A Sri Lankan soldier walks past a poster displaying a photograph of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse (R in poster) with his Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse (L in poster) in Colombo, 19 May 2009
Sri Lanka's President told the nation that a total battlefield victory has been achieved against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Several hours after his speech video was broadcast which purported to show the corpse of the feared leader of the rebel movement.
The president says the country has been completely liberated from the terrorism of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and all territory is in government hands for the first time in 30 years. Wednesday, he declares, will be a national holiday to celebrate the achievement of the armed forces.
The President made no mention of the fate of the rebel group's founder and leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran.
After the speech, the Army commander, in a radio broadcast, said the Tamil Tiger leader's body had been positively identified. Shortly thereafter, video was repeatedly aired on television of a corpse which clearly resembled Prabhakaran.
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New York Times