Is LTTEs Prabhakaran dead or not?

May 19th, 2009 - 12:29 pm ICT by John Le Fevre  

LTTE leader Prabhakaran Tamil rebels have refuted claims by the Sri Lankan government that Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the 54-year-old leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), or Tamil Tigers as they are more commonly termed, is dead.

Rebel spokesman S. Pathmanathan said Tuesday, Prabhakaran, who has lead the LTTE for the last 33 years in the groups struggle to gain an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka, was “alive and safe” and “will continue to lead the quest for dignity and freedom for the Tamil people.”

Pathmanathan also accused the Sri Lankan military of having committed a crime against humanity by killing its other leaders and called for an investigation.

The Sri Lankan government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday claimed a final victory over the rebels who, for the past 26-years, have waged a bloody civil war, including carrying out hundreds of suicide attacks, that have seen more than 70,000 people killed.

Sri Lankan military officials yesterday claimed to have killed Prabhakaran and other LTTE cadre as they attempted to flee the field of battle in an armor plated ambulance.

Also reported killed on Monday was Shanmugalingam Shivashankar, alias Pottu Amman, the feared chief of the LTTE intelligence wing that was responsible for all of the high profile assassinations the LTTE carried out in its bloody campaign.

The Sri Lankan governments claim of absolute victory came just three days before the 18th anniversary of the assassination of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was blown up by a female Tamil Tiger suicide bomber at an election rally near Chennai in India on May 21, 1991.

Yesterday the Sri Lankan defence ministry also claimed it had killed senior LTTE cadre including Prabhakaran’s eldest son, Charles Anthony, the LTTE’s naval wing leader, Soosai, the head of its political wing, Balasingham Nadesan, the head of the Peace Secretariat, S Puleedevan, the chief of the LTTE Police, Ilango, and Kapil Amman from the LTTE intelligence wing.

The government said the bodies of the dead LTTE leaders had been taken to a Sri Lankan military base where autopsies and DNA tests will be performed to confirm their identities.

It is understood the body believed to be Prabhakaran was badly burnt when a rocked was fired into the ambulance he was traveling in as it was driven at advancing Sri Lankan troops.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in South Asia |