B. Muralidhar Reddy
Military identifies 18 dead, including Charles Anthony
FROM INSIDE THE WAR ZONE: On identification of the bodies of LTTE cadre and leaders inside the war zone, the Sri Lankan military released a list of 18 names including that of the elder son of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabakaran.
The names of LTTE leaders identified are Pottu Amman, LTTE’s intelligence wing leader; Bhanu, military leader; Jeyam, military leader; B. Nadesan, political head; S. Pulidevan, head of the peace secretariat; Ramesh, special military leader; Ilango, police chief; Charles Anthony, Prabakaran’s elder son; Sudharman, aide to Anthony; Thomas, senior intelligence leader; Luxman, military leader; Sri Ram, senior Sea Tiger cadre; Iseiaravi, woman military leader; Kapil Amman, deputy intelligence leader; Ajanthi, in-charge of training women; Wardha, in-charge of mortars; Pudiyawan, secretary to the LTTE leader; and Jenarthan, special military leader.
There were reports of celebrations in the national capital and other parts of the country as the news of defeat of the LTTE broke. “National flags went atop all public buildings and private homes, jubilant people took to the streets, vehicles, motorbike-riders started waving national flags, common masses went on lighting crackers and the entire country wore festive garbs overnight as thousands started gluing to the TVs and dancing in the streets on hearing the fate of the Butchers in the Wanni,” said a government statement.
Separately, Foreign Minister Bogollagama informed the visiting Special Envoy of the U.N. Secretary-General that he was the first international visitor he was meeting in the immediate aftermath of the government’s success in defeating terrorism in Sri Lanka.
The Minister said: “Today, terrorism is a matter of yesterday”.
Mr. Bogollgama urged the U.N. to acknowledge the success of the humanitarian mission of the armed forces in rescuing thousands of civilians who had been held hostage by the LTTE in the No-Fire Zone (NFZ). The dire predictions made by certain elements of the international community of an impending “humanitarian catastrophe” and a “bloodbath” did not materialise due to the timely and effective action of the security forces in launching the largest hostage rescue mission in history, he said.
Referring to the situation in the NFZ, later demarcated as the New Safety Zone (NSZ), the Minister pointed out that had the security forces not intervened to rescue the civilians, the consequences could have been disastrous.
His statement said repeated calls by the international community to the LTTE to lay down their weapons and surrender and release all civilians had fallen on deaf ears.
“It is now opportune for the international community to focus its attention on the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts of the government in the North, in the post-conflict scenario. Sri Lanka would expect the U.N. system to extend its fullest support to the government in undertaking this endeavour.”