Sri Lanka has marked the first anniversary of capture of "strategic" town of Kilinochchi, LTTE's administrative headquarters, which later paved the way for military victory over the Tiger rebels.
Recalling the capture of the town on January 2, 2009, an official government website said, the fall of Kilinochchi during the same period last year set the tone for the annihilation of the Tiger rebels and its defeat following the killing of its supreme Velupillai Prabhakaran in May, 2009,
"It was recaptured in the humanitarian operation carried out under the leadership of President Rajapakse and the guidance of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse," it said.
The retake of Kilinochchi was an important step in the humanitarian operation that was launched at Mavil Aru in Eastern Sri Lanka, it said.
The closure of the sluice gates of Mavil Aru by the LTTE on July 26, 2006 was a crucial turning point in the Sri Lankan civil strife. The area having a waterway provided supplies to families in eastern Sri Lanka.
When the government's appeal to restore the water supply failed to evoke any reaction, the security forces launched the military operations against the Tiger rebels with an air attack in August 2006. The army then eventually took control of the sluice gates of the reservoir in Mavil Aru, the strategic area to commence the battle against LTTE.