Govt. ready for DNA test as Prabha is cremated

Government has retained samples of body-parts of Liberation Tigers (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakaran for DNA tests before he was cremated on Wednesday in Mullaitivu.

Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday that the Government was prepared to conduct a DNA test should the necessity arise. “The defence establishment, however, has no doubts that he is dead,” he said.

Minister Rambukwella said the fate of Prabhakaran’s wife and two younger children remained a mystery. “It is not clear if they were caught up in the battle or residing overseas,” he said.

Details of how Prabhakaran, the man who waged a separatist war for two and half decades, met with his death are still trickling in.

No doubt, it’s him, says the government

Reports that he was trapped in the fast disappearing No Fire Zone emerged last Monday. The next morning Army officials declared he had died and his body was found near Vellaimullivaikal. Military Spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said Prabhakaran was found dead after 250 other guerrilllas had been killed as soldiers captured their last enclave, the No-Fire or Civilian Safety Zone on the Mullaitivu coast.

Video and still photographs of Prabhakaran were released later on Tuesday. To authenticate its claims that the LTTE leader had in fact died, the Ministry of Defence flew one of Prabhakaran’s erstwhile comrade-in-arms and now minister, Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan. He was earlier LTTE’s Eastern Commander and reneged from the group over differences with his then leader.

Mr. Muralitharan alias Col. Karuna said he could confirm that the body was that of Prabhakaran. He said identification for him was easy from a scar on his leg. He had observed this scar during his long years of association with Prabhakaran.

LTTE spokesman Daya Master, who had earlier surrendered to the Army, also accompanied Muralitharan to the spot where his body was found. He agreed with the view that the body was that of his one time leader.

Army Commander Sarath Fonseka told reporters on Friday that the body of Prabhakaran was cremated on the beach, near the location where it was found. He said his ashes were thrown thereafter to the Indian Ocean. “I was delighted to hear he had been killed,” he added.

Army sources said they believed Prabhakaran fell after commandos carried out an attack on Monday night. “It was a rainy night. After gun battles, the commandos moved to engage in another task and did not know that Prabhakaran had fallen dead,” one source said. The body was found on Tuesday morning by troops of the Vijayaba Infantry Regiment.

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