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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2960

The tragic tale of a reluctant Tamil youth, recruited forcibly, finally ended with death.

By Walter Jayawardhana

Colombo, 22 January, ( After the fall of Vakarai , Kadiravel and other Eastern strongholds of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) , following eleven years of existence, hundreds of rebels did not know where to turn for refuge. True a small number who knew they could safely surrender to the government troops did so. The shock for many of them was so great since the lost of the coastal stretch spanning the districts of Trincomalee and Batticaloa about 240 km (150 miles) northeast of Colombo was an important maritime supply line for the Tigers. It was indeed an irreparable loss.

Apparently many just fled desperately without any fixed destination obviously, with the singular ambition of saving their dear lives. But some did not make it. At least we know four of such people the security troops had to shoot dead in this aftermath of the fall of Vakarai. One was actually different from the rest.

He never joined the LTTE voluntarily because he did not want to fight for Velupillai Prabhakaran’s elusive goal of a separate state. In fact, he was a reluctant fighter. At least he knew the danger of moving with a losing group of fighters like the Tamil Tigers.

He wrote that in a moving letter which was unfortunately found only after his death in his pant pocket of his uniform.

Priyanka Wijenayaka, the Officer In Charge of the Valachchenai Police says that he has identified him and his kith and kin from two telephone numbers in the letter. In fact he said he was living dangerously and if something untoward happened to him his closest kith and kin should be informed about his unfortunate end.

He said in his letter that he was a kidnapped man from the Eastern Province by an armed gang of the LTTE who happened to take him for a terrible war. He blamed the Tamil Tigers for giving him a military training by force and involving him in a reluctant war.

Inspector Wijenayaka was able to contact his relatives and even found out that a police entry has been made at the Kalawanchikudi Police station declaring that the Tamil Tigers had kidnapped him. No one knew where he had been taken and there was no way of finding out.

In the moving letter found in a pocket of his pants, clad by the now lifeless body, he said his name is Chandrasekeran Vinokandan of Kurukkulam Madam of the besieged Eastern Province.

He said he was actually kidnapped by the Tamil Tigers and was praying to God to save him from any danger.

According to Sri Lanka Army spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe his was one of four bodies, killed after a shoot out, by the side of the road.

He said monitored radio communications between the enemy posts revealed altogether 18 died in the shoot out inside the jungle. The army apparently ventured not inside to find out.

Brigadier Samarasinghe said troops had killed at least 18 rebels during a pre-dawn clash as they tried to cross an army-occupied highway in eastern Batticaloa district and reach a jungle pocket the LTTE controls.

He thinks during two days some LTTE guerillas have escaped to the jungle hideout of Thoppigala in the adjacent District of Ampara. "In small numbers they would have crossed toward Toppigala," Samarasinghe added, referring to a rebel-held jungle inland area also known as Barron‘s Cap. "We can't cover all the routes because there are so many kilometers (of road to defend)."

The spokesman further said troops also found the corpses of 22 other Tigers presumed killed in previous days. But dozens of other Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighters had likely managed to flee the enclave, which fell on Friday. Among those who died and among those who fled nobody knows how many were reluctant fighters like the man whose prayers were never answered by God.

- Asian Tribune -

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