LTTE decides to end its bloody armed struggle (Lead)

May 17th, 2009 - 5:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, May 17 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger guerrillas announced Sunday that they had decided to “silence” their guns amid intense rumours that their leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was dead.
In a statement posted on the TamilNet website, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said its decades long struggle for a Tamil homeland “has reached its bitter end”.

“This battle has reached its bitter end… We have decided to silence our guns,” said the LTTE statement issued by S. Pathmanathan, the head of the group’s International Relations department.

“Our only regrets are for the lives lost and that we could not hold out for longer,” it said, a day after Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced a defeat of the LTTE.

There was no word, however, on the fate of Prabhakaran amid reports that Sri Lankan troops had stumbled upon the bodies of about 150 LTTE guerrillas in the island’s north.

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