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SF says war was almost lost

2014 Feb 24

Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka says the army almost lost the war against the LTTE as a result of a temporary ceasefire announced in January 2009.

Fonseka said that some 500 soldiers were killed when the LTTE launched an attack on January 31, 2009 after a temporary ceasefire had been announced.

Speaking at an election rally in Keselwatta, Fonseka, who commanded the army in 2009, said that he had strongly opposed a 48 hour ceasefire ordered by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January of that year.

Fonseka said he felt the LTTE will use the opportunity to regroup after being pushed back for just over two years in a major military offensive.

However he says he was compelled to agree to the ceasefire and as expected the LTTE used the opportunity to break through the army forward defence lines.

“We lost ground and military equipment during that time. That was the first time we had to move back after gaining ground for two years. When the President, on February 4, 2009 made a speech saying we were attacking Prabakaran from all fronts, we were actually being pushed back on the ground,” Fonseka said.

Fonseka said that the army was almost on the verge of losing the battle but yet made a lot of sacrifices, lost many lives and eventually regained control and won the war

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