Prabhakaran tried to escape, claims aide

He feared Eelam dream would die with him

Prabhakaran’s now detained close aide Gokulan Master, who was with the Tiger chief during the last stage of the war three months back, disclosed this during interrogation.
A day before he was killed on May 18 in Wanni, the Tiger supremo attempted to escape to the Puthukudiyiruppu jungles by breaking through the Sri Lankan defence lines, the aide said.

“If we fail in our final plan, we would be killed by the Sri Lankan army. In such an eventuality, no one can claim an Eelam (separate homeland for Tamils) in Sri Lanka and the Eelam dream would become a nightmare,” Prabhakaran was quoted as saying by Master.

“So on the morning of May 18, the near 35-year old dream of Tamil Eelam became a nightmare to us,” Master told interrogators, according to the Bottom Line newspaper.
When the Sri Lanka Army was about to overrun Visvamadu in the north, Prabhakaran shifted to adjoining Puthukudyiruppu and from there he directed the fight while in underground bunkers set up by utilising containers, Master said. The newspaper said the LTTE decided to increase its manpower and began recruiting children as young as 12 and adults over 50 years of age during the crucial phase of war.

“These persons thus recruited were inducted into the ‘Makkal Padai’ or People’s Force after a very short training,” it said.

Simultaneously, on a concept put forward by senior LTTE leaders Theepan and Balraj, the LTTE started putting up earth bunds, going up from five feet to 20 feet in height, depending on the location, it said.

“When the LTTE lost Pooneryn and Kilinochchi, Prabhakaran once told Pottu Amman (LTTE’s intelligence chief) that 75 per cent of his struggle for Eelam had gone downstream,” Master said.

Prabhakaran said that the LTTE had to boost the sagging morale of its cadres and slow down the enemy, at least till the international community intervened on the outfit’s behalf, the newspaper quoted Master as saying.

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