However he says then President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared a 48 hour ceasefire which resulted in the LTTE gaining some momentum. The Army eventually defeated the LTTE in May 2009. (Colombo Gazette) The Government in April 2009 said that the 48 hour ceasefire was declared to enable thousands of civilians to celebrate the Tamil New Year. Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka says he strongly opposed a 48 hour ceasefire which was declared in April 2009.Speaking at the United National Party (UNP) May Day rally in Borella today, Fonseka, who was the Army Commander at the time, said he urged the then Government not to go for a ceasefire. “President is deeply conscious of the need to give the civilian population entrapped as hostages by the ruthless actions of the LTTE, the opportunity to celebrate New Year festivities in a suitable atmosphere and to have uninhibited freedom of movement from the No Fire Zone to the cleared areas,” a statement from the president’s secretariat said on April 12, 2009.However Fonseka says the military lost a large number of hardware and also lost ground as a result of the ceasefire.