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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
End of first phase of genocide and the beginning of the next...
The 'broad front' attack launched on Jaffna, the indiscriminate artillery shelling and aerial bombardment, the systematic destruction and 'clearing' of large areas of the Tamil heartland, and the eventual displacement of hundreds of thousands of Tamils was but the first phase of President Kumaratunga's genocidal attack on the Tamil people.
In an interview reported in the Sri Lanka controlled Sunday Observer on 10 December 1995, President Kumaratunga's Deputy Defence Minister, Gen Anuruddha Ratwatte declared:
"A: ... we have gone only a part of the way and have more distance to go. We have gone perhaps sixty per cent of the way..
Q. In terms of actual territory, what is the area of the country yet `uncleared'?
A. In the Peninsula, there are the Thenmaarachchi and Vadamaarachchi divisions. Then there is the Vanni...
Q. Would you consider the Eastern Province as an `uncleared' area?
A. No, no. We have cleared up most of the area. It is only that we had pulled out some units from there for operations elsewhere, and a few people there are trying to create trouble. But with a new re-deployment of troops we will be able to maintain control without much difficulty.
Q. Will there be large operations similar to Riviresa in the Vanni and other sectors, for example, to re-capture the rest of the Peninsula?
A. We will be continuing our operations, but I cannot talk about their scale or where they might be held.
The Sinhala army, having 'cleared' the Tamil homeland around Jaffna of Tamils and their property was now set on continuing the 'clearing' operations in the rest of Jaffna peninsula, Vanni - and 'other sectors'. Understandably, Col.Ratwatte was reticent about the scale of the operations that he had in mind.
And, in the East, where a 'few people' were 'trying to create trouble', Col.Ratwatte assured his audience that 'with a new re-deployment of troops' control will be maintained 'without much difficulty'. The 'control' that the Sinhala army intended to exercise became all too apparent less than two months later in the horrendous Kumarapuram massacre in February 1996.