- Published on Thursday, 19 July 2012 11:58
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The Asia Edition of Economist has published that a war-scarred pocket of jungle in north-eastern Sri Lanka are the remains of the last strong hold of the rebel group, the Tamil Tigers, before they were wiped out by the armed forces in 2009.
It says that busloads of people now drive through a swelteringly hot landscape of bombed-out houses, emaciated cattle and mangled cars to get there and see the places dominated by the Tiger terrorists. It says that a photograph of 25metres long and seven metres deep swimming poolonce showed VelupillaiPrabhakaran, the pudgy leader of the Tigers, taking a dip and reclining on a lilo. It says that the frogmen of the tiger terrorists’ naval wing, the Sea Tigers, trained in the pool learning to destroy ships by attaching magnetic mines to their hulls. It adds that the army found the pool in 2009, drained it, and then invited tourists in. Now number of visits has gone over thousands.
The article says the pool is one stop on a tour of former war zones in the district of Mullaitivu, one of the worst areas of fighting during the conflict. Another place crammed by the tourists, the article says, is Prabhakaran’s favourite underground bunker in the village of Visuvamadu. It says that when he was alive, the concrete structure, buried four stories underground, was air-conditioned.
The article also says that at nearby Vallipunam, tourists view the torture chambers with their smelly, open latrines, and walls on which inmates scratched poignant notes, many of them expressing faith in God. Inside another bunker sits the container that held the diabetic Prabhakaran’s insulin vials. Visitors also shuffle through a secret underground passage leading from the wardrobe of a Sea Tiger leader to his garden.
The article points out that for more than a year after the war, much of Mullaitivu was off-limits to civilians. But even now many Tamils still cannot return home because of the danger of landmines. (niz).