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Lanka army enters Paranthan town

world Updated: Jan 07, 2009 22:03 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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The Sri Lankan army (SLA) claimed to have expanded their control over more LTTE territory east of Kilinochchi and the neighbouring town of Paranthan on Wednesday.

Troops of the 58 division, which was involved in the capture of the former LTTE capital Kilinochchi, have advanced 5 km east of Paranthan and entered the town of Murasumoddai.

``Gaining control over the Murasumoddai junction, located along the Paranthan - Mullattivu main road (A-35), 5 km east of Paranthan, would be strategically vital for the troops as it creates new escaping routes for the Tamil civilians under LTTE-hold,'' the defence ministry said. The soldiers entered the town in spite of hard resistance given by the LTTE over the last few days.

The military claimed that many civilians of Murasumoddai and its surrounding areas have moved to government-controlled areas.

The defence ministry also said troops were 1.5 km away from another LTTE stronghold in Palai in the same region.

Meanwhile, the United States has said that the The fall of Kilinochchi represents an important point in the 25-year war that has divided Sri Lanka. ``We hope that this event will help hasten an end to the conflict,'' said a press release issued by the United States Embassy in Colombo.

The release added: ``we do believe that a broad range of other Tamil voices and opinions must be brought into a political process to reach a political solution that Tamils inside and outside of Sri Lanka see as legitimate.''

The British High Commission said that the capture of the former administrative capital of the LTTE by Sri Lankan armed forces makes it even more urgent that all parties achieve progress on setting out a political solution that addresses the "legitimate concerns of all communities."