- A-32 ROAD OPENED
- LTTE LOSES WESTERN FRONT
Security forces last morning captured a strategically important military base of the LTTE which also served as its last bastion in the west coast, leaving the rebels bereft of supplies and manpower. The 58 Division of the army under the command of Brig. Shavendra Silva entered the LTTE stronghold of Pooneryn and laid siege to the town. A 7 Km stretch of the Pooneryn – Paranthan main road is now patrolled by troops while the infantry have also stretched out to parts of Killali lagoon.
It is after twenty years that the Sri Lanka government has opened the A-32 road which is a by route to Jaffna via Mannar – Pooneryn, said a senior military official.
In 1995, the army withdrew from their operation Jaya Sikuru in Pooneryn — and it’s after 13 years that the troops have marched into the town of Pooneryn.
The LTTE have lost their base which was used to engage their artillery to threaten military bases including the Pallaly High Security Zone and the Jaffna Peninsula, several times during the last 13 years.
The government which earlier used to transport supplies to the Jaffna Peninsula via restricted air and naval routes can now use the A-32 route to send essential items to the North, transport passengers and dispatch troops as well. The mission was carried out under instructions by Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka to the Wanni SFHQ commander Major General Jagath Jayasuriya, to capture and liberate Pooneryn.
Troops at Muhamalai, Kilali and Nagarkovil army FDL could now easily launch an offensive to LTTE bunker lines leaving the LTTE trapped by three fronts in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Jaffna. Army Commander Sarath Fonseka yesterday officially informed President Mahinda Rajapaksa that Pooneryn was captured, and thereafter the President again appealed to the LTTE to give up arms and surrender.