Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Pullikal`s former supreme commander Pillayan allayed fears of the LTTE ever recapturing the East liberated by the military.
In his first direct interview since the split with Karuna Amman, Pillayan told the Daily Mirror from an undisclosed location in Trincomalee that all the access routes for the rebels to make any attempt to launch an offensive to recapture lost ground in the east had been strategically captured and held by government troops.
However the man known to have provided the intelligence for the success behind the military operations to clear the East from LTTE control also urged the military to pursue an `uninterrupted` assault on Thoppigala, the only remaining rebel bastion in Batticaloa, as failure to do so could give room for the rebels to regroup.
`The LTTE only hold 10 percent of the East right now and that is Thoppigala. Basically we are talking about a 12 km range which is surrounded by the military. There are no civilians there now so the military should keep the pressure by pushing forward without leaving breathing space for the LTTE to regroup,` Pillayan told the Daily Mirror via telephone.
Pillayan feels the remaining LTTE cadres in Thoppigala have only two options in hand, either surrender to the military or sacrifice their lives. According to Pillayan the only access routes for the cadres in Thoppigala to flee to the north is by sea. However that area too is being patrolled by the navy.
There were fears that the LTTE might attempt to infiltrate the east to recapture lost ground in an effort to divert military attention being focused on weakening the LTTE in the north with reports that the government might make a push for Elephant pass. `I don`t thing the LTTE will even make any daring attempt to send reinforcements to Thoppigala from the north as they are now mainly focused on securing the Wanni region,` Pillayan added.
With thousands being displaced as a result of the operations in the east Pillayan asserted that the success of the operation can be measured once the displaced are resettled in their original homes both in Batticaloa and Trincomalee. The government has already begun the resettlement process in stages.
Meanwhile Pillayan did not wish to comment on the split within the TMVP which created ripples this week with Karuna Amman noting in an interview with the Daily Mirror earlier this week that the position of `supreme commander` was not important as the TMVP aims to be a political entity and not a military unit.
Pillayan spokesman meanwhile earlier told the Daily Mirror they stand ready to work with Karuna if he admits the mistakes he has made including the alleged killing of Pillayan loyalists and detention of several others as a result of the split. `But we will not wait too long,` the Pillayan faction warned.