Bodies of Prabhakaran’s son, three LTTE leaders found (Second Lead)May 18th, 2009 - 11:09 am ICT by IANS
Colombo, May 18 (IANS) A body suspected to be of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran’s elder son Charles Anthony and the bodies of three senior rebel leaders, including the outfit’s political head B. Nadesan, were found by the Sri Lankan troops Monday during operations in the island’s north, the defence ministry said.
“Sri Lanka army soldiers have found a body suspected to be of Charles Anthony… in the Karayamullavaikkal area this (Monday) morning,” the defence ministry said on its website.
Anthony’s body was found “after an unsuccessful and half-hearted attempt by the LTTE cadres to evacuate their leader’s son early this morning”.
He was known to be the head of Information and Technology department of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). “Charles Anthony was given a very senior position in the outfit after establishing a special non-fighting unit for him,” the statement said.
Sri Lankan troops have also found the bodies of three senior rebel leaders identified as Nadesan, Pulidevan and Ramesh during the operations in the last Tamil Tigers-held area in Mullaitivu district, about 395 km from Colombo.
According to the latest information, the remaining guerrillas are now boxed into a 100m x 100m area, north of Vellamullivaikkal.
“Nadesan was a former police constable of Sri Lanka police and known to be the political head of the outfit. Pulidevan was known as the head of `LTTE peace secretariat’ while Ramesh was one of the most senior special military leaders of the outfit,” the ministry said.
Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger guerrillas announced dramatically Sunday they were calling off their quarter-century long armed struggle citing the deaths of thousands of civilians as speculation gripped the country that the elusive Velupillai Prabhakaran may be dead.
Announcing an end to the campaign to carve out a Tamil state in the island’s northeast, the LTTE said they had decided to “silence” their guns as the “battle has reached its bitter end”.
The momentous announcement that had deep implications for this country of 20 million people, and in fact the South Asian region, came a day after President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared in Jordan Saturday that the “barbaric acts of the LTTE” had ended after three long decades.
Speculation immediately mounted that Prabhakaran, 54, who founded the LTTE in 1976 and built it brick by brick to become one of the deadliest insurgent groups, had been killed in the coastal belt of Mullaitivu district.
There was no word from the LTTE about Prabhakaran, who had been on the retreat since the start of this year, while one government official denied that the rebel leader had been killed or may have committed suicide.
The defence ministry said late Sunday night there was no trace of Prabhakaran’s body yet. But some sources insisted that Prabhakaran was no more.
Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict, which took the form of an insurgency in 1983, has claimed nearly 90,000 lives and left the scenic island nation battered and bruised.
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