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At first blush, LTTE’s Prabhakaran appeared to have been executed, not KIA



Many readers know that I follow the Tamil Tigers (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)) both for their perfection of suicide terrorism and their remarkable ingenious homemade (still photos, video) weapons and asymmetrical applications, notably their modest air force, the Air Tigers, which I have compared to the earlier Biafra Babies of the Biafran secession. See Asymmetrical air force symmetries: Biafra Babies and Air Tigers, part II, 3/6/2009.


The Sri Lankan Army completed its military campaign Monday, 18 May, against the LTTE. (After years of battering by the smaller LTTE forces, Colombo dispensed with years of large unit tactics and adopted the same long range, small unit interdiction strategy used by the LTTE).


The key high value target for the government was the LTTE commander, Velupillai Prabhakaran. (Also here). Originally said to have been caught up in a firefight while escaping with other cadres in an ambulance (itself a Geneva violation), the government revised its commentary to say that Prabhakaran died along with other cadres in a sharp firefight.


Possibly. This government article confirming Prabhakaran’s death has images which show an entry wound above and between the eyes. (See images here and here, and this video.) There are no other obvious wounds to the body, and a kerchief oddly covers the back of Prabhakaran’s head, which I assume is to shade exit path damage, which is usually extensive) Forensics, if they are permitted by the government, could indicate proximity by presence or absence of powder residues on the face.


I would have expected the LTTE Tamil diaspora to erupt over these indicators of execution but the closest that I have found is an item in the New Kerala (India) which notes:

Prabhakaran's body, placed on a stretcher, was in his trademark battle fatigues, the eyes wide open. Soldiers standing around him had placed a handkerchief on the head, seemingly to cover portions that appeared to have been blown away.

There is always the chance of a fortunate shot, but the early data says summary execution and not killed in action (KIA). The next question is killed by whom, the Sri Kanka Army or LTTE cadres?


While the news hole is filled with government exultation, Tamil shock and a potentially explosive IDP (Internally Displaced Person) problem, I see another story unfolding that has yet to gain press notice.


As three decades of war come to a close, one of the world's finest international arms procurement and smuggling operations will now be up for hire to other militant groups as it seeks revenue for another Tamil assault on the majority Sinhalese. That is a story in and of itself.


[This article an extension of a 19 March client note]


Sri Lanka: War-zone access becomes flash point

Despite the government's declaration of victory, the area remains off limits, raising concerns about human rights violations and getting aid to civilians.

By Anuj Chopra

Christian Science Monitor

May 19, 2009


Voices: Tamil diaspora in shock


Page last updated at 13:36 GMT, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 14:36 UK


War crime in the massacre of LTTE officials


Tuesday, 19 May 2009, 01:52 GMT


Tamil doubts over rebel leader's death

By Alastair Lawson

BBC News

Page last updated at 13:32 GMT, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 14:32 UK


Daya Master & Karuna Amman Confirm Prabhakaran’s Identity

Sri Lanka Army

Updated :: 2009-05-19 17:29:45 Hours


Dead or alive, Prabhakaran lingers on

By Col R Hariharan

Sri Lanka Guardian

May 19, 2009


Prabhakaran's body found, Rajapaksa says LTTE vanquished

New Kerala

May 19, 2009


Sri Lanka Army Video

Sri Lanka Army

[Prabhakaran’s body, identity documents, cyanide capsule]

May 19, 2009


World’s Most Ruthless Terrorist Leader Prabhakaran Confirmed Dead

Sri Lanka Army

Updated :: 2009-05-19 17:33:15 Hours


Obituary: Velupillai Prabhakaran


Page last updated at 09:38 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 10:38 UK


The enigma of Prabhakaran

By Alastair Lawson

BBC News

Page last updated at 06:53 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 07:53 UK


Sri Lanka civil war

The News (PK)

Monday, May 18, 2009


Bodies of Prabhakaran's son, six LTTE leaders found

(Source: IANS), Samay Live

Published: Mon, 18 May 2009 at 13:11 IST


Sri Lanka wins civil war, says kills rebel leader

By C. Bryson Hull and Ranga Sirilal


Mon May 18, 2009 3:23pm EDT


Bloody Sri Lanka


Published: May 14 2009 19:22 | Last updated: May 14 2009 19:22

Mirror As:

‘Tigers will regroup with a vengeance’ - FT

TamilNet, Saturday, 16 May 2009, 02:02 GMT


Prepare for the end!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Post #6, Army Finds Tamil Tiger Rebel Submarine Factory In Jungle

Military Photos.Net

02-01-2009, 10:00 AM


Army Finds Tamil Tiger Rebel Submarine Factory In Jungle [Video]


SRIN LANKA (January 31. 2009)


Breaching the Fortress Wall

Understanding Terrorist Efforts to Overcome Defensive Technologies

By: Brian A. Jackson, Peter Chalk, Kim Cragin, Bruce Newsome, John V. Parachini, William Rosenau, Erin M. Simpson, Melanie W. Sisson, Donald Temple




Gordon Housworth

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