Home International 2,239 cadres were killed in fighting this year alone: LTTE

2,239 cadres were killed in fighting this year alone: LTTE


Colombo : At least 2,239 Tamil Tiger rebels have been killed in the past 11 months of fighting against the Sri Lankan troops, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has said.

According to a pro-rebel website, rebel chief Velupillai Prabhakaran has paid homage “to 22,390 fighters who have lost their lives in the armed struggle since 27 November 1982, the day when first LTTE fighter Shankar lost his life”.

“The Heroes’ Day remembrance event was held at 6.03 p.m. at an undisclosed location in Wanni on Thursday. 2,239 LTTE fighters have been killed in action in a largely defensive war faced by the Tigers in 2008,” the Tamilnet website quoting LTTE sources reported late Thursday.

The LTTE has also released photos of Prabhakaran attending a Heroes’ Day event in the rebel-held Wanni area.

In his annual Heroes’ Week speech from an undisclosed location in the Wanni, the rebel chief Thursday vowed to continue his war against Sri Lanka “till alien Sinhala occupation of our land is removed”.

Admitting that the LTTE is “confronted with an intense war as never before”, he said “an arrogant Sinhala nation stands adamant and is determined to occupy and conquer the historic (Tamil) lands”.

“All human suffering springs from unbridled desire. With its greed for land, Sinhalam has entered a militaristic path of destruction. It has sought to build the support of the world to confront us. It is living in a dreamland of military victory. It is a dream from which it will awake,” Prabhakaran said.

Prabhakaran’s speech this year is all the more significant as the troops were poised to capture the LTTE’s one-time “political capital” of Kilinochchi, 350 km north of here.

The military says that the advancing troops were now operating in the outskirts of Kilinochchi and the fall of one of the rebel’s strongholds was “imminent”.

The military, which captured whole of the eastern province and vast stretch of rebel-held territories from Mannar up to Pooneryn along the western coastal belt of the island, claimed early this month that 12,000 Tamil Tiger rebels have been killed during the past two and a half years.