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Tigers insist Prabhakaran is alive and well

A statement published on the pro-rebel website Tamilnet.com insists that Tiger leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran was not killed by the military and is 'safe', although it fails to give an indication of his supposed whereabouts.

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AFP - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers denied Tuesday that their leader Velupillai Prabhakaran had been killed by the military, insisting that the rebel chief was alive and well.

"Our beloved leader is alive and safe. He will continue to lead the quest for dignity and freedom for the Tamil people," the Tigers' chief of international relations, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, said in a statement carried on the pro-rebel Tamilnet website.

The Sri Lankan military said Monday that Prabhakaran had been shot dead with two of his top commanders as they attempted to flee advancing troops in an ambulance.

But Pathmanathan said the government had fabricated news of his death in order "to gloat" following its final military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

"We categorically reject this," he said, without making any claim to Prabhakaran's current whereabouts.

"The Tamil freedom struggle is a just cause and will not be quashed by the events of the last 24 hours. Truth and justice will always prevail," he said.

Pathmanathan went on to accuse the Sri Lankan government and military of "crimes against humanity," saying senior LTTE leaders had been shot dead after being invited to negotiate their surrender.

 

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