Tigers mourn death of senior commander

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 September 2002, 18:36 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers in Jaffna Tuesday mourned the death of one of their most senior commanders. The northern town was lined with red and yellow pennants as the dead LTTE commander’s remains were taken to the Jaffna Hindu College where a meeting in homage was held Tuesday afternoon. Col. Raju (Kuyilan), who had served as the special commander of the LTTE’s elite Leopard Commandos and had played a key role in developing the Tigers’ artillery division, died on 25 August due to a terminal ailment, Tiger officials in Jaffna said.

Col. Raju was described as a very close military associate of the LTTE leader Mr. Velupillai Pirapaharan. He was the chief technical officer of the LTTE’s artillery division at the time of his death, the officials said.

Col.Raju“His loss is immeasurable. He was the leader’s right hand and his contribution to the growth of the LTTE’s military power was immense”, said the poet Puthuvai Rathinathurai, addressing the meeting at Hindu College. Representatives of the Jaffna University teachers and students spoke at the meeting, paying their last respects to the dead LTTE commander.

The senior military commander’s death was widely mourned in all parts of the Vanni, according to reports from the region.

His remains were taken in a casket to several places in the Mannar, Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu districts this week. The leader of the Liberation Tigers, Mr. Pirapaharan, paid his last respects to the commander’s remains at an undisclosed location in the Vanni, the reports said.

Col. Theepan, the commander of the LTTE’s northern front forces, Lt. Col. Veeramani the commander of the LTTE's first conventional fighting formation, the Charles Anthony brigade, were among the large number of LTTE officers who paid their last respects in several parts of the Vanni, according to the reports.



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