Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • Germany vs Argentina - history and genius clash in World Cup final

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Boko Haram claims Nigeria attacks and supports Iraqi militants

    Read more

  • Israeli navy attacks Hamas base as tanks line up along Gaza border

    Read more

  • French court lifts mayor’s ban on Muslim hijab at beach

    Read more

  • Shells land in Russia as eastern Ukrainians flee fighting

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament fails to agree on new leadership

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Tamil Tiger leader dead, combat operations over, military says

©

Video by Sarah DRURY

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-05-18

The leader of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, Vellupillai Prabhakaran, was shot dead by government troops as he tried to escape in an ambulance, according to a senior defence official.

Sri Lanka’s government forces declared final victory over the Tamil Tigers on Monday after a decades-long conflict and announced they now control the whole island.

 

The Sri Lankan army said its commandos shot dead Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the Tamil Tigers’ supreme leader, as he was attempting to flee in an ambulance with two of his lieutenants - Sea Tiger leader Colonel Soosai and LTTE intelligence chief Pottu Amman.

 

Prabhakaran's son, Charles Anthony, was also killed (in the battle), according to the military, as well as the group's political leader B. Nadesan, the head of the LTTE's defunct Peace Secretariat, S. Pulideevan and leader S. Ramesh.

 

General Sarath Fonseka, commander of the Sri Lankan ground forces, announced the end of the battles and the Tamil rebels’ defeat.

 

In a press release he declared: “All military operations have come to a stop when we took control of the last sliver of land,” referring to an area of less than a square kilometre in the northeast of the country.

 

But the authorities’ official version of the events should be handled with caution, according to FRANCE 24’s correspondent in Colombo, Philippe Levasseur.

“The story picturing Prabhakaran fleeing like a coward is quite convenient for the authorities,” explains Levasseur. “They’ll do everything they can to prevent Prabhakaran from becoming a hero, a martyr of the Tamil cause.”

 

An 'unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe'

 

According to Philippe Levasseur, civilians were still fleeing the embattled area on Monday. “The region’s villages were all heavily bombed and both sides accuse each other of killing hundreds of civilians,” he said.

 

After the separatist Tamil movement’s defeat, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner insisted that humanitarian aid for civilians in the north of the country had to be increased.

The European Union has demanded an international inquiry on human rights violations perpetrated by both sides throughout the conflict.

 

According to the UN, some 6,500 people have been killed since January. The International Red Cross, the last NGO still present in the field, said “an unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe” had occurred.

 

The EU on Monday also called for an independent inquiry into alleged human rights violations, saying it was "appalled by the loss of innocent civilian lives as a result of the conflict and by the high numbers of casualties, including children."
 

Date created : 2009-05-18

Comments

COMMENT(S)