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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Has LTTE leader Prabhakaran embraced death?

Speculation is rife among knowledgeable circles in Colombo that Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is no more among the living.

It is widely believed that the 54 year old tiger supremo who was born on November 26th 1954 has committed suicide along with more than 300 of his deputies and senior cadres in the Mullivaaikkaal area of Karaithuraipatru AGA division in Mullaitheevu district.

[Velupillai Prabhakaran]

Though the Defence ministry website says that the tiger leader trapped with his deputies is planning to commit mass suicide there are reports that the “Thalaivar” (leader) and “poraligal” (fighters) have already committed “Veeramaranam” (heroic death).

Unconfirmed reports say that the injured LTTE leader and several of his senior deputies had embraced death voluntarily in keeping with the LTTE practice of suicide.

There were also conflicting reports that the LTTE had triggered off a huge explosion in which their bodies were destroyed after taking cyanide first.

Another report said the armed forces had identified the “structure” in which Prabhakaran was staying and demolished it through powerful explosives.

It is said that the announcement about Prabhakaran’s “death” is being withheld until tomorrow Sunday May 17th to be revealed publicly by President Mahinda Rajapakse in a special address to the nation.

Apparently the President is cutting short his trip to Jordan to return home and personally announce the “historic” event.

President Rajapakse hinted at the latest development when he addressed the G-11 summit held in Jordan.

The President said:

Many in the world believed that the LTTE is invincible, but, I am proud to announce at this august gathering that my government with the total commitment of our Armed Forces, has in an unprecedented humanitarian operation, finally defeated the LTTE militarily. I will be going back to a country that has been totally freed from the barbaric acts of the LTTE. This freedom comes after 30 long years. My government’s precise and well coordinated humanitarian operation has so far succeeded in rescuing over 210,000 civilians who were being used as human shields by the LTTE. The defeat of the LTTE on the ground heralds a new era in Sri Lanka.

The key phrases “I will be going back to a country totally freed” and “finally defeated the LTTE militarily”, “defeat of the LTTE on the ground” etc are interpreted as indicators that the tiger hierarchy is now eliminated.

There is also a move to celebrate Monday May 18th as a “victory day over terrorism” throughout the Country. Already householders in Colombo and outstation towns are being instructed to fly the national flag.

The President is expected to declare the 18th as a national holiday.

There had been many theories earlier about the whereabouts of Velupillai Prabhakaran.

While some felt he had fled the country others said he had moved to the Wanni jungles.

The LTTE political commissar Balasingham Nadesan however said the leader was “with the people leading and guiding us in battle”.

According to a defence-related source who spoke on condition of anonymity the military had been convinced the LTTE leader was in the Mullivaaikkaal area through intercepts of communication between some tiger cadres.

Further confirmation had come when the wife of Thillaiambalam Sivanesan alias Soosai the sea tiger special commander surrendered to the Navy with some others.

She had allegedly revealed that the LTTE leader was seriously injured and was staying in a well-guarded location with other senior leaders like her husband Soosai and Pottu Amman.

She had also said that a team of 300 bodyguards are positioned around the place where Prabhakaran is staying and that the tiger leader is prepared to take his own life rather than surrender if surrounded.

Soosai’s wife is the sister of Sathiyanathan alias Shankar the first LTTE cadre to be killed.

He died on Nov 27th 1982 and the LTTE has been observing that date as “Maaveerar Thinam” or “great heroes day” annually since 1989.

The military received further confirmation when a team of doctors from the LTTE’s “Thileepan medical unit” surrendered to the Army at Karaiyamullivaaikkaal.

One of the medical personnel who had been attending to Prabhakaran personally had divulged further information including guidelines to the exact spot Prabhakaran was in.

The military had then moved further into the area and encircled the swathe of territory Prabhakaran was in.

The defence official refused to comment when asked whether the LTTE Leader was alive or not.

He also declined to answer whether Prabhakaran and the LTTE had committed mass suicide by blowing themselves up or by consuming cyanide.

When asked whether the military had identified the place where Prabhakaran was staying and had blown it up with powerful explosives the official again refused to respond.

Another authoritative source who also requested anonymity indicated in a round-about way that the LTTE leader was dead.

Using a cricket metaphor the well-informed official observed cryptically;

“Match Over, Series won, captain’s wicket gone, stumps drawn, players heading for pavilion. That’s all I can say for now”.

At least three other officials I spoke to refused to answer any questions on the subject.

One of them said “We cant open our mouths (kata arinda baa) until “lokka” (boss) gets here”.

An informed source in Europe regarded as being close to the LTTE declined to respond when asked about Prabhakaran and the LTTE saying he had no information and did not want to deny or confirm anything.

There were also reports that the LTTE had begun blowing up its arms dumps and arsenals.
Important documents were also being destroyed.

More than 200 tiger cadres had surrendered to the army on May 15th, reports said.

Among those who surrendred was Isaichelvi the widow of former tiger political commissar Suppiah Paramu Thamilselvan.

At least two senior leaders Sornam and Sasi master had died in battle.

Three other senior tigers whose names are being withheld have also turned themselves in to the army.

It was also reported in sections of the media that the LTTE leadership had held a high-level conference where decisions of tremendous importance were made.

Associated at this conference were the right and left hands of Prabhakaran namely Pottu Amman and Soosai.

Defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse told the BBC that the soldiers had successfully rescued thousands of civilians from the LTTE’s clutches.

In a separate development some tiger cadres from the Wanni telephoned their relatives abroad and bade “farewell”.

They said their families will be surrendering to the Army while they themselves would either fight and die or swallow cyanide.

Unconfirmed reports about Prabhakaran’s death and mass suicide of more than 300 tigers has also begun circulating amidst diaspora circles.

President Rajapakse’s return to Colombo is being eagerly awaited.

If the news about Prabhakaran’s death and mass suicide of tigers is confirmed beyond doubt, it would no doubt be the most significant development in contemporary Sri Lanka.

The event will have far-reaching consequences and is likely to herald a new direction in the on-going Tamil struggle to win their lost rights in the Island.

Source:Lanka News Today

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