A week after a stunning victory over the LTTE, Sri Lankan military on Tuesday said it wants to boost up its manpower by more than 1,00,000 troops to prevent resurgence of the Tamil Tigers or any other such group.
The troop build up, which will increase the number of Sri Lankan forces from 2,00,000 to 3,00,000, was announced by the Army chief Gen Sarath Fonseka amidst fears in Colombo that the Tamil Tigers living abroad may try to resurrect the group under a new leadership.
“There may be people abroad trying to promote a new leader and stage a comeback,” Fonseka told state-run Independent Television Network. But, “it will not be easy for them to build up a terror group as they did before”, the army chief said.
Sri Lankan army after almost a two-year relentless offensive claimed to have “totally destroyed” the LTTE cadres, killing all its top and second rung leadership including its supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and intelligence chief Pottu Amman.
More than 22,000 LTTE fighters were killed in the offensive and another 9,000 surrendered to the government forces, Fonseka said.
The army chief also indicated that fresh operations might be carried out to flush out small Tiger units still in hiding in the jungles.