End of LTTE - Prabhakaran Killed in Sri Lanka

. 5/18/09

The LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was shot dead on Monday (18th May) while trying to flee in an ambulance, news reports said.

Citing a senior Sri Lankan defence official news agencies said Prabhakaran was trying to drive out of the battle zone in a an ambulance along with a few aides.

"He was killed with two others inside the vehicle. There will be a formal announcement later," the official was quoted. According to the source the vehicle has caught fire upon firing by the troops.

According to the Sri Lankan military, the Tigers tried to evacuate its leaders early this morning in two vehicles. Army special soldiers of 53 Division have intercepted the vehicles moving north and destroyed the convoy after fierce fighting.

The Sri Lankan military said it had found 150 bodies of LTTE cadres so far and they are in the process of identifying them.

Sri Lankan Armed forces officials have claimed that they positively identified 18 bodies of senior LTTE cadres including that of Pottu Amman. The following is list of identified LTTE leaders found among the dead today (May 18).

Pottu Amman- LTTE's Intelligence Wing Leader

Bhanu - LTTE military leader

Jeyam- LTTE military leader

B.Nadesan- LTTE political head

S.Pulidevan- Head of LTTE's Peace Secretariat

Ramesh- LTTE special military leader

Ilango- LTTE police chief

Charles Anthony- the eldest son of LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran

Sudharman - aide to LTTE leader's son

Thomas- senior intelligence leader an

Luxman - LTTE military leader

Sri Ram- senior sea tiger cadre

Iseiaravi - LTTE female military leader

Kapil Amman - LTTE deputy intelligence leader

Ajanthi- female LTTE training in charge

Wardha - LTTE mortar in charge

Pudiyawan- Secretary to LTTE leader

Jenarthan - Special military leader

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan defence sources on the field said that troops are now conducting search and clear operations in area. Troops have so far found over 200 bodies of LTTE cadres along with large stocks lethal weapons. Troops strongly believe that all top LTTE cadres including its chief V. Prabhakaran have been killed in today's fighting. The identification process is being continued.

Prabhakaran Death News - Video

Velupillai Prabhakaran (November 26, 1954 – May 18, 2009), who led a ruthless movement for more than three decades, was a dogged fighter for a separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka, but his opponents saw him as a megalomaniac who never tolerated dissent.

Son of a government officer and a school dropout, Prabhakaran gave a new dimension to militancy by pioneering suicide bombing and death for cadres under attack in the war for Tamil Eelam that consumed more than 70,000 lives including a score of Sinhalese and Tamil leaders apart from Rajiv Gandhi.

Started in 1972 as Tamil New Tigers by a group of young boys headed by him and renamed as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 1975, the outfit became more aggressive after the infamous Wellikade jail massacre in which separatist leaders Kuttimani and Jagan were killed by the forces.

Though the LTTE occasionally paused for diplomacy, first initiated by India in Thimpu in 1985 and later by Norway in 2002, there was no looking back for the dreaded organisation from its chosen path of violence.

Prabhakaran led the LTTE from the secret jungles of Wanni in northern Sri Lanka and survived many a battle but the current assault from the Lankan forces ended his dream as well as his life.

A 'freedom fighter' for his supporters and a dreaded terrorist for others, Prabhakaran was wanted by Interpol and many other organisations since 1990 for terrorism, murder and organised crime.

Known as thambi (younger brother), Prabhakaran was responsible for the elimination of Sinhalese leaders — President Premadasa, Gamini Dissanayake (UNP Presidential candidate) and Ranjan Wijeratne and moderate Tamil leaders — Appapillai Amirthalingam, Yogeswaran and his wife and Lakshman Kadirgamar, who was a foreign minister.

He did not spare his comrades-in-arms such as PLOTE leader Uma Maheswaran, TELO's Siri Sabarathinam, EPRLF's Padmanabha, besides LTTE dissenters like Mahthiah.

What started as a liberation movement in the late 1970s to attain freedom for "oppressed" Tamils from the clutches of Sri Lankans by Prabhakaran, the LTTE was later evolved as a ruthless organisation for whom violence became a legitimate tool to eliminate political opponents.

Rajiv Gandhi assassination
After the LTTE's battle with the Indian Peace Keeping Force in the jungles of Sri Lanka, Prabhakaran targeted Rajiv Gandhi and chose Sriperumbudur near Chennai to kill him during the election campaign in 1991 using a suicide bomber.

The LTTE had a grouse that Gandhi had imposed a peace agreement on the Tamils forcibly in 1987 and the IPKF was used to attack its cadre.

In his outfit's struggle for the separate Tamil homeland, Prabhakaran introduced suicide bombers, mostly young women, and targeted major installations of the Sri Lankan government, including military headquarters and the lone international airport in the country.

Born on November 26, 1954 in the northern coastal town of Velvettithurai on the Jaffna peninsula, Prabhakaran, the youngest of four children, began attending political meetings and practising martial arts and soon became involved in the Tamil protest movement.

First political killing
Prabhakaran founded the LTTE in the late 1970s and carried out his first political murder against the mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Duraiappah, a fellow Tamil, by shooting him at point blank range while he was about to enter Hindu temple at Ponnaalai.

Though no one is sure about Prabhakaran's personal life, he got married to Madhi Vadhani on October 1, 1984 in Tirupporur near Chennai and has daughter named Duwaraka — two sons — Charles Anthony and Balachandran.

While Charles was in the battlefront during the final phase of the war, the whereabouts of others are not known, but it is widely speculated that they are not in Sri Lanka.

Though his followers consider him as a freedom fighter struggling for Tamil emancipation from Sinhala oppression, various nations, including India, have banned the organisation and branded him as a terrorist.

LTTE - a well-organised outfit
The LTTE is the only terrorist outfit in the world to have three armed forces wings — Tigers (ground), Sea Tigers (Navy) and Air Tigers — (Air Force).

Interestingly, Black Tigers, the suicide wing of the LTTE, came into prominence when the Tigers' launched their first suicide attack against a Sri Lankan Army camp killing 40 soldiers.

The outfit has also earned the ire of Human Rights Groups who allege that the LTTE recruits young children to fight against the Army.

LTTE, which is believed to be funded by Tamils living in Europe and other countries across the world, agreed for a ceasefire with Sri Lanka in 2002.

But both the sides continued to violate the agreement which was brokered by Norway until it was formally abrogated by the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government.

Karuna's rebellion
Prabhakaran and the LTTE received a major blow when his confidant 'Col.' Karuna parted ways and formed his own outfit. However, he later converted as an opponent of the Tamil movement and is now serving as a Minister.

An estimated 4,000 women cadres have been killed since then, including over a hundred in 'Black Tiger' suicide squads.

Source: Sri Lanka Ministry of Defence Website & The Hindu

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