India seeks death certificate of Tamil Tiger leader: official

NEW DELHI, May 21, 2009 (AFP) – India on Thursday asked Sri Lanka to provide the death certificate for Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, a foreign ministry official told AFP. The separatist rebel chief, who was reported killed by Sri Lankan forces earlier this week, was wanted in India for planning the 1991 assassination of then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

India’s Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and National Security Adviser M K Narayanan who are in Sri Lanka, met the country’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday, a foreign ministry official said, declining to be named.

“The envoys offered aid and have requested Sri Lanka to provide Prabhakaran’s death certificate to close police investigations in the 1991 Gandhi murder case,” the official told AFP.

India says the Tamil Tigers assassinated Gandhi in retaliation for his decision to send troops into Sri Lanka in 1987 in a peace-keeping operation that ended up in all-out war with the rebels.