LTTE vows to carry on struggle with renewed determination

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Colombo, Nov 4 (UNI) LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran has vowed to carry on the struggle for a seperate Tamil 'eelam' with more vigour and renewed determination despite ''an unparalleled loss'' in the air strike of his senior most lieutenant SP Thamilselvan.

Thamilselvan was the highest-ranking rebel leader (posthumously conferred the self-style Brigadier rank) to be killed by government forces in the history of the bloody ethnic war. His death is widely seen as a major setback to the rebels politically as he was the face of the outfit for a long time in the negotiations with the government and international mediators specially after death of chief negotiator Anton Balasingham.

Prabhakaran, who paid his last respects to Thamilselvan by garlanding his mortal remains in an open coffin covered with the Tiger flag, added that despite the repeated and continuous calls from the international community to find a peaceful resolution to the ethnic conflict, they have not seen any goodwill from the Sinhala nation.

''We do not see the Buddhist universal love. Sinhala nation did not open its heart and send a peace message. On the contrary, it is sending war-vultures that are dropping giant bombs. It has cruelly killed our peace dove,'' Prabhakaran was quoted in his message as saying.

The Tigers today held funerals for the five other senior members killed along with Thamilselvan.

Thamilsevan's funeral is reportedly scheduled for tomorrow.

Meanwhile Military spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara said the air strike, in which Thamilselvan along with five top rebels were killed on Friday morning, was conducted by the Sri Lankan Air Force based on accurate real-time intelligence reports.

The military spokesman also described the killing of Thamilselvan as a great loss to the LTTE as he was one of the top members involved in many of the recent operations conducted by the organisation.


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