Jubilant Sri Lanka threatens to wipe Tigers out

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 November 2007, 13:27 GMT]
Hailing the Air Force bombing raid Friday which killed the Tamil Tigers chief negotiator and Political Wing head, Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan and five other LTTE officials, Sri Lankan Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said his government would kill other LTTE leaders ‘one by one’. Sources said he made his comments, quoted by Reuters, at a celebratory meeting at Temple Trees, the official residence of President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is also Mr. Gotabaya’s brother. Meanwhile, the Colombo stock market soared on news of the deaths.

Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa welcomed the news of the killings of Mr. Thamilchelvan and the others, and said the Sri Lankan military would pick off the rest of the Tigers' leaders one by one.

"This is just a message, that we know where their leaders are. I know the locations of all the leaders, that if we want we can take them one by one, so they must change their hideouts," he told Reuters.

"When the time comes only, we take them one by one."

The LTTE has conferred its highest military rank, Brigadier, to Mr. Thamilchelvan.

Mr. Thamilchelvan was one of the LTTE’s internationally recognized political officials, having been a negotiator for the Tigers since 2002 and having headed the Political Wing from several years before that.

The LTTE has conferred its highest military rank, Brigadier, to Mr. Thamilchelvan.

Late last year Mr. Thamilchelvan was appointed Chief Negotiator by the LTTE, taking over from Mr. Anton Balasingham, whose failing health compelled his retirement.

The Sri Lankan government’s decision to target Mr. Mr. Thamilchelvan was a body blow to lingering hopes of a resumption of peace talks.

"The loss of Thamilselvan in this way would be a very big setback to any hope of peace talks in the near future - which in any case were not apparent either," Jehan Perera of the National Peace Council, an advocacy group, told Reuters.

Sri Lanka’s largest Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has expressed its shock at the killings and praised Mr. Thamilchelvan’s role in the Tamil freedom struggle.

"We shudder at the repercussions for peace of this act by the Sri Lanka government," the TNA said.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's stock market rose on news of the death of Mr. Thamilchelvan, closing a provisional 0.99 percent firmer in late trade, Reuters reported.

"Any sort of victory in the war will boost the market. So there was high activity after the news," said Harsha Fernando, CEO at SC securities.


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