Prabhakaran still in Sri Lanka, say surrendered rebels

February 15th, 2009 - 3:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Feb 15 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s elusive Tamil Tigers leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is still in the country’s north, two suicide cadres who have surrendered to the military were Sunday quoted as saying.

Prabhakaran, facing the most serious crisis since Tamil insurgency broke out over a quarter century ago, remains holed up in the rapidly shrinking territory still held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the state-run Sunday Observer quoted them as saying.

“Prabhakaran is still in Wanni (LTTE held area) and will continue to hold innocent civilians until the military captures him,” one of the two suicide bombers said.

The daily said the two guerrillas, Kanakasuthasan Suthas alias Shanker and Thillainathan Thivakaran alias Thamil Alai, had made surprising revelations to the security forces.

“According to them, with the battle hotting up, Prabhakaran had sent his wife and their youngest son, 10-year-old Balachandran, to a safer location,” it said.

Prabhakaran, who founded the LTTE in 1976, is known to have deep underground caves and bunkers in the forests of Mullaitivu, from where he oversaw the war against Indian troops in Sri Lanka in 1987-90.

The two “Black Tigers” in their early 20s surrendered to the 57 Division Jan 28 after failing to blast the bund of the giant Iranaimadhu Tank in Mullaitivu district.

The two, well-trained in under water operations, were detected near the Iranaimadhu tank just days after the LTTE exploded another tank at Kalmadukulam, also in Mullaitivu.

The Iranaimadhu tank is where a sea plane carrying LTTE’s late political advisor Anton Balasingham and wife Adele landed in 2001.

According to the Sunday report, the revelations by the surrendered suicide cadres “confirmed that the LTTE had more terror plans in their hand to reverse the security forces victories” even at this stage when the Tigers have been cornered in a small stretch of land in Mullaitivu district.

They said they were briefed about their mission by Charles Anthony, the elder son of Prabhakaran who they added headed the IT unit of the LTTE Jan 23.

“Sea Tigers leader Soosai (was) also there when Charles Anthony briefed them,” the Sunday Observer said, adding the two suicide cadres were trained to swim more than 10 km at a stretch under water.

Before they were taken to Vishwamadhu for the mission, it said the suicide cadres “had dinner with Prabhakaran in December at an unknown location”.

The menu at the dinner included mutton and string hoppers.

“Charles Anthony explained his plan to the Black Tiger cadres through a computer presentation,” the report said.

“They (were) asked to explode the tank bund at a depth of 20 feet to cause maximum damage,” it said.

The the were provided claymore mines, diving kits, chargers and satellite phones.

“Charles Anthony and Soosai had estimated that 5,000 soldiers would die in the floods following the blast of the Iranaimadhu tank bund,” it said quoting the suicide cadres.

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