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Lankan president urges LTTE to surrender

T V Sriram in Colombo | February 02, 2009 15:28 IST

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With his forces encircling the fighters of the Liberation Tigers of Tami Eelam in a tiny strip of land in the northern region of the country, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse held out an olive branch to the Tamil Tigers on Monday, asking them to lay down arms after which they will be 'readily accepted and treated humanely'.

He also warned the LTTE [Images] that it will not be able to stop the march of the troops to clear the remaining areas held by them in the war-torn northern region. "The whole country has united against terrorism and no one will be able to stop the forward march of the troops," Rajapakse said, addressing a rally in Hanguranketha in support of the ruling United People Freedom Alliance candidates contesting the Central Provincial Council elections.

The President said all facilities would be made available for the LTTE cadres who lay down their arms and surrender. He categorically stated that he was repeatedly making surrender call to the LTTE "on the basis that the operations carried out by the war heroes were irreversible and irrevocable".

"We have amply shown to the world how my government envisages rejuvenating the country," he said.

Rajapakse said if the LTTE cadres surrendered to the armed forces they "would be readily accepted and humanely treated", similar to the treatment accorded to their colleagues who had surrendered in the eastern region.

"They had been given a warm and rousing welcome by our well disciplined armed forces," the president added.

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