2ND LEAD

LTTE's Elilan surrendered to SLA on 18 May, wife tells BBC

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 September 2010, 16:21 GMT]
Ananthi Sasitharan, wife of Elilan, former Trincomalee political head of the LTTE, told BBC Tamil service that she and her three daughters witnessed her husband and hundreds of other LTTE members surrendering to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers on 18th May 2009, after the war has come to an end. "I have been trying to trace my husband and has not been successful to locate his whereabouts. I have no doubt that Sri Lanka's president knows where my husband and others who surrendered are being held," she told the BBC.

"If my husband has disappeared during the war, then there will be reason to think that he may have been killed during the heat of the battle, but having seen him surrender after the fighting has stopped, there is absolutely no reason for me to believe that he is dead," Ananthi told the BBC.

When asked if she did not fear for her life [from Sri Lanka Government] after talking candidly before Sri Lanka's commission, Ananthi said, she has never been afraid of death, and that her resolve to live has long been disappeared. She added that she will continue to her efforts to find her husband.

She further said that, while her three daughters were psychologically scarred from seeing death and destruction, she is managing to bring them up as best as she can from the income from her employment.

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) acting on instructions from Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, has been accused of killing LTTE military and political members who surrendered to the SLA during the final phases of the war.

While, Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Sarath Fonseka, earlier in a newspaper interview implicated Colombo for giving orders to shoot dead surrendees, Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a US-based activist group, disclosed in June that TAG has obtained, from a senior commander of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) who had fled Sri Lanka, a sworn affidavit which contains "clear and convincing evidence" that Colombo committed war crimes," and provided "details of people involved in the torture and killing of LTTE leader Pirapaharan’s 12-year old son, and his five body guards who surrendered to the SLA during May 2009."

On 16 September, BBC Sinhala, also broke a story citing Nanda Godage, the former Sri Lankan ambassador to EU, who witnessed in front of the LLRC saying that there were at least two thousand Tamil youth, apart from the thousands of Tamil youth from Vanni held in detention, are being held in custody without any charges being brought against them. Mr. Godage was cited by the BBC as saying that the Sri Lankan state was in danger of “breeding many more Pirapaharans”.

Two days later, on 18 September, the BBC reported that it has been blocked from covering the public hearing by LLRC in Vanni.


Chronology:


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