In the immediate aftermath of the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, it has been reported that the leader of the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels has been killed.
State television says Vellupillai Prabhakaran and two deputies were killed by special forces while trying to flee in ambulances. There are fears that more civilians also died in the last push to finish off the rebel group, which had been fighting for a separate Tamil state. The army is said to have launched a decisive attack after the remaining civilians trapped in the battle zone managed to escape. This morning Sri Lanka’s military chief said combat operations were over. On Saturday the government declared victory and the following day the rebels conceded defeat. But many questions remain about the conduct of the war. Sri Lankans protested outside the British High Commission in Colombo and burned an effigy of Foreign Minister David Milliband, who has been critical of the Sri Lankan government’s handling of the conflict. He and the EU have called for an independent inquiry into alleged human rights crimes on both sides.