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LTTE killed Tamil civilians, say surrendered Tigers

April 29, 2009 18:20 IST

Two top LTTE leaders, who gave themselves up before the Sri Lankan Army, have said the Tamil Tigers used the civilians as "hostages" never allowing them to flee the war zone and resorted to "mass killings" if they failed to heed.

Velayutham Dayanithi alias Daya Master, former media coordinator of LTTE, and George, official interpreter of top leader, also appealed to the remaining Tamil Tigers to renounce violence and join the mainstream.

"The LTTE is still using innocent civilians as hostages. They don't let them go out of the areas controlled by them. 'Viduthalai Puligal' (LTTE cadres) have killed a number of people in Sudanthirapuram area when they tried to flee from them," Daya Master, who surrendered to the Army last week, told the Sri Lankan state television.

"More than 200 people lost their lives at the hands of LTTE in that one area," he said.

George said people were scared of LTTE and after the humanitarian operations started little by little" they used the vantage points to cross over to the government-controlled areas.

"Many died when LTTE cadres, manning the vantage points, resorted to killing," George, who was close to slain LTTE leader S P Thamilchelvan, said.

Daya Master said he had been trying to escape from LTTE for several years.

"When the LTTE broke away from the peace talks in 2006, I decided to break away since I believed in negotiations," Daya Master said.

He said after killing innocent civilians who tried to flee, the LTTE put the blame on the Sri Lankan Army of killing them.

Daya Master said the Tamil Tigers, now confined to a 5 sq km coastal land strip in Mullaitivu, were forcibly recruiting children in the age of 14-15 years.

"People who were born after 1994, 95 and even 96 have been forced by the LTTE to fight. They were recruited forcibly, they (LTTE) did not even spare the families which had only one child," Daya Master, who is now under the custody of the army, said.

"They did not spare even people who were sick and were suffering from heart diseases... they recruited everyone and attacked people who refused to heed," he said.

Recounting his more than 9-day journey from the LTTE-held areas to the 'Safe Zone', George said being old he could not run away from the LTTE.

"I could not run as I am old... I used the opportunity when people broke out in a group to escape from the LTTE. I was among thousands of people. So I was able to escape," he said.

George asked the remaining LTTE cadres to "renounce violence, throw away their arms, leave the leader and come to the military-controlled areas."
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