Pathmanathan is new LTTE chief

Tigers vow to continue fight for Tamil Eelam under erstwhile arms procurer

LTTE statement:  Selvarasa Pathmana-than (in the picture) will lead us into the next steps of freedom struggle...

The Tamil separatist outfit, which was virtually annihilated by Sri Lankan troops in May, said it will “modify” the strategies of its “struggle” but will continue to work for a “free Tamil Eelam”. Prabhakaran will “forever” remain the “leader of Tamil Nationhood,” it said.

The announcement comes amid reports that differences have cropped up among the few remaining LTTE leaders who are based abroad. It was also not clear whether the huge Tamil diaspora will back 54-year-old Pathmanathan.

“The LTTE executive committee wishes to officially let our beloved Tamil people and the international community know that Selvarasa Pathmanathan, who had been appointed as head of international relations by our national leader, will lead us into the next steps of our freedom struggle according to the vision of our esteemed leader,” said an LTTE statement.

The statement said “like all liberation struggles, we will modify the form and strategies of our struggle according to times and demands. “Yet, our ultimate goal of a free Tamil Eelam does not ever change.”

Pathmanathan, also known as Kumaran Pathmanathan or KP, was the LTTE’s chief arms procurer and was named its head of international relations by Prabhakaran some months before he was killed.

‘Rise and fight’
“Against the backdrop of Sri Lanka’s boastful propaganda that the LTTE has been annihilated and destroyed, it is our historic duty to rise and fight for our legitimate rights,” the executive committee said. The statement said it is “a duty that has been left in our hands by our peerless leader (Prabhakaran).”

Following the death of Prabhakaran, reports said many Tamils are angry with Pathmanathan for quickly acknowledging his death. The TamilNet had refused to carry statements from Pathmanathan.

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