The most senior Tamil Tiger leader to survive the military onslaught has left Sri Lanka, a Tamil minister said.
Minister Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, widely known as Col Karuna, told BBC Sandeshaya that Daya Mohan has “escaped to Malaysia”.
The minister had earlier said that members of the Tamil Tigers had been trying to surrender or flee following the defeat of the rebel group in May this year.
He told BBC Sandeshaya that Daya Mohan and Colonel Ram, who had lived in the Amparai jungles in the island’s east, had escaped, but did not give details as to his source of information.
Speaking with BBC Tamil service days after the defeat of the LTTE, Daya Mohan said that the remaining fighters in the east were not thinking of surrendering.
He said the groups were “capable of carrying out guerrilla attacks” and were waiting for a decision from their leadership.
Discussing the progress of resettling and integrating the internally displaced persons (IDPs), Mr. Muralitharan explained that two villages, comprising 300 families, had already been resettled in Mannar after de-mining the area.
Commenting on an earlier remark that the Sri Lanka army is creating a “Tamil regiment”, he said the government is encouraging Tamil youth to join the armed forces.
So far, 600 of his supporters have joined the army and police, and a police training facility has been set up in Batticaloa he added.
Minister Karuna, the founding leader of the paramilitary turned political party Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP), recently joined the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). (BBC Sandeshaya)