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'Sri Lankan army missed Prabhakaran by a whisker'

April 25, 2009 17:48 IST

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and his top aides were recently missed by a whisker by the security forces, a top Sri Lankan commander said, claiming that the rebel leader had limited options right now.

"We got to know that Prabhakaran had moved through the Pudukudiryirippu-Iranmalai road on a day between March 29 and 31, just about two days before the army fully laid seige to that area," GoC 58 Division Brigadier Shavendra Silva said.

"I regret that we missed him by a whisker or else things could have been over faster," he said, adding that Prabhakaran cannot escape now.

Senior LTTE leader Daya Master told the army during interrogation that "only sea Tiger leader Soosai, the coordinating LTTE army head Pottu Amman and Prabhakaran's son Charles Anthony are going to stay with him".

"The rest of the senior aides will try to escape as I did," Shavendra Silva quoted Daya Master, the former LTTE media coordinator, as saying.

"Yes, Prabhakaran lived around here not far ago and people suffered here under him," Silva told reporters who visited the war zone. According to another senior military officer, Prabhakaran is facing 'reverses after reverses' in his struggle for a separate Eelam state.

Many Tiger cadres have been forced to give up their lives 'under duress', since Prabhakaran introduced suicide bombers, mostly young women, and targeted major government installations, including military headquarters and the international airport in Sri Colombo, he said.

T V Sriram in Pudukudiyyirippu
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