Pirabaharan's Parents - IDPs
29 May 2009, BBC
The parents of the Tamil Tigers' dead leader, Velupillai
Prabhakaran, are in a camp for displaced people in the north of Sri
Lanka, the army says.
Thiruvenkadam Velupillai and his wife, Parvathi, both in their 70s,
were found in the Menik Farm camp near the town of Vavuniya, the
"They are safe and in good health," a spokesman, Brig Udaya
Family friends fear for the couple's safety, although they say they
were not involved in the rebel struggle.
Menik Farm, some 250km (155 miles) north of Colombo, is the biggest
camp for those displaced by the war in Sri Lanka, housing about
Brig Nanayakara said the Prabhakarans were being provided with basic
requirements like food and shelter. "At the same time we are not
sure when they came over to government side. Like other internally
displaced people they will be in the camp until they are resettled,"
he said. They will not be interrogated."
Friends of the Prabhakarans in the UK confirmed the couple had been
They say that the pair returned to Sri Lanka in 2003 after 10 years
in self-imposed exile in the south of India.
"While the government has given assurances that they will not come
to harm or be ill treated, we are nevertheless concerned about their
safety at the hands of the army," a family acquaintance in London
told the BBC News website.
"In the current tense climate anything could happen to them."
It is not clear how the rebel leader's parents ended up in the camp.
The army says that Velupillai Prabhakaran's son, Charles Anthony,
was killed earlier this month in fighting in the north. There has
been no firm reports as to the fate of the rebel leader's wife,
daughter or other son.
Mr Prabhakaran - who was killed around 18 May - is believed to have
had three siblings. One brother is believed to be living in London
and a sister lives in Canada. The whereabouts of a third sibling -
if he or she exists - is unclear.
Family friends in London say that Mr Prabhakaran's parents were not
closely involved in the struggle for a Tamil state - called Eelam -
and knew little of their son's activities after he took up arms.
"They are a highly principled couple who like many other Tamils are
in shock and grieving over the recent bloodshed in Sri Lanka," the
family acquaintance said.
"Although they were not involved in the armed struggle, neither were
they at loggerheads with their son."