This aerial image taken by a Times mediaman travelling with Ban-ki moon’s helicopter on 23 May 2009 shows the Nandikadal coast which served as the last redoubt of the LTTE (including the wreck of a ship the LTTE had pirated several years earlier). Any rescue mission would have had to be from this stretch of coast. There was no scope for the US cavalry of Wild West fame; so it would have perforce had to be a Marines plus Seals job.
The UN together with a Western government tried to save Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger leadership from a final offensive that eventually wiped them out, an Indian media report said Tuesday. A surviving Tiger leader, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, formerly the chief arms smuggler for the rebels, told Indian website FirstPost that the world body was trying to arrange a ship for top figures to flee in May 2009.
Sri Lanka claimed an end to 37 years of ethnic bloodshed after killing the military leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on the island’s northeast coast in mid May 2009. Pathmanathan, in the interview conducted earlier this month at an undisclosed location inColombo, has said that the UN and an unnamed government wanted to send a ship for the trapped Tiger leadership to escape. Asked to name the country involved, he said: “Actually, it was UN with another country. I don’t like to mention the name of the country, but it’s a Western country.”
Pathmanathan, who is better known as KP, was appointed chief international representative of the Tigers by rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran shortly before he was killed in the last days of the war. Pathmanathan was taken into custody in August 2009 following a covert operation in an unnamed southeast Asian country, but has reportedly since been cooperating with the government and has never been charged.
The UN as well as several Western countries have said they were trying to arrange an orderly end to the fighting with a surrender of the trapped guerrillas. However, the attempt ended in failure when seven senior Tiger leaders were shot dead as they tried to give themselves up. The two sides have accused each other of massacring those trying to surrender.
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