Prabhakaran alive, claims pro-LTTE website

Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran is “alive and safe”, a website sympathetic to the rebels claimed Tuesday.

The Sri Lankan military Monday said that Prabhakaran was shot dead while fleeing the battle zone in the island’s north.prabakaran

Prabhakaran, the feared leader of Sri Lanka’s ruthless Tamil Tigers, was killed Monday with two top aides, ending one of the world’s longest running insurgencies that bled the island nation for over a quarter century, the military declared.

While rejecting Colombo’s claim of Prabhakaran being killed, and “assuring his safety and well-being”, LTTE’s International Relations Head S. Pathmanathan Tuesday accused Colombo of treachery in the killing of the political wing leaders B. Nadesan and S. Puleedevan.

There was no independent confirmation of the report in the pro-LTTE website TamilNet. Sri Lankan officials have in the past denounced as propaganda similar claims by TamilNet.

Pathmanathan in the statement said: “I wish to inform the global Tamil community distressed witnessing the final events of the war that our beloved leader Velupillai Pirapaharan is alive and safe. He will continue to lead the quest for dignity and freedom for the Tamil people.”

Categorically rejecting Prabhakaran’s death claims, he asked “the Tamil community to be vigilant and to exercise maximum restraint whilst grieving for the loss of Tamil civilian lives in the barbaric conduct of the final chapters of this battle”.

Prabhakaran’s face apparently caught fire and he breathed his last in a small stretch of land near the coast in Mullaitivu district, an area about 400 km from here which he had made his hideout a long time ago, building seemingly impregnable underground bunkers.

The reported death – which came hours after his elder son Charles Anthony, who headed the group’s IT wing and was being groomed to succeed him, was also killed – marks the collapse of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which Prabhakaran set up in 1976 and which became one of the most well-armed and ruthless insurgent groups in the world with its own army, navy and air force.

It also came three days before the 18th anniversary of the assassination of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was blown up by a woman Tamil Tiger suicide bomber at an election rally near Chennai in India May 21, 1991.

Sri Lankan army chief, Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka, told state-owned TV: “We have now completed our task of liberating the north and east from terrorists.” Fonseka was badly wounded when an LTTE suicide bomber sneaked into the fortified army headquarters in Colombo and tried to blow him up.

Also reportedly killed Monday with Prabhakaran was Shanmugalingam Shivashankar alias Pottu Amman, the dreaded chief of the intelligence wing that was responsible for all the high profile assassinations the Tigers carried out in its long and murderous history.

Other key LTTE leaders whose bodies were found Monday were Soosai, the LTTE’s naval wing leader, Balasingham Nadesan, who headed its political wing, S. Puleedevan, head of the Peace Secretariat, Ramesh, a military leader, Ilango, chief of the LTTE police, and Kapil Amman from the LTTE intelligence wing.

LTTE Leader Prabhakaran Killed And Body Found

Sri Lanka’s state television announced on Monday that Tamil Tiger rebel chief Velupillai Prabhakaran has been killed. However, there is no official confirmation of his death.Prabhakaran’s death would spell the end of a more than three-decade quest by the rebel leader for a separate state for minority Tamils across northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

prabhakaran

Rupavahini television, the state broadcaster, broke into its regular programming on Monday afternoon to announce Prabakharan’s death. They gave no details of how he was killed.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Army Chief Lt Gen Sareth Fonseka has said that troops have defeated the last pockets of rebel resistance in the north and are working to identify Prabhakaran’s body from among the dead.

Velupillai-Prabhakaran

The government information department also sent a text message to cell phones across the country announcing Prabhakaran was killed along with his top deputies.

High alert has been sounded in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo after Prabhakaran’s death.

Sri Lanka military has also announced that it has now controlled all of country’s territory.

Earlier, Sri Lankan military officials had informed that Prabhakaran was killed by government forces this morning.

Two officials had confirmed Prabhakaran’s death. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Prabhakaran and two of his top commanders, know as Soosai and Pottu Amman, drove in an armour-plated van accompanied by a bus filled with armed rebels toward approaching Sri Lankan forces Monday morning, the officials said. A two-hour firefight broke out before the military launched a rocket at the van, the officials said.

Troops pulled Prabhakaran’s body from the van and identified it as that of the rebel leader, they said.

“It was confirmed Prabhakaran was killed when trying to flee in an ambulance before dawn. We are waiting for the official announcement by the President,” a military source said on condition of anonymity.

prabhakaran's son charles anthony

prabhakaran's son charles anthony

Earlier in the day, four senior rebel leaders were killed in fighting.

They included the head of the Tigers’ political wing, Balasingham Nadesan, the head of rebels’ peace secretariat Seevaratnam Puleedevan, and a military leader known as Ramesh.

The Army also says it has found the body of Prabhakaran’s son, Charles Anthony.

Sri Lanka’s hawkish President, Mahinda Rajapakse, will open a new session of Parliament on Tuesday with an address that will officially mark the ending of the war.

The conflict has left more than 70,000 dead from pitched battles, suicide attacks, bomb strikes and assassinations. The LTTE emerged in the 1970s, with all-out war breaking out in the early 1980s.

The capital Colombo, which has been frequently hit by Tiger suicide attacks over the past quarter century, saw street celebrations which lasted well into Sunday night.