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Tigers divided over Prabhakaran’s fate

world Updated: May 25, 2009 23:53 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

A day after LTTE’s head of international relation S. Pathmanathan released a signed statement that Prabhakaran had died in battle, the rebel group’s intelligence wing dismissed it on Sunday, claiming he was alive.

“The Intelligence Department of the Tigers reiterated on Sunday that the LTTE leadership is safe and it will re-emerge when the right time comes,’’ the pro-rebel website TamilNet reported on Monday.

Pathmanathan, who is popularly known as KP and is assumed to be based outside Sri Lanka, had earlier said that the LTTE’s “incomparable leader” had “attained martyrdom” while fighting the Sri Lankan Army (SLA). In the statement, he also declared a week of mourning.

He called on Tamils the world over to “restrain from harmful acts to themselves or anyone else in this hour of extreme grief”.

In a telephone interview with the BBC, Pathmanathan said Prabhakaran had died on May 17 but did not give details of the circumstances.

“We have already announced that we have given up violence and agreed to enter a democratic process to achieve the rights for the Tamil (self-) determination of our people,’’ he said.

But a day later, fuel was added to the controversy when anonymous LTTE leaders through TamilNet dismissed the claim.