LTTE Leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran‘s bunker in Puthukuduirrippu in Mullaitivu has been destroyed, Tamil media reports while top military sources are confirming the demolition unofficially.
Residents claimed they heard a loud explosion around 6:40 p.m. last night following which the bunker was demolished.
Security forces personnel had asked residents in surrounding areas to take cover at schools and temples nearby, because they had discovered explosives inside the bunker.
Police from the area had then marshalled residents into safe locations prior to the explosion.
The army has officially denied knowledge of the demolition, but high ranking army sources confirmed the bunker had been destroyed.
Prabhakaran’s bunker has been a popular tourist destination for visitors to the former conflict zones in the South and was maintained as a showcase of the Tiger Leader’s opulent lifestyle after the war ended in 2009. It was a highly popular attraction on the so-called Tiger trail on the war-tourism circuit in the North.
Tamil politicians in the area said they believed the demolition was aimed at preventing the bunker from becoming a shrine to the slain LTTE leader since the area was now controlled by a Tamil provincial government. The demolition of the bunker at this stage was a tacit acknowledgment by the military establishment that the bunker had been preserved for the benefit of triumphalist Southern tourists rather than aimed at keeping alive the history of the Sri Lankan civil war.