Sri Lankan forces fast closing in on LTTE last bastion in island nation’s north have captured one of the command bunkers used by elusive Tamil Tiger supreme Velupillai Prabhakaran in thick forests of Dharmapuram town in Mullaittivu.
The bunker,being labelled by the Lankan Forces as a prize discovery,was camouflaged as an ordinary peasant hut,but had all the trappings of a Command headquarters and its seizure comes as suspense grows on Prabhakaran’s whereabouts.
The bunker,which the Lankans believe,could throw some light on the living style of LTTE chief had a concrete bomb proof roofing and was fully air-conditioned.
The bunker had been built inside a civilian settlement,among the houses of the poor villagers.
The entrance at the surface has been camouflaged to look like one of the house of a hutment dweller.
There was an armour plated container with air conditioning facility placed near the surface entrance of the bunker.
“This container which was also disguised as civilian hut was the hiding place of the LTTE leader during the limited time that he had the courage to come out of his underground den”,the defence ministry said.
“Interestingly,the village where the bunker had been built seemed to be an area where some foreign NGOs were very active,the ministry said in a statement.
A fair idea of the LTTE made bunkers could be noticed at the Tiger headquarters at Kilinochchi where the media earlier this month was taken after the fall of the town and shown another luxury bunker built by the Tigers for its top leadership.
The two bunkers decorated with manicured hedges were hardly suggestive of a hideout which is generally associated with being crude and ramshackled.
The teak wood door of the hardened shelter at the bunker outside the Kilinochchi imbues one into the neatly done up bunker with painted walls and good flooring just outside the LTTE administrative building.
Similarly,the captured bunker where Prabhakaran was suspected to have lived in Dharmapuram also provided the same kind of planning with facilities of electricity lamps.
The army had little difficultly perhaps in moving in and out of the luxury bunker due to the lighting facility.
It was with the intention of protecting the top LTTE brass that these military bunkers buried partly or fully underground have been given a posh look,a defence official had told reporters in Kilinochchi.
Prabhakaran’s “extravagant underground bunker is constructed as per his instructions and equipped with air-conditioning and power generators,” the Bottom Line newspaper had recently reported. The bunker is 30-feet deep and divided into two sectors,it said.
It has a tunnel which connects to a similar bunker complex,and the rebels leader’s room is tucked away in the lower-most floor which has two exits,the sketch shows.
“From a powerful radio set Prabhakaran gives instruction to his field commanders though he himself would not talk directly,and asks his confidant to do the talking.
If he thinks that communications are not secure,he would insist on communicating through satellite phones at night,” it said.
Army Chief Lt Gen Sarath Fonseksa feels that there were no indications of many well laid out bunkers in the Mullaittivu jungles where the security forces are currently engaged in to clear the last tiger bastion.