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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2589

LTTE leaders in disarray

Two senior most men of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) surrendered to the security forces on Wednesday, thus marking the first ever disloyalty to do-or-die diktat of the terrorist organization. Veteran Media Head Daya Master and most trusted interpreter George who attended all rounds of peace talks from Bangkok to Geneva to Oslo surrendered to the forces after escaping from the LTTE held Puthumathalan beach strip.

"This shows that Tiger supremo (Velupillai) Prabhakaran has lost his steel grip over his men," said an analyst of guerrilla movements. "No LTTE member is allowed to surrender. They have to take a vow that they would bite into cyanide capsule around their necks and die rather than surrendering. The surrender of Daya Master and George clearly shows that even senior leaders in the LTTE are not ready to blindly follow Prabhakaran’s orders. This is the end of the road for Prabhakaran".

Scores of LTTE leaders committed suicide in the past when cornered. They include senior leaders like Jaffna Commander Kittu alias Krishnamachari Krishnakumar, who committed suicide when the Indian Navy surrounded his ship MV Ahat off Tamil Nadu coast, Pullendran and Kumarappah, who bit into their cyanide capsules at Palali Airport and One-eyed Kannan, the mastermind of Rajiv Gandhi assassination who committed suicide when the Indian police raided his hideout.

The military announced that the media co-ordinator, Daya Master, gave himself up along with a top interpreter George, who worked for senior leaders who participated in peace talks.

BBC Correspondent also said that the surrender of two leaders is a major setback for the LTTE leadership, which always insisted that cadres should commit suicide by swallowing cyanide capsules rather than be captured.

The army says that Daya Master and George surrendered at Puthumathalan on Wednesday in the company of fleeing civilians. Over 100,000 civilians crossed over to government controlled areas earlier this week.

Sri Lankan military spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara said Daya Master was the most senior rebel official to surrender so far.

Analysts are of the view that many senior LTTE cadres would follow suit and surrender rather than committing suicide or die in the battle field.

- Asian Tribune -

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