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Posts Tagged ‘Prabhakaran’

The Times

By CATHERINE PHILP

More than 20,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the final throes of the Sri Lankan civil war, most as a result of government shelling, an investigation by The Times has revealed.

The number of casualties is three times the official figure.

The Sri Lankan authorities have insisted that their forces stopped using heavy weapons on April 27 and observed the no-fire zone where 100,000 Tamil men, women and children were sheltering. They have blamed all civilian casualties on Tamil Tiger rebels concealed among the civilians.

Aerial photographs, official documents, witness accounts and expert testimony tell a different story. With the world’s media and aid organisations kept well away from the fighting, the army launched a fierce barrage that began at the end of April and lasted about three weeks. The offensive ended Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war with the Tamil Tigers, but innocent civilians paid the price. (more…)

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By The Economist

ONLY days after Velupillai Prabhakaran was found dead on a battlefield in north-eastern Sri Lanka on May 19th, cracks have emerged in the Tamil Tiger rebel group that he controlled for over three decades. At issue is whether to concede that Mr Prabhakaran, whose pudgy corpse was displayed for television cameras by the army and then burned, is really dead.

On May 24th Selvarasa Pathmanathan, head of international relations for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), as the group are properly known, said its “incomparable leader and supreme commander” had been martyred. Within hours, another self-described Tiger faction, quoting the Tigers’ intelligence arm, released a statement that said, the “LTTE leadership is safe and it will re-emerge when the right time comes”. The Tigers’ intelligence chief, Pottu Amman, is the most senior rebel plausibly rumoured to have survived the murderous last stage of a two-year army offensive. In a 48-hour slaughter, which followed the escape of the last of a refugee horde whom the Tigers had sought to hide behind, several hundred rebels leaders and fighters were killed by the army. Some had attempted to surrender, including two political LTTE leaders, B. Nadesan and S. Puleedevan. They and their families are reported to have been machinegunned while advancing under a white flag. (more…)

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