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Prabhakaran alive: Pro-LTTE bodies
Raise questions over body visuals shown by Sri Lanka
N Ravikumar
Tribune News Service

Chennai, May 20
Pro-LTTE leaders and Tamil nationalist organisations have rejected Sri Lankan army’s claim that Velupillai Prabhakaran was dead and have raised several questions over the video clippings of the body released by the island nation.

Sri Lankan Tamils Protection Movement co-ordinator P Nedumaran, who had closely seen him, rejected the visuals, asserting that it was not the body of Prabhakaran. Popular film director Bharathiraja, who had visited the island a few years ago and met the LTTE leader, also categorically rejected the visuals, saying that any dead man's face could be altered by plastic surgery or some other modern make-up techniques used in cinema to alter the appearance.

Besides the leaders, most of the Tamil dailies published pictures of Prabhakaran taken in 2004, in which wrinkles could be seen on his face, and asked the readers to compare the visuals released by the island army, in which the Tiger leader looked at least 10 years younger, instead of growing five years older.

“Is this the face of a 54-year old man?” asked one of the captions, below the visual. “The double-chinned lower jaw looks totally changed,” another daily commented, while another queried “how a dead man's head is being freely moved by the soldiers like that of a doll?”

The leaders supporting the organisation also raised many questions. The army could not have performed a DNA test within 24 hours and it required the sample of his body specimen taken earlier or that of his parents for mapping, they contended. The army claimed that he was killed when fleeing in an ambulance and later said they had recovered it from water, they said.

His face was neatly shaved, which was not possible under the circumstances, they said, asking why a man trying to escape should wear the Tiger uniform and an identity card, which looked newly prepared. A man trying to escape would not prefer an uniform even if he was not able to change his appearance, they argued.

Most of the people in the state, who had seen his pictures daily in TV channels and newspapers, also did not take the visuals seriously. Some of them said his hands looked thinner and his face was not swollen, even after being in water for more than 24 hours, they observed. However, when questioned about the whereabouts of Prabhakaran, the leaders declined to comment and only said "he will make a public appearance at the right time".

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