Ashes of Sri Lanka rebel chief's mother desecrated

AP News
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Posted: Feb 23, 2011 9:26 AM
Ashes of Sri Lanka rebel chief's mother desecrated

The ashes of the mother of Sri Lanka's former rebel leader have been desecrated hours after her body was cremated, a relative said Wednesday.

Kanagalingam Sivajilingam said the incident took place Tuesday night, shortly after slain rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's mother was cremated in his native village of Valvettithurai.

Sivajilingam said relatives who visited the cremation site Wednesday to collect the ashes found them scattered and three dead dogs with bullet wounds lying nearby.

"This a barbaric act. I won't say who did it, but everybody knows who they are," Sivajilingam said.

Killing and dumping dogs, which are considered lowly and unclean, is an expression of contempt for the dead person.

Prabhakaran led the Tamil Tiger rebels during a quarter-century civil war that ended with their defeat and his death in May 2009. The rebels were seeking a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils, claiming discrimination from majority Sinhalese.

Prabhakaran's parents were not involved in politics but were arrested by the military days after the war ended.

After the death of Prabhakaran's father in detention last year, his mother Parvathi was released and spent her last year in hospitals under Sivajilingam's care.

The military, which has a large presence in the Tamil-majority north, has been accused of destroying monuments and rebel graves in an attempt to eliminate every trace of the rebels.