Backgrounder: Sri Lankan rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran 2009-05-20 01:10:35   Print

    COLOMBO, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The military in Sri Lanka confirmed Tuesday that Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been killed by the troops in the northern Mullaittivu district.

    Born in 1954 in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula, Prabhakaran was the founder and leader of the LTTE, a militant organization that sought to create an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka.

    Prabhakaran was born in the northern coastal town of Velvettithurai on Nov. 26, 1954. In 1972 Prabhakaran founded an organization named Tamil New Tigers. On May 5, 1976, the TNT was renamed the LTTE.

    Claiming ethnic Tamils had faced discrimination at the hands of the successive Sri Lankan governments, the LTTE Tigers have waged a violent secessionist campaign in Sri Lanka that has led to them being designated as a terrorist organization by 32 countries.

    In his first and only major press conference held in the northern town of Killinochchi on April 10, 2002, Prabhakaran said that he has instructed the LTTE cadres to kill him if he compromised on the goal of independent state for Sri Lankan minority Tamils.

    His stated and ultimate ideal is to get Tamil Eelam recognized as a nation as per the U.N. Charter that guarantees the right of a people to political independence.

    Prabhakaran stated that he chose military means only after observing that nonviolent means have been ineffectual and obsolete.

    Prabhakaran had been wanted by Interpol and many other organizations since 1991 for terrorism, murder, organized crime and terrorism conspiracy.

    From 1983 to 2009, he led four Eelam Wars against the Sri Lankan government. While breaking even with the government troops in the first three wars, the LTTE was militarily defeated in the fourth Eelam War started in July 2006.

    Little is known of Prabhakaran's personal life, although it is widely known that he is married to Mathivathani Erambu in 1984. They have a daughter named Duwaraka and two sons, Charles Anthony and Balachandran.

    The Sri Lankan Army said they recovered the corpse of Charles Anthony on Monday in Mullaittivu along with more than 300 bodies of LTTE cadres.

Editor: Yan
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