State and private stations aired footage of what they said was the body of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, which it says proves that he is dead. But some among Sri Lanka's Tamil community and the influential Tamil diaspora doubt whether he really is dead.
Video: Tamils Question Killing of Prabhakaran
Dismissing as "engineered rumours" Sri Lankan government's assertion that Vellupillai Prabhakaran had been killed in the fighting in the north, the Tamil Tigers have claimed that the LTTE supremo is alive.
Days after the Sri Lankan military released a video footage of a corpse identifying it as that of Prabhakaran, the LTTE repeated its claim that its leadership was intact.
"Our beloved leader is alive," a pro-rebel website said, quoting Arivazhakan, the 'Head of International Secretariat of the Intelligence wing' of Tamil Tigers.
The rebels termed as "engineered rumours" the Sri Lankan government's statement that Prabhakaran was killed in the combat on Monday.
"These rumours have been set afloat to confuse the global Tamil community which has been voicing support for the liberation of Tamil Eelam," Arivazhakan said.
The report also said that the rebel leadership "will make contact with its people at a suitable time in future." The LTTE had denied reports of Prabhakaran's death on May 18 after the Sri Lankan military had claimed killing the Tiger leader.
"Our beloved leader is alive and safe. He will continue to lead the quest for dignity and freedom for the Tamil people," the rebels' international relations chief Selvarasa Pathmanathan had told Tamilnet website a day before the footage of Prabhakaran's body was released.