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Tamil civilians relate tales of horror, hope for peace

world Updated: Apr 25, 2009 19:37 IST

Hundreds of Tamil civilians fleeing the war zone walked listlessly as they arrived at this village, once a vital supply line of the Tamil Tigers, which now bears witness to the imminent defeat of the LTTE after a 25-year-old battle.

Soon after their arrival here, the civilians, who have crossed over with horrific tales of war and destruction, were moved to a temporary shelter after being given refreshments.

Fleeing Tamil civilians, who were trapped in the war-zone for many a months, spoke of their ordeal to a group of visiting foreign journalists, including PTI, to this last town held by the Tamil Tigers, who once controlled majority of the areas in northern Sri Lanka.

The army personnel who accompanied the journalists did not allow them to interact freely with the civilians, with one of them even warning that there could be a suicide bomber amidst the group.

"The LTTE do not tell us anything. We are very scared of the 'puligal' (Tigers) who have sophisticated weapons and other materials. How can we think of escaping?" Arumugam, an IDP, told PTI.

In the midst of all happenings, journalists made a bee line to have a glance at the birth certificate of Velupillai Prabhakaran and his son Charles Antony, which were neatly laminated and kept for public view.

Lankan troops recovered the birth certificate, horoscope and albums of Prabhakaran in Pudukudiyirippu, which was captured earlier this month.

During searches, troops of the 53 division unearthed vital documents including the birth certificate, horoscopes and albums of the LTTE leader and his family.

Prabhakaran had reportedly buried these documents before he fled from his residence in Pudukudiyiruppu east and the troops of 53 and 58 divisions encircled the rebels in a one square kilometre area, which was also subsequently brought under army control.

The visiting journalists were also allowed access to some photo albums which had group photos of the LTTE leader with his wife, son and daughter.

A lady, who fled the 10 sq.Km long 'No Fire Zone' along with her four-year-old grandson, said they had had enough of defeaning sounds of gunfire.

"Enough is enough. We hope to live in peace at least from now on," she said.

The more than one-hour long drive from Kilinochchi, former political capital of the rebels, to Pudukudiyyiruppu revealed scenes of total devastation due to the more than a quarter century of civil war, as the armoured vehicle passed through deserted villages.

An elderly man, who managed to give a slip to the security forces, and spoke to the media persons said both sides were shelling them. "We are under attack from both the sides," he said.