Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, facing an unprecedented military thrust into his very last stronghold in northeast Sri Lanka, has sent his wife and the younger son to an undisclosed location abroad, a media report said Sunday.
The state-run Sunday Observer, quoting the intelligence reports, said that Prabhakaran, 54, has sent his wife Madivadani and his younger son, 10-year-old Balachandran, abroad by sea.
"His elder son Charles (Antony) and Prabhakaran are still there in Puthukkudiyiruppu to launch more terror attacks against the security forces and also his own Tamil community going against their wish," it said.
Prabhakaran also has a daughter, who, according to some accounts, may be studying in Ireland.
Prabhakaran, who founded the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1976, is known to have deep underground caves and bunkers in Mullaitivu district, from where he oversaw the war against Indian troops in Sri Lanka in 1987-90.
Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said that the troops advancing from several directions have stepped up pressure on the last strongholds of the LTTE and the territories held by them were shrinking day by day.
"The LTTE has now been confined to a land stretch of just 73 square kilometres. The LTTE is suffering heavy losses and the troops have recovered 65 bodies of the LTTE cadres in these areas during the past six days," Brig Nanayakkara told reporters Sunday.
He said the army's 55 and 58 Divisions troops and a Task Force were currently engaged in this offensive operation around Puthukkudiyiruppu areas, inflicting heavy losses on the rebels.
Defence spokesman and Minister of Foreign Employment Keheliya Rambukwella said the elusive rebel chief and his men "are now in total disarray" after his strategy to cause maximum destruction to the government and the armed forces using the light-wing aircraft ended up in failure Friday.
"We believe this (planes) is the last and the best weapon that the LTTE had. The abortive attempts made by these two planes Friday night prove one point - the LTTE is desperate and using its last resort," Rambukwella said, hailing the shooting down of the Tigers' planes as a major success to the country and its armed forces.
The LTTE's two improvised Czech-built Zlin-143 aircraft were shot down by the military Friday night as they tried to bomb targets in Colombo.