Photographs: Reuters Text: Press Trust of India
A pro-LTTE website, tamilnet.com, today claimed that the Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran is still "alive and safe", a day after Sri Lankan army announced that it has killed the top rebel leader.
"I wish to inform the global Tamil community distressed witnessing the final events of the war that our beloved leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is alive and safe," LTTE's international relations head S Pathmanathan was quoted as saying by the website, which usually puts out the rebels' version on the battle with the Sri Lankan armed forces.
"He (Prabhakaran) will continue to lead the quest for dignity and freedom for the Tamil people," he said.
It is a Lankan Army story, says LTTE
The website, however, did not give the details of Prabhakaran's location.
The army claimed Prabhakaran and his top aides came out of their last hiding place in a small convoy of van and an ambulance and tried to drive out of the war zone, but were gunned down.
Pathmanathan said the Sri Lankan army and government deliberately came up with the story detailing the demise of the leader of the LTTE.
Making a splash again.
"We categorically reject this and wish to inform the Tamil community to be vigilant and to exercise maximum restraint whilst grieving for the loss of Tamil civilian lives in the barbaric conduct of the final chapters of this battle," Pathmanathan said.
With claims and counter-claims, the LTTE mystery is increasing. Can the Lankan Army show his body and tell the world that he is dead? Or can the LTTE show beaming images of its leader? Watch this space for the answers.