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'Tigers are trapped' says Defence secretary
 
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
Defence secretary

Tamil Tigers are now trapped in a small area of scrub jungle says the defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who claims that western governments will not come to the rescue of the Tamil Tiger leadership.

Meanwhile the Tamil Tiger rebels say they have decided to "silence their guns" in their fight against government forces. A statement, carried by a pro-rebel website, Tamilnet, said the battle had reached its bitter end.

There is no LTTE

In an interview with the BBC Tamil Service, the defence secretary dismissed the statement.

"We are not reacting to anybody. as far as we are concerned there is no LTTE".

 We are not reacting to anybody. as far as we are concerned there is no LTTE
 
Defence Secretary

The Defence secretary added that the rebels are completely trapped. "Remaining LTTE are trapped in an area of scrub jungle the size of a football field. No civilian can live in this area".

Commenting on the statement by the Tamil Tigers offering to silence the guns, The defence secretary say that the rebels would not have any guns, "don't think there are any guns remaining to be silenced. everything had been captured" he told the BBC.

Tamil Tiger leaders

When questioned about the fate of the Tamil Tiger leadership, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa said, "we can't really say what had happened to the leadership. they maybe trapped or may have committed suicide. we will only know when we clear the last pocket of land. We are going in to clear the area when it is daylight".

LTTE leader
LTTE leaders looking for protection

He added that no one had approached the government to negotiate the surrender of the leaders.

No one will come to the rescue

The head of the Tigers' political wing told a British newspaper, the Sunday Times that they were ready to lay down their arms if the United States or Britain could guarantee their safety.

Commenting on the request, The defence secretary say that it is unlikely that anyone would come to the rescue of the rebel leadership. "UN and the western countries were only interested in the welfare of the civilians".

Now the civilians had been rescued, the western governments would not come to "guarantee the safety of the terrorist LTTE leadership," says the defence secretary.

 
 
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