LTTE supremo may have fled,says Lankan Army Chief

As Sri Lankan troops advance towards the last Tiger bastion of Mullaittivu...

Written by Press Trust Of India | Colombo | Published:January 19, 2009 12:34 am

As Sri Lankan troops advance towards the last Tiger bastion of Mullaittivu,Army Chief Sarath Fonseka has said he was not sure whether Velupillai Prabhakaran was in the island nation but felt that it was not possible for the LTTE supremo to find a shelter in India. “Well,I am not sure whether he is in Sri Lanka. There are ways to escape. But it is not possible for Prabhakaran to have gone to India. He will not be permitted there,” Fonseka said.

Prabhakaran is wanted by New Delhi in connection with the 1991 murder of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The Lankan Air Force had destroyed a vessel carrying arms and ammunition for the LTTE just when it was being offloaded in the rebel coastal area,Fonseka said adding,this showed the rebels were still trying to smuggle things in and out of the country. “Why can’t Prabhakaran also have tried to escape in this fashion with suicide crafts around him. But we are keeping a close watch,” he said.

According to a newspaper report,Prabhakaran lives in a sprawling air-conditioned bunker complex,located over 30 feet below the ground,and comes to the surface at night to avoid detection.

“The navy is on the alert to block any attempt by Prabhakaran or other senior LTTE leaders from escaping from the country,” an official said adding,“the Naval blockade has been imposed in Northern Mullaittivu”. The army said that several bunkers and weapons belonging to Tiger rebels have been recovered in Dharmapuram in Mullaithivu. The troops have also found a bomb manufacturing centre,a three-storied underground bunker and a training camp in search operations. Dharmapuram was liberated last week by the army as it gained total control over the Iranamadu Tank bund.

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