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Tamil Tiger leaders were shot ‘while trying to surrender’

[Telegraph, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 19:18 No Comment]

B Nadesan, head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s political wing, and S Puleedevan, head of its "peace secretariat", were killed as they approached

Sri Lankan army positions waving a white flag, a spokesman for the group claimed.

S. Pathmanathan, the group’s head of international relations said: "We were instructed to make contact with the 58th division of the Sri Lankan forces in the war zone. Mr Nadesan and Mr Puleedevan then proceeded to do so.

They were unarmed and carrying white flags and were called on by the officers of the 58th division to come forward for discussions. When they complied they were both shot and killed."

The claims emerged as television pictures, above left, showed what appeared to be the dead body of the rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, who was killed in a separate incident.

The broadcast sparked scenes of jubilation in Colombo, the capital, after 26 years of civil war.

One western diplomat said yesterday that if Tamils had been killed while trying to surrender it would be a breach of the Geneva Convention.

Last night, Sri Lanka’s foreign affairs secretary Palitha Kohona admitted that the men had contacted him to ask how they could surrender.

[Full Coverage]

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