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Widow of slain Tamil Tiger rejects allegations on war

[Xinhua, Monday, 29 August 2011 15:13 No Comment]

The widow of a slain top Tamil Tiger official has rejected claims that the Sri Lankan army had shot dead Tamil Tiger leaders who surrendered during the final stages of the civil conflict.

A government news agency on Saturday quoted Shashi Rekh, the widow of slain Tamil Tiger Political Chief S.P. Thamilchelvam as saying that all top Tamil Tiger officials were killed in battle in May 2009.

Claims of several top Tamil Tigers were killed by the army after they surrendered with white flags in their hands had created an uproar, with international human rights groups and some western nations calling for an investigation.

The claims first surfaced when the former Sri Lankan army commander Sarath Fonseka was quoted in a local newspaper as saying that the defence ministry had issued instructions to kill all the Tamil Tigers who surrendered.

However the Sri Lankan government rejected the claims and later filed legal action against Fonseka in what is now locally known as the "white flag" case.

The Lankapuvath government news agency quoted Shashi Rekha as saying that she was trapped in an area in northern Sri Lanka during the final battle before managing to seek refuge with the army.

She said she was well aware of what had exactly taken place during the war which ended in 2009 after 30 years of fighting and thousands were killed.

Her husband, S.P Thamilchelvam, who was a popular figure in the Tamil Tiger outfit and led several rounds of peace negotiations with the Sri Lankan government before hostilities broke out again, was killed in an air strike by the Sri Lankan air force.

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