Sri Lanka on Monday dismissed as a "joke" a top Tamil nationalist leader's claim that LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, who was killed in 2009 by the island nation's military, was still alive.
Pazha Nedumaran, a noted nationalist leader in Tamil Nadu, told reporters in Thanjavur that the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) "is doing well" and a "conducive atmosphere prevails for him to appear now."
Sri Lanka's defence ministry dismissed Nedumaran's claim as a joke. "It is confirmed that he was killed on 19 May 2009. The DNA has proved it, Colonel Nalin Herath,” Sri Lanka's defence ministry spokesman told PTI.
In a bitterly fought campaign that began in 1983, Sri Lanka's military ended the nearly three-decade brutal civil war in the island nation in May 2009, by killing the leaders of the LTTE.
The LTTE was fighting for an independent state for the Tamilians in Sri Lanka's North and Eastern provinces.
Though the exact date when Prabhakaran was killed by the Sri Lankan Army was not known, his death was announced on May 19, 2009.
The then-president Mahinda Rajapaksa on May 18, 2009, declared the end of a 26-year war in which over 1,00,000 people were killed and millions of Sri Lankans, mainly minority Tamils were displaced as refugees inside the country and abroad.