Defence Secretary pays tribute to valiant soldiers in Mannar, Wanni
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, military heavyweights, Chief
of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera, Army Commander
Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka and senior Army officers yesterday
extended their greetings and plaudits to advancing ground troops in
Mannar and Vavuniya for their string of military successes.
These sentiments were conveyed to 58 Division Commanders and other
Wanni based Commanders during meetings the visiting team had in Mannar
Yesterday’s, tour to Mannar area by this top-level defence official
and military chiefs as the first leg of the tour was also meant to
promote the morale of the ground troops fighting the terror outfit and
map out future strategies to continue their forward march to salvage
Tamil civilians in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts while bringing
peace to the north.
The Defence Secretary and military chiefs on arrival in Mannar were
received by Brigadier Channa Gunatillake, Commander, Mannar Area
Headquarters and the livewire behind ongoing Mannar north operations
(Task Force 1), Brigadier Shavindra Silva who afterwards briefed on the
status quo of the continuing humanitarian operations to the visiting
Defence Secretary Rajapaksa hailing the valiant troops in the area
during the brief meeting with Division, Brigade and unit Commanders in
the 58 Division office, wanted all ground Commanders to extend his
appreciation and warm greetings to troops and their Commanders engaged
Rajapaksa, giving a patient hearing to the ground Commanders
encouraged them to further boost the soldiers’ morale and plan future
operations accordingly to wrest control of uncleared areas eliminating
terrorism from the two provinces.
Rajapaksa also touched on the question of resettlement of civilians
arriving in cleared areas following LTTE threats and a few other related
Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera, Army Commander Lieutenant General
Sarath Fonseka, Brigadier Shavindra Silva and several other senior
officers participated in the discussions at the 58 Division office.
Rajapaksa and the military duo later flew to Security Forces
Headquarters Wanni (SFHQ-W) in Vavuniya where Major General Jagath
Jayasuriya, Commander, (SFHQ-W) briefed them on current security
developments in the whole of Wanni.
Defence Secretary Rajapaksa addressing all Divisional Commanders
evaluated the progress of continuing humanitarian operations and paid
tribute to all ground Commanders and soldiers for their achievements in
the North of Welioya and elsewhere.
Since the operations are reaching a very decisive phase, he reminded,
that concerted efforts should be made to liberate trapped civilians
living under LTTE diktats.
Giving his concern over exodus of masses into cleared areas,
Rajapaksa pointed out the importance of resettling them in a proper
manner without letting them fall prey to isolated Tiger elements that
might infiltrate those areas.