The story behind
The death of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran had already created an uproar across the world, but it turned into a stunned silence when his intelligence chief Shanmuganathan Sivashankar alias Pottu Ammaan a.k.a. Pottu went missing.
He was judicially confirmed dead in the fag end of September in 2009 when Colombo High Court Judge Kumudini Wickremasinghe allowed an amendment to the indictment filed in the trial regarding the murder of former Foreign affairs minister Lakshman Kadirgamar.
While Velupillai was shot dead on the banks of Nandhikkadal lagoon on May 19th, Pottu was said to have killed while crossing the river in the early hours of May 18th. Despite confirmation from the intercepted messages by the LTTE revealed that the chief was killed, the army found no resemblance with the bodies recovered from the lagoon.
This gave rise to three different theories behind the disappearance of the leader. First, the body was disposed by the loyal cadres; two, he had escaped and was hiding; three, he was already captured by the army and was detained at a secret location.
Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona, when questioned about the court proceedings had said,"I have not seen the application moved before the Colombo High Court. In layman's terms it means the government is seeking approval of the Court to remove the names of Prabakaran and Pottu Amman from the Kadirgamar murder case as both are dead and can no longer be prosecuted. As for the Indian request for a death certificate on the person of Prabakaran, it has not been given by our government as the legal process is still on. Once a court in Sri Lanka acknowledges death of Prabakaran and Pottu Amman, it is valid in any other court of law."
In fact, several Tigers had also confirmed his death, but without evidence.
Pottu had been for more than two decades the pivotal head of its powerful intelligence division.