Colombo, Sri Lanka (BBN) – Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Saturday announced that the troops have finally defeated the Tamil rebels and promised to establish democracy in the country’s embattled north.

“My government with the total commitment of our Armed Forces, has in an unprecedented humanitarian operation, finally defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militarily,” the president said while addressing the summit of G-11 nations in Jordon.

Rajapaksa also promised to follow the military victory with a “political solution” that will pave the way for democracy to root itself in the country’s embattled north.

The rebels facing ultimate defeat at the hands of the government troops are bracing for a final mass scale suicide attempt against government troops, the Sri Lankan Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Defense officials said earlier Saturday the military has sealed off the entire northeastern Mullaithivu coast and has circled the LTTE forces in a small jungle.

Military said the exodus of the remaining civilians trapped in the last rebel hold began on Thursday.

Some 9,900 people had crossed over to the government areas by Friday evening.

The LTTE rebels have been fighting for an independent homeland since the 1970s. It erupted into full-scale civil war in 1983 and the campaign cost more than 70,000 lives since the mid 1980s.

BBN/SS/ANS/AD=17May09-4:32 am (BST)