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‘LTTE readying 6 large boats’

B. Muralidhar Reddy

Tigers killed hundreds of fleeing civilians, say two former LTTE officials

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka military on Wednesday said that as the troops continued marching into the the no-fire zone (NFZ), where the LTTE leaders and cadres were taking shelter among an estimated 20,000 civilians, the Tigers have readied six large boats with sophisticated equipment to facilitate the escape of their top leaders.

The Sri Lanka Navy thwarted a pre-dawn LTTE offensive bid by destroying four LTTE suicide boats and sinking another attack craft in the seas off Mullaiththivu.

The military’s assertion, based on intelligence reports, came amid chilling confessions by two former LTTE officials, who sought shelter with the military last week along with the fleeing civilians, that the Tigers killed hundreds of people escaping from their grip.

The confessions of the former media coordinator of the LTTE, Daya Master, and the former interpreter for the late Thamilchelvan , George Master, were aired on government-run television channel Rupavahini.

They said they witnessed the deaths of several civilians as the LTTE cadres fired indiscriminately after the military breached the three sq. km. earth wall-cum-bund on the NFZ’s western front border on April 20.

Speaking in Tamil, Daya Master said, “The LTTE is still using innocent civilians as hostages. They don’t let them go out of the areas controlled by them. “Viduthalai Puligal (LTTE cadres) killed a number of people in Sudanthirapuram area when they tried to flee. More than 200 people lost their lives at the hands of the LTTE in that area.”

In fluent English, George Master said that after the humanitarian operations began, “little by little” civilians used the vantage points to cross over to the government-controlled areas. “Many died when LTTE cadres resorted to killing.”

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