Sri Lanka Prez: We're 'Liberated'

Body of rebel leader said to be found
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 19, 2009 8:10 AM CDT
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, center, arrives in the parliament as lawmakers applaud during a special session in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, May 19, 2009.    (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
camera-icon View 6 more images

(Newser) – Sri Lanka’s leader celebrated the country’s “liberation” from the Tamil Tigers after 26 years of war in a speech to parliament today, the BBC reports. “Today we have been able to liberate the entire country from the clutches of terrorism," said Mahinda Rajapaska. "We have been able to defeat one of the most heinous terrorist groups in the world."

Switching to the language of the Tamils, Rajapaska called for a “homegrown solution” to ethnic conflicts. Meanwhile, television stations showed images of a corpse said to belong to rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, whom the army said yesterday had been killed. An army leader said the body had been found on the battlefield, its identity confirmed by DNA tests. But Tamil media say Prabhakaran is still alive.
(Read more Sri Lanka stories.)