Friday, April 24, 2009

Prabhakaran will kill himself: IPKF officials

By Sandeep Unnithan

(April 23, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) With the Sri Lankan army steadily moving into the ‘No Fire Zone’ where LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran is believed to be holed up with the remnants of his shattered force, key officials of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka say it is unlikely the Tiger supremo will be captured alive.

"If I know anything about Prabhakaran, it is that he will never be captured alive. He will prefer to use the cyanide capsule he wears around his neck," says Lt General A.S. Kalkat (retired) former IPKF commander whose troops relentlessly hunted the Tiger chief in the jungles of northern Sri Lanka in 1990.

The IPKF's military intelligence wing set up a special unit to track his movements and inputs were fed to a special unit of the elite 9 Para commando battalion. The closest the Paras came to catching Prabhakaran was when they obtained precise inputs on his bunker in Alampil, 10 km south of Mullaitivu, not far from the present ‘No Fire Zone’.

"When we reached Prabhakaran's bunker, all we found was another bunker with an exit tunnel nearly 5 km through the forest. The tunnel was barely enough for one man to pass through at one time. Prabhakaran had fled," says Lt General H.S. Lidder (retired), former commanding officer of the 9 Paras.

Colonel Hariharan, former head of the IPKF Intelligence who set up the special team to track Prabhakaran says there is only a 30 per cent possibility of Prabhakaran being captured alive and a 'zero probability' of surrendering. "Troops on the ground nearly succeeded in catching him, but the point is we did not," Hariharan says.

>> Full Story