Colombo, Apr 21: The Sri Lankan Army has begun its final assault on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Puthumattalam on Tuesday, Apr 21 after Army's deadline for surrender of LTTE Chief Velupillai Prabhakaran ended at noon.
Puthumattalam is the last LTTE sand bund to be captured by Sri Lanka Army.
Sri Lankan Defence Secretary, Gotbaya Rajapakse categorically said that Prabhakaran will now have to surrender or perish.
"If he surrenders it is good, otherwise, he can commit suicide. If he tries to fight, he will perish. If he surrenders we will take him in custody. We will have a genuine trail, he said.
Rajapakse also said that New Delhi is being kept informed about the military offensive on the Tamil Tigers.
"We have kept Indian government in brief. In a daily basis we have very good relations between the National Security Advisor (MK Narayanan) and Foreign secretary (Shiv Shankar Menon) and I constantly speak to them," he said.
"I appeal to other countries especially Western and international community that we can solve our own problems. Don't put hands in our internal problem and they have no rights to do that. Let them mind their own business," Rajapakse said.
The spokesman for the military, Brigadier Udayan Nanayakkara, said: "The onus is on Prabhakaran to avert mass murder. There is no question of mercy for Prabhakaran. We are being very careful. Our main concern is to free civilians."
The Tamil Tiger Chief now has fewer options before him. He can seek an amnesty deal with the Sri Lankan Government or use Sri Lankan hostages as a bargaining chip with government. In an extreme step, he may flee to India or to other foreign countries, or may surrender before the International Court of Justice. Prabhakaran and his forces have been locked in a major offensive with the Sri Lankan Army for more than six months and lives of civilians being used as human shields by the Tamil Tigers have also been lost in the crossfire.
Monday saw a mass exodus of about 35,000 Tamil civilians fleeing the no-fire zones, a move looked upon by the country's govt as a sign of rebellion and thus signalling the LTTE's end. the Indian government is in constant touch with their Sri Lankan counterparts to resolve the crisis.
The Sri Lankan envoy to India Jaisinghe is keeping New Delhi in the loop about the ground situation in Sri Lanka and India's envoy to Sri Lanka, Alok Prasad is in touch with New Delhi briefing the Foreign Ministry on the ground situation.