COLOMBO - The few surviving leaders of Sri Lanka’s defeated Tamil Tigers announced Tuesday they were reorganizing the rebel movement and forming a "transnational government."
The rebel group’s international relations chief, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, said in a recorded message that the organization would continue to pursue its aim of a separate Tamil state despite the rout of its army and death of its leadership.
"The struggle of people of Tamil Eelam (the separate state the Tigers fought for) has reached a new state," he said. "It is time now for us to move forward with our political vision towards our freedom."
Pathmanathan, who is better known as K.P and worked as the group’s main international arms smuggler, said they were setting up what he called a "Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam."
He said their overseas-based legal advisor, Rudrakumaran Vishwanathan, would head a committee to decide a course of action that would be "within democratic principles."
It is not clear from where Pathmanathan, who is wanted by Interpol for his arms smuggling operations, issued the voice message.
It comes nearly a month after the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Velupillai Prabhakaran and most of his deputies were killed by government forces.
The pro-rebel Tamilnet website meanwhile called for a "democratic and inclusive" organization to keep up the separatist drive.
"The need of the time now is the metamorphosis of the existing infrastructure into a democratic and inclusive transnational government of Eelam Tamils," Tamilnet said.
"While the government in exile is a conventional phenomenon that needs a host country, the transnational government is a novel experiment that has no precedence," it added, while characterizing the new set-up as a "symbolic" new start for the LTTE.