The widow and three children of former deputy leader of the Tamil Tigers, executed in 1994 on charges of being an Indian spy, have fled Sri Lanka's war zone and entered government territory, a newspaper said on Saturday.
The wife of Gopalasamy Mahendrarajah, popularly known as Mahathaya, reached the government held areas in the island's north on Friday, The Island reported.
The woman, who was not named, reportedly told military officials that they had quit the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after her husband's death but the Tigers "had been paying some money every month by way of compensation".
Mahathaya, who was once the designated No 2 in the LTTE, was taken into custody by the Tamil Tigers in August 1993 after being linked to the Indian intelligence. He was executed in December 1994.
According to the newspaper report, Mahathaya, born in 1956, had joined the LTTE in 1978 and was very popular with the Tiger cadres till his death.
Mahathaya and the LTTE's late political ideologue Anton Balasingham led the peace talks with then president Ranasinghe Premadasa, who was killed by an LTTE suicide bomber at a May Day rally in Colombo in 1993.
Mahathaya had also led the LTTE's political wing, the People's Front of Liberation Tigers.
The media report, quoting the book "Will to Freedom" written by Balasingham's Australian-born wife Adale Anne, said that the LTTE had killed 257 people along with Mahathaya on Dec 28, 1994, citing various allegations.
The Sri Lankan military says that the LTTE, which had been fighting to carve out a separate state in the northern and eastern region of the island nation for over a quarter century, has now been cornered into a small coastal land strip less than 10 sq km.