed Tamil tigers left.

Addressing his United National Party's 53rd annual convention in Colombo, the main opposition leader said in the absence of the independent media's access to war-torn areas, the government was making high sounding claims.

"..but the truth is Killinochchi has not been overrun and the LTTE [Images], it is estimated has about 15,000 cadres in the Wanni district," a newspaper report quoted Wickremesinghe as saying.

Wickremesinghe said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa and LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran perceived the war very differently. "Prabhakaran sends planes in the night to bomb Colombo, while his cadres smuggled in arms and ammunition through the sea. President Mahinda Rajapaksa directed the war according to his mysterious agenda, regardless of the mounting human casualties, including those in the security forces," The Island newspaper quoted him as saying.

"The military was being pushed from one point to another by Mahinda, for reasons best known to him and his brotherĀ  Gothabaya Rajapaksa," the UNP leader said on Saturday.

"The Lankan president was being projected as the greatest general in the world with scant regard for names such as Julius Ceasar, Alexander the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte," the former premier claims.

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