Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the military has defeated
the Tamil Tiger rebels, after nearly three decades of civil war.
During a speech in Jordan Saturday, the president said he would be
returning home to a country free from the "barbaric acts" of the
rebels. Unidentified officials said a formal declaration of victory
could come as early as Sunday.
Fighting continues in the northern war zone as the military announced it had killed two senior rebel leaders (Swarnam, Shashikumar) and taken control of the entire coastline.
The military says the rebels are now preparing to commit a mass suicide.
The Tamil Tigers have not surrendered or made any direct concession of
defeat. But the rebel group on Saturday reiterated its call for an end
Sri Lanka's government has repeatedly rejected calls for a cease-fire.
Saturday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned Sri Lanka that it
will face consequences for not halting the fighting and refusing to
allow humanitarian access to the combat zone.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff was expected to
arrive in Sri Lanka to try to negotiate an end to the conflict.
Friday, the United Nations human rights office said the humanitarian
situation had worsened, and that the conduct of both sides could amount
to crimes against humanity.
Nearly 200,000 Tamil civilians in northern Sri Lanka have been displaced since the government began its current offensive.
The military says nearly 25,000 people have fled since Thursday.
The conflict began more than 25 years ago, when the rebels began fighting for an independent homeland for ethnic Tamils.