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A different meeting


Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation Vinyagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna, Prabhakaranís onetime leader in the East (picture on left) and Daya Master (Right) arrive in Vellamullivaikkal to identify the terrorist leaderís body.

Fate made them meet again. The man, whom they once treated like god, the LTTE's so called supremo Vellupillai Prabhakaran met his former Eastern military leader Karuna Amman and his former media spokesman Daya Master at the lagoon front of the Vellamullivaikkal.

The two, who were flown from Colombo and brought to the scene under tight security, scanned their former leader's body at the identification parade before the government announced that the LTTE Leader was dead.

Both identified the body as the leader of the LTTE. The Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan and Daya Master said that the death of Prabhakaran marked the end of the bloody battle in the country.

Following are excerpts of the interview with Daya Master, who sought refuge with the mass exodus of civilians escaping the LTTE during the Army's rescue operation on April 20.

Q: One time you were the LTTE's media spokesman. How do you see the fall of your former leader?

A: Prabhakaran had hated peace talks. I know that. There was a chance to come for an settlement in a peaceful way.

His main aim was to find a solution by war. Now everything is over and the battle is over. Now people - Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims can live together peacefully. They can celebrate the end of the war.

Q: Did you realise that grievances of Tamils could not be won militarily at that time?

A: That is a good question. When we broke the ceasefire in mid 2006 I realised that we could not win the struggle any more in militarily.

Q: So why did not you come out of the outfit?

A: Those who thought in this line could not come out of the LTTE. That was the main reason for us to keep mum.

Q: Why ?

A: We had to live under lots of restrictions. Those who went against were killed. Lots of civilians, who were under the LTTE as hostages, faced the same fate. They were harassed and killed.

Q: Being the former media spokesman who propagated the LTTE's ideology for a separate State, did you have the same dream like Prabhakaran for an Eelam ?

A: No. I did not have such a dream. But as soon as the present government came into power I smelled that the government would intensify its military offensives. I believed that they would definitely defeat terrorism.

To tell the truth, I earlier had the wish for Eelam. I dropped that in 2006 and realised that one day Prabhakaran would face death.

Minister Muralitharan: I came to identify his body. Now the 30-year-old war is over. People of this country are freed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Lots of soldiers sacrificed much to achieve freedom. The soldiers have freed the Tamils from the LTTE.

Now everybody is happy and feel the full sense of freedom. But now all citizens of this country face a huge task. That is to develop a new Sri Lanka under the leadership of President Rajapaksa.Last month, the whole world tried to stop our military push towards Puthumathalan so that they could save Prabhakaran. Without knowing much about the battle going on to rescue people battered under the LTTE, they tried to blame the President. But the military and the government has made these critics understand the real situation.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa will go into history as the country's best President and it is time for us to strengthen his hands to develop this country. Then only we can build our country. We need lots of international support to develop our country.

For over 30 years the LTTE has destroyed the Tamil community and also pushed the country into a dark era. Now Tamil people need development and peaceful lives. They do not want separate States.

We know how Tamils suffered under the LTTE and it is sad to say that there are some people who want to deny that Prabhakaran is dead. They are worried about ending the battle destroying Prabhakaran. I have a special request for the Tamil diaspora. Rally around the government to develop the lives of Tamils in Vanni. They can not neglect a population of over 250,000 whom the LTTE kept as hostages. Now it is time for us to look after them.

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