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A Slain former LTTE leader's family seeks refuge with Govt

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I / Colombo May 2, 2009, 15:28 IST

The family of LTTE's former deputy leader Mahathaya, who was executed at the command of Velupillai Prabhakaran, has left the rebel-held areas in Sri Lanka's north and sought refuge with the Government.  

Mahathaya's wife and three children fled the rebel-held areas in Wanni region and reached the Government-controlled areas yesterday, the Island newspaper reported.  

Mahathaya, whose real name is Gopalasamy Mahendrarajah and a childhood friend of the elusive supremo, was imprisoned by the Tamil Tigers in the 1990s and later executed after being accused of collaborating with an Indian intelligence agency to assassinate Prabhakaran.  

"Mahathaya's family told the security forces they had left the LTTE after her husband's death. However the LTTE had been paying some money to them every month by way of compensation," the newspaper said.  

When contacted, the army refused to comment on the report.  Mahathaya, born in 1956, became the first president of the People's Front of Liberation Tigers (PFLT), a political party formed by the LTTE in the late 1980s.  

He joined the LTTE in 1978 and was very popular with the Tiger cadres and among the Tamil civilians. Mahathaya and slain LTTE idelogue Anton Balasingham were the two key men in the outfit's delegation that held peace talks with President Premadasa.

 According to the book "Will to Freedom" written by Anton Balasingham's Australian-born wife Adele, the LTTE killed 257 people along with Mahathaya on 28th December, 1994 on various allegations, the newspaper said.  Another theory has it that people sympathetic to Mahathaya were also killed by the LTTE.  

It said before Mahathaya could rebel and consolidate his support, Prabakaran had him quickly arrested, isolated, tried for treason and eventually executed.  

Foreign journalists during a recent trip to Jaffna were shown the sprawling house where Mahahaya once lived with his family.  

His deserted bungalow also depicted the high standard of living maintained by the former LTTE no. 2 before he was arrested and executed on orders of Prabhakaran.

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