Sri Lanka Express
The media has twisted the GOSL’s statement on the Wanni operations, a senior defense official was quoted on the defense ministry’s official website as saying. A terse statement issued this morning said “… combat operations have reached their conclusion. Our security forces have been instructed to end the use of heavy caliber guns, combat aircraft and aerial weapons which could cause civilian causalities.”
Foreign media quickly interpreted the statement as an end to hostilities against the LTTE. The Sydney Morning Herald said this was an ‘about-face’ for ‘ Mr Rajapaksa's Government [which] has been under huge pressure from overseas to halt fighting to protect civilians caught up in the conflict.’ In Chennai, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK President Karunanidhi immediately responded by ending his fast, started six hours earlier demanding a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.
A subsequent statement on the defense ministry website, referred to the news reports as ‘a crude and unethical way of media reportash,’ adding that rescue operations would continue. The site quoted an unnamed defense official as saying: "Security forces are now reaching victory, 'combat mission reaching its conclusion' and in no form will leave a breather for the internationally banned terrorist outfit or its leaders who are much wanted for thousands of war crimes and crimes against humanity."