Tamil Tigers supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and his top aides were recently missed by a whisker by the security forces, a top Sri Lankan commander said, claiming that the rebel leader had limited options either to give up or commit suicide.
“We got to know that Prabhakaran had moved through the Pudukudiryirippu-Iranmalai road on a day between March 29-31, just about two days before the army fully laid seige to that area,” GoC 58 Division Brig Shavendra Silva said.
“Yes I regret we missed him by a whisker or else things could have been over faster,” he said, adding Prabhakaran cannot escape through the road.
Silva said things have come to such a head that women had to hide their son in a hole dug in and covered by the kitched fire place to escape the prying LTTE men on the look out for new Tiger fighters near the ‘no-fire zone´.
The senior LTTE leader Daya Master also told the army during interrogation that “only sea tiger leader Soosai, the coordinating LTTE army head Pottu Amman and Prabhakaran’s son Charles Anthony are going to stay with him”.
“The rest of the senior aides will try to escape as I did,” Shavendra Silva quoted Daya Master, the former LTTE media coordinator, to say.
"Yes Prabhakaran lived around here not far ago and people suffered here under him," Silva told reporters who visited the war zone.
According to another senior military officer, Prabhakaran is facing "reverses after reverses" in his struggle for a separate Eelam state.
Many Tiger cadres have been forced to give their lives "under duress", since Prabhakaran introduced suicide bombers, mostly young women, and targeted major government installations, including military headquarters and international airport in Sri Colombo, he said.
The media were also allowed a brief chat with the famished looking IDPS passing through the Pudukudiyirippu area.
"The LTTE does not have to tell us anything. We dare not to try to escape as they have sophisticated weapons and we had to wait for our time to come to escape," Arumugam, an IDP, said.