With the Tamil Tiger territory fast shrinking in northern Sri Lanka, the LTTE's second-in-command and spy chief Pottu Amman has assumed direct charge of the battle against the Sri Lankan security forces.
The Tigers are fighting tooth and nail to defend their the areas of still controlled by them, which have come down to just over 50 sq km after they suffered dramatic reverses in the recent clashes with the troops.
"The Tiger outfit has now realised the grave danger they are facing in the final battle with the security forces as LTTE second-in-command and intelligence wing leader Pottu Amman has himself started to command the Tiger cadres in the battlefront," the state-run Sunday Observer said.
"Amman's voice has been heard for the first time in the battlefront through radio communications intercepted by the 58 division troops on Wednesday evening as fierce fighting continued in that terrain in their bid to prevent the troops entering the centre of Puthukudiyiruppu," it said.
"The Tiger leader has vowed not to allow troops to enter Puthukudiyiruppu junction, which is being heavily defended by the LTTE," the paper said. The troops are just 300 metres away from Puthukudiyiruppu, according to the report. The troops are witnessing the fiercest battles they have ever faced in the battle front these days in Puthukudiyiruppu, as LTTE is exerting maximum pressure on them, the paper said.
The LTTE cadres are "making use of their maximum fire power with their limited manpower available with them along with their top-level leaders including Velupillai Prabhakaran who are still surviving inside underground bunkers".
"According to military intelligence, the LTTE is now left with only less than 600 cadres to fight against the advancing troops and another 100 cadres to provide security for their leader, Prabhakaran," the newspaper said.
"The only advantage the LTTE have at this moment is heavy fire power and more than 70,000 civilian population trapped there in the no-fire zone in the coastal belt in the north of Mullaitivu," it added.