Civilians Left to Struggle as Army Unveils Prabhakaran’s Escape Plans

Velupillai Prabhakaran, holed up in Sri Lanka’s embattled north with a handful of trusted aides, may attempt to escape from the island nation aboard a submarine retained for the eventuality. Making the claims while interacting with the media in the former rebel capital of Kilinochchi on Friday a top official of the Lankan army stopped short of specifying where the rebel leader may be headed.

“Prabhakaran, who is present in the no-fire zone along with his son Charles Anthony, Tigers’ intelligence chief Pottu Amman and Sea Tiger chief Soosai, might have retained a submarine to escape from the island,” Brigadier Shavendra Desilva, the General-Officer-Commanding 58 Division was quoted as saying by correspondents.

Desilva claimed that the information on Prabhakaran’s whereabouts and his imminent escape had been provided by surrendered operatives of the LTTE, he was speaking to a group of correspondents in the former rebel administrative capital, which was recently snatched from rebel control.

Desilva’s claims, however, have touched off speculations of where Prabhakaran may be headed, as the LTTE is banned at least halfway across the globe.

Tiger tactics of allegedly employing child soldiers and using Tamil civilians as human shields – as claimed by Colombo – are also likely to come in for severe criticism for any democratically elected government, if it agrees to asylum for Prabhakaran.

Meanwhile, an Indian delegation comprising of Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and National Security Advisor MK Narayanan arrived in Colombo for discussions over the grave humanitarian crisis involving Tamil civilians.

President Mahinda Rajapakse’s office, soon after the Indian delegation, aboard a helicopter, landed at the presidential palace, says that a press statement will be issued later in the day.

The visit by the top Indian officials comes amid growing concerns over the deteriorating human crisis in the country, and on a day when media reports citing a UN document -circulated to embassies in Colombo – said the civilian death toll in the conflict was over 6400 since mid-January this year.

The document said over 14,000 civilians were also wounded in the period.

The Lanka army, however, rebutted the claims saying the civilians were allegedly shot down by Tiger rebels while attempting to escape the battle zone.

Times Online says the army claims were backed by some of those escaping the battle zone and adds that the army also showed aerial video footage, taken from a surveillance plane, to sustain its claims.

Tens of thousands of people have died since the island’s Tamil minority took up arms to fight off alleged social, economic, political and cultural persecution at the hands of the majority Sinhalese.

With the armed conflict between Tiger rebels and the government troops blistering every rule in the book, it, as always, is the civilian population that is left hungry, homeless, scarred, incapacitated and counting its dead – before it launches a lifelong struggle to build-back what in other parts of the globe is termed – normal life.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker