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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2676

LTTE comes to terms with Prabhakaran's death, at last

[caption id="attachment_697" align="alignright" width="460" caption="The Dead body of Velupillai Prabhakaran displayed by the Army"]The Dead body of Velupillai Prabhakaran displayed by the Army[/caption]

From S Murari, Chennai

Chennai, 18 June ( The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has at last acknowledged that its "national leader" V Prabhakaran has died in action. In a statement on Thursday, Kathirkamathamby Arivazhakan, head of the external affairs wing in the department of intelligence in the LTTE said it has now been confirmed that "Tamil Eelam National Leader...V. Pirabaharan has attained martyrdom".

The confirmation had come a little over a month after Prabhakaran's body lying by the side of a lagoon was released by the Sri Lankan government and flashed by media around the world.

With the million strong Tamil diaspora shocked into disbelief, there was no formal mourning. In fact, as the entire top leadership was wiped out along with Prabhakaran in the final battle, there was no one to speak with authority until the shadowy K Pathmanathan, the LTTE's chief arms procurer and fund-raiser whose whereabouts are not known even to the Interpol which is looking for him, released conflicting statements.

Arivazhagan attributed the confirmation of Prabhakaran's death to sources, including its intelligence cadres in the know of the final incidents concerning attempts to move him to a safer location, "who have now reached safety", fighters of other departments and "our informants with links to the high command of the Sri Lankan armed forces".

Denying reports by the sources in the Sri Lankan government as well as the independent think tank, the Unitersity Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR), that Prabhakaran was captured and killed when he tried to break out of the last ditch the size of a football field in the early hours of

May 17, Mr Arivazhakan said conflicting reports are circulating "that he was arrested, that he surrendered, that he was killed after interrogation and that he committed suicide'.

Arivazhakan asserted that Prabhakaran neither surrendered nor was he arrested. "He fought and attained martyrdom".

Explaining the confusion over the announcement of his death, Mr Arivazhakan said conflicting reports had been emanating from Wanni- Mullivaaikkaal front in mid-May from 15th (Friday) to 19th Tuesday). "Reports received from our Intelligence cadres en route to safer locations who had limited communication facilities were in incomplete formats." As a result, with the facts gleaned from them and believing that our beloved leader was well, we decided to release a report on May 22. At the same time, conflicting messages had also been sent by our commanders responsible for the safety of the leader who happened to be with him to the end. We are able to discern that even Mr. Selvaraja Pathmanathan, head of the department of international relations of our organisation, found himself making two conflicting statements".

While regretting the release of the unconfirmed report on May 22, Mr Arivazhagan said:" At this critical juncture, we have to carry forward our liberation struggle with the same steadfastness, discipline and co-ordination" shown by Prabhakaran.

"The task before us", he said, "is to get together for the Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam that is to be formed as the next phase of our struggle to achieve the goal of securing the political aspirations of our people."

He saluted Prabhakaran and his commanders as well as "our beloved people subjected to genocide."

- Asian Tribune -

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